International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering and Information Technology, Vol. 3 (2013) No. 6, pages: 374-381, DOI:10.18517/ijaseit.3.6.346

Evaluating Feasibility and Effectiveness of The Self-Learning CD-Rom Developed as A Tool to Promote The Kitchen Garden Concept Among The Rural Households in Sri Lanka

K.W.M.K.W.U.L.B Kotandeniya, J.M.P.N Anuradha

Abstract

Home gardening has been identified as a successful mean to improve household food security in resource poor communities. “Kitchen gardening” is a concept of home gardening with less inputs and minimal production factors. This research project was conducted with the main objective of evaluating the instructional CD-ROM which was developed as a self-directed learning material to promote and disseminate the “kitchen garden” concept to address the household level food insecurity in rural communities in Sri Lanka. Lack of knowledge of the rural communities on home gardening is a major constraint to enhance household level food security. The CD-ROM technology can be applied as a cost effective and potential mean to raise the awareness of the rural households on home gardening. Prior to the production of the CD-ROM, a preliminary survey with a sample of 60 randomly selected households from three purposively selected GN divisions in the Central Province of Sri Lanka was conducted to investigate the feasibility of using the CD-ROM multimedia technology as a tool to disseminate agricultural information among the rural households, and to identify the content and the desired presentation style of the CD-ROM to make it more attractive to the target group. Thirty five randomly selected households from the same GN divisions were selected to evaluate the CD-ROM by comparing the knowledge and perceptions of the sample respondents on home gardening before and after the exposure to the CD-ROM. The majority (80%) of the rural households in Sri Lanka owns a CD/DVD player. Nearly 43% of the respondents suggested that the self learning CD-ROM is an excellent method to disseminate agricultural information. The findings of the research disclose that the level of knowledge of the respondents on all aspects of the “kitchen garden” concept has significantly changed as per the “Wilcoxon signed rank” test. The pre-test further reveals that the interest towards home gardening of the rural households has increased from 41% to 72% after the exposure to the contents of the CD-ROM. The study reveals that the CD-ROM is capable of disseminating information and motivating people towards home gardening. Recommendations can be made to improve the production by incorporating interactive features and more information on other methods of home gardening under different contexts. Tamil version of the CD-ROM would be needed to expand its potential user base.

Keywords:

CD-ROM; Self learning; Kitchen garden

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