Analysing the Impact of Web-based, 'Discussion-Support' in the Australian Sugar Industry: A Research Journey Built on Industry Engagement, Innovation and Investigation

  • 358 views
Uploaded on

'Discussion support’ systems in agriculture are processes which foster discussion between stakeholders about shared issues of concern and may lead to awareness raising, learning, skill development and …

'Discussion support’ systems in agriculture are processes which foster discussion between stakeholders about shared issues of concern and may lead to awareness raising, learning, skill development and decision making. The rationale for testing a web-based simulated discussion approach is supported in the current
information delivery and extension environment where declining funding and policy support is stimulating the search for alternative delivery methods for tools and information in agriculture. This project will test and evaluate a product (web based Second Life Machinima conversations) that can be used in a range of situations and that are accessible in remote environments, without the need for technical experts or other service providers to be physically present in a discussion.

More in: Education
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
No Downloads

Views

Total Views
358
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
3

Actions

Shares
Downloads
0
Comments
0
Likes
1

Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
    No notes for slide

Transcript

  • 1. ‘Discussion support’ systems in agriculture are processes which foster discussion between stakeholders about shared issues of concern and may lead to awareness raising, learning, skill development and decision making. The rationale for testing a web-based simulated discussion approach is supported in the current information delivery and extension environment where declining funding and policy support is stimulating the search for alternative delivery methods for tools and information in agriculture. This project will test and evaluate a product (web based Second Life Machinima conversations) that can be used in a range of situations and that are accessible in remote environments, without the need for technical experts or other service providers to be physically present in a discussion. ANALYSING THE IMPACT OF WEB-BASED, ‘DISCUSSION-SUPPORT’ IN THE AUSTRALIAN SUGAR INDUSTRY: A RESEARCH JOURNEY BUILT ON INDUSTRY ENGAGEMENT, INNOVATION AND INVESTIGATION University of Southern Queensland in partnership with the Australian National University and the University of South Australia. Supported by the Digital Futures (CRN) Project funded through the Australian Government's Collaborative Research Networks program. Research purpose Interviewee quotes and ratings for the value of the machinima as a method to convey messages to cane farmers: First impressions: ‘typical farmer conversation’; ‘realistic scenario’; ‘choppy graphics’; ‘well put together’; ‘starts people thinking about risk’; ‘prefer real actors’. Characters: ‘very accurate’; ‘good cross section’; ‘too clean, shiny and young’. Setting: ‘looked like a cane farm’; ‘standard shed meeting’; ‘appropriate for audience’; Key messages: ‘planning’; ‘too basic’; ‘discussion of decisions’; ‘seasonal forecasting and probabilities’. Appeal in conveying messages: ‘good for prompting and helping discussion’; ‘good medium to get message across’; ‘way to create discussion’; ‘useful for other topics’ ‘very innovative’. Mean rating of value (1 = low value and 10 = high value): Farmers: 6.9 (N = 7); Extension Officers: 7.2 (N = 6); Canegrowers Org: 6.4 (N = 4) Participative and collaborative learning: Analysing individual experiential learning within the context of group discussion processes, Kolb (1984). Agriculture extension: Analysing robust agriculture extension processes which facilitate learning and skills acquisition, Van Den Ban (2010). Seasonal climate forecasting in agriculture: Analysing processes of communication of climate forecasting information, understanding and application within agriculture, Meinke et al (2005), Everingham et al (2002), Hammer et al (2000). Climate change and agriculture: Analysing processes of communication of climate change adaptation information within agriculture, Cobon et al (2009). Use of digital animations in extension and education: Analysing the use of digital animations in agriculture and other sectors. Comparing and contrasting the use of animations compared to real people in a digital communication product, Butler (2012), Laurillard (1998). Qualitative research frameworks: Investigating the use of phenomenological approaches (Marton, 1981) to determine how research subjects perceive and understand the messages conveyed in the digital animation. Project contacts: • Professor Roger Stone, Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Q4350 AUSTRALIA | Ph: +61 7 4631 2736 | Email: roger.stone@usq.edu.au • Dr Shahbaz Mushtaq, Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Q4350, AUSTRALIA | Ph: +61 7 4631 2019 | Email: shahbaz.mushtaq@usq.edu.au • Dr Kate Reardon-Smith, Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Q4350 AUSTRALIA | Ph: +61 7 4631 2380 | Email: kathryn.reardon-smith@usq.edu.au Neil Cliffe, Dr Roger Stone, Dr Jeff Coutts, Dr Shahbaz Mushtaq, Dr Kathryn Reardon-Smith, and the Project 3 Team. Research Questions…??? How effective are digital animations as a medium to promote discussion about climate and risk management information in groups of Australian canefarmers? How effective in influencing the way Australian canefarmers access and use climate forecast information are simulated farmer discussions within digital animations ? • Develop and write the script for the animated discussion; • Review design and ‘look’ of the animation for cultural acceptability; • Design a semi-structured interview process to collect data; • Obtain ethics approval; • Conduct 17 interviews across 6 cane growing regions [cane farmers (7), sugar industry extension officers (6) and Canegrowers Organisation staff (4)]; • Hand code, analyse and query data; • Develop recommendations for future machinima development. able activities advance ahead allocation alternate application applications areas around benefits best better blocks break budgeting business cane chemical chemicals climate coming conditions contracts costs cover crop cropping crops crush date december decision decisions early equipment fallow farm farming fertiliser fertilising fertilizing financial forecasting forecasts forward future general good ground grower growers harvest harvesting help higher hopefully husbandry improved information irrigating irrigation likelihood maintenance make making management many marketing maximise operations plan planning planting practices preparation pricing production productivity program rainfall risk season spray spraying start sugar things timing water weather wet whole work During 2012, facilitated discussion based approaches were applied within workshop processes in the sugar industry to deliver learning based outcomes and develop skills in applying seasonal climate forecasting to management decisions. Workshop evaluation (206 participants, 81% of whom were farmers) reinforced the value of climate information to cane farmers, who indicated a high potential benefit in assisting farm planning and a high likelihood of use of climate forecasting information in their decision making processes. Research background The benefits of the application of digital animation, discussion support products and approaches may include: • Increased accessibility of information to individual farmers and farmer groups; • Accessibility of information to agricultural service providers who could use the product to support their own extension activities with farmer groups; • Improved cost effectiveness of information delivery; • Delivery and communication of complex information in a context that users and user groups can apply to their own individual situations; • Improved management of climate risk in the sugar industry leading to higher productivity and profitability. Helpful aspects of workshops: Tag cloud with frequency of words mentioned highlighted with larger fonts. Potential benefits of research… Methods for trialling machinima Interim results from trialling machinima… Literature review Themes for enquiry include: Decision and discussion support systems in agriculture: Analysing and investigating the lack of uptake by farmers in the use and output from bio- physical decision support models incorporating climate risk, Nelson et al (2002) and Stone et al (2010). Comparing and contrasting examples of discussion support products supporting farmer learning and action in climate risk decision making, or within other sectors? The future research journey… Development of up to three more machinima for relevant sugar industry situations. • Script and animation development based on feedback from experimental machinima analysis. • Refer to reference group (willing participants from initial machinima trial) to assist in ground-truthing the final product. Design an experiment to test machinima with stakeholders in a group situation to compare, contrast and evaluate the outcomes derived from a group discussion process.