By Nor Amirah Mahmuddin
PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) -- The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission's (MCMC) Click Wisely ('Klik Dengan Bijak' or KDB) programme has proven to be effective, according to the findings of a study carried out by an academic.
Speaking at the recent 2018 MCMC Research Symposium, senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia's Department of Communication Dr Moniza Waheed said the videos used in the KDB campaign to educate youths on how to protect themselves in the digital environment were found to be effective in improving their level of knowledge concerning online safety.
Moniza was in charge of a study on Safeguarding Youth in the Digital Age, aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of KDB videos produced by MCMC.
A total of 1,218 students nationwide were involved in the study and data was collected three times within a period of a year.
“We compared their level of knowledge before video exposure and three months after exposure and we found that more than half of the respondents showed improvement (in knowledge) after they viewed the KDB videos.
“Our findings suggest that KDB videos are an effective teaching tool for the youth. This is probably due to the fact that KDB videos tell stories of personal online catastrophes in a casual approach which is relatable to the present youth,” she explained.
Moniza said the participants were first required to answer a questionnaire to test their baseline knowledge concerning Internet safety before they were exposed to three of the most viewed KDB videos, the content of which related to false information, oversharing and scam.
After watching the videos, the participants were required to answer another questionnaire.
After three months, the participating students were revisited to check the consistency and staying power of the knowledge they had gained through the KDB videos.
Moniza also said that it would be beneficial if some of the KDB campaign modules were incorporated into the existing information and communication technology (ICT) syllabus taught in schools.
PROTECT CHILDREN IN DIGITAL ENVIRONMENT
The KDB campaign, introduced by MCMC in 2012, makes use of videos and educational print materials as tools to teach youths to protect themselves in the digital environment.
The educational messages in these tools are divided into several modules comprising cyberbullying, hacking, online grooming, online fraud, oversharing, rights and responsibilities of online citizens, phishing and spam.
Meanwhile, at the launch of the 2018 MCMC Research Symposium at Putrajaya Marriott Hotel, MCMC chairman Al-Ishsal Ishak said the annual symposium is a platform for the commission to showcase findings from research carried out under its research collaboration initiative called Network Media Research Collaboration Programme (NMRCP).
“The NMRCP was established in 2008 with the intent to establish a body of knowledge and information resources that would support the commission by educating the efficacy of policy or regulatory practice with regard to the new media environment,” he said
The MCMC Research Symposium, a joint collaboration between MCMC and UNICEF, is aimed at exploring new ways to protect children in the digital environment and nurture responsible digital citizens.
The collaboration leveraged on MCMC and UNICEF's research activities on the implications of technologies on society and their ongoing efforts to ensure safe and positive interaction with communications technology and the Internet.
With the symposium's theme being 'Maximising individual and societal participation in the digital economy through digital inclusion', the speakers focused their discussion on the following areas: children and the digital age, cyber wellness, digital citizenship and digital inclusion for all.
SMART COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
Al-Ishsal said the increase in the number of children starting their interaction with communications technology at a younger age has made it important to recognise that a key element in ensuring safe and productive digital participation is providing the young with adequate skills and protection in their interaction with others.
He said the findings from some of MCMC's research work in this area have provided inputs for advocacy work and outreach initiatives related to MCMC’s KDB programme.
Another study conducted by senior lecturer at Universiti Sains Malaysia's School of Management Dr Normalini Md Kassim on the impact of MCMC's Smart Community Initiatives in Kota Belud, Lundu, Kemaman and Putrajaya showed that the initiatives need to be continued while areas such as infrastructure and local content and application development need to be upgraded progressively.
Speaking at the symposium, she said the study was aimed at, among others, examining the factors that drive the usage or participation and satisfaction in MCMC's smart community initiatives.
It was also aimed at developing an index that captures the essence of a smart community so that the stakeholders involved can be informed of the necessary criteria that enable a community to be deemed smart.
“The Smart Community Index is calculated based on (the community's) attitude towards embracing technology, access to infrastructure and ownership of technological devices, ICT-use diffusion and impact derived from ICT usage," Normalini added.
Translated by Rema Nambiar