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Developing instructional videos in Indonesia

Alan Jolliffe
Box Hill College of TAFE
The development of instructional videos requires a combination of technical and instructional skills. Developing these in a overseas country presents additional problems for the expatriate adviser. This paper is based on my work as a media adviser in an Indonesian teachers college where one of my major roles was to develop instructional videos.

In 1987 I was employed as a Media Adviser by the Indonesian Australian Technical Education Project (IATEP). The IATEP project had been involved in upgrading the skills of teachers in technical and vocational education in Indonesia for many years.

I worked at the Vocational Teacher's Upgrading Centre (VTUC), in Jakarta, as a long term adviser in media. The VTUC has a dual role:

The short courses are conducted in the areas of media, food, clothing, business, office administration, accountancy and secretarial studies. The courses are conducted by master teachers at the VTUC. Master teachers are experienced teachers who have undergone additional training in Indonesia. Most of the master teachers had been to Australia on long term fellowships for six to twelve months as part of the IATEP project.

The role of the long term adviser was to work with an Indonesian counterpart to follow up their training in Australia and assist them in the overall operation of their department. At the VTUC, I worked in cooperation with the head of the media department. The media department consisted of seven Master teachers and one technician.

My role was to change the media department from a teaching department to one having a major role in program production. Since there was a large amount of video equipment available there was great encouragement for me to fully use the equipment by producing instructional videos.

The role of the media department at the time was to teach student teachers and to conduct upgrading courses for practising teachers from all over Indonesia. The media department was similar to an educational technology department but taught various aspects of media use. There was no program production taking place for other teaching areas at VTUC.

All the media centre staff had up to one year fellowships in Australia to study educational technology at the Hawthorn Institute of Education and had work experience at a TAFE college.

Problems of working as an adviser overseas

Advisers working overseas have many professional problems to overcome. Two of the mains ones for me were:

Problems of developing instructional video

The problems included:

Method of program development

Initially, I attempted to run mini workshops on video production with the media staff, I taught subjects such as lighting, editing, sound recording and character generator use. However, this did not prove very successful because the staff could not see how the individual skills were to be of any major use to them professionally. Also they regarded practical skills as inappropriate and thought this type of work should be completed by technicians.

Another problem was my lack of Indonesian language ability. As stated by Cannon (1990) when describing the language problem,

Lack of skill in the language of the host country is a more difficult problem, but, in theory at least, this can be partly resolved by moving away from formal presentations toward interactive problem based learning.

To overcome my previous problems, I decided a more coordinated approach to training was required. I developed a new training plan based on the following objectives:

The plan is shown in the associated diagram.

Diagram: Video training plan

In full consultation with my counterpart three formal training programs were planned with associated training activities.

The courses were:

Other training activities included TV studio visits and work experience for media staff.

Video production techniques course

The Video Production Techniques Course was designed to train the media staff how to operate the video equipment. Several other staff were involved in the training so a large resource of people was available for production crews.

Topics covered included:

I decided to involve other local staff in the training rather than doing it all myself I used staff from our sister college, the Technical Teacher Upgrading Centre (TTUC) at Bandung. At TTUC they were quite well equipped with a high band television studio. The TTUC staff were well experienced in video production. The course ran for four days. The result of the course was that we then had staff who could form production teams when required.

Studio production course

The Studio Production Course was conducted at TTUC Bandung which had a suitable studio. This gave my staff an idea of how an established TV studio operated. A program was scripted and was planned to be shot at TTUC using VTUC staff to operate the studio. The students were involved in the complete production of an instructional video for the first time. There were no formal classes but the students were shown how to operate the studio and other equipment. They shot and edited the program under the guidance of Indonesian supervising staff. This course ran over three days.

Script writing course

Several weeks later a Script Writing Course was held. This was conducted at the VTUC, again with the assistance of the staff from TTUC and the media adviser. The objective of this course was to allow the media staff to work with staff from other subject areas in the production of a script. Each media staff member worked with subject specialists in the production of an instructional video.

Topics covered included:

At the end of the course subject specialists had completed scripts in their mini groups. It was assigned to a media staff member to complete the program with the help of the subject specialists and using the other media department members as the production crew. This course ran over three days.

Over a three months period ten video programs were produced. During this period they had the continued technical assistant of staff from TTUC Bandung.

Other training activities

The other activities included visits to other video production units. The staff saw how other studios operated. In addition they looked at the physical design of the studio and this was helpful because they were redesigning their own studio.

We also arranged for the placement of the media staff for work experience in various video production houses. Here they learned practical production techniques of other colleges.

Why these courses were "successful"

The courses were successful in that ten instructional videos were produced and the media department staff developed video production skills.

Some of the advantages of the courses were:

Unexpected outcomes

The unexpected outcome of this training plan was that closer cooperation between my college, the VTUC, and their sister college, TTUC Bandung occurred. There was genuine cooperation and friendship between the two colleges.


According to criteria described by Cannon (1988), the courses had a teacher centred approach as opposed to student centred. In the teacher centred approach, the content is specified by the adviser. However there was a great degree of student involvement in the course and follow up activities which allowed the students to apply the knowledge they had learnt. In addition, the use of local staff rather than expatriate advisers, overcame many language and cultural problems. As an adviser, I acted as a facilitator rather than on my expertise alone in my role as an expert applying my practical experience as an instructional designer to solve problems in another country. For the expatriate adviser to rely on their expertise alone and not use the professional expertise already existing in the country is a mistake.


Cannon, R. (1990). On Being an 'Expert': Conducting Educational Developments Activities in Southeast Asia. In I. Moses (ed), Higher Education in the Late Twentieth Century: A Festschrift for Ernest Roe. Kensington, NSW: HERDSA, pp 270-294.

Cannon, R. (1989). Expatriate 'Experts' in Indonesia and Thailand: Professional and Personal Qualities for Effective Teaching and Consulting. (Unpublished paper).

Cannon, R. (1988) Conducting Professional Development Activities in Southeast Asia. Paper presented for discussion at the Annual Conference of HERDSA, Melbourne.

Author: Alan Jolliffe, Instructional Designer, Box Hill College of TAFE, PO Bag 14, Box Hill, Victoria, 3128.

Please cite as: Jolliffe, A. (1990). Developing instructional videos in Indonesia. In J. G. Hedberg, J. Steele and M. Mooney (Eds), Converging Technologies: Selected papers from EdTech'90, 171-176. Canberra: AJET Publications.

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