The Alignment of Information Technology Education Degree Programs in the Philippines to Emerging Rich Media Advertising Job Roles

Mr. Glenn Sipin
Assistant Professor De La Salle University-Manila 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines glenn.sipin@delasalle.ph

Dr. Jose Lloyd Espiritu
Associate Professor De La Salle University-Manila 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines espiritu.lloyd@gmail.com

Ms. Kiran Budhrani
Instructional Designer Wideout Technology Services, Inc. Taguig City, Manila, Philippines kiranbudhrani@gmail.com

Abstract— Banner ads appear on billions of web pages everyday. Rather than standard images, advertisers are now using rich media to have interactive features on their ads -- to watch videos, play games, fill up forms, and even download content from the ad. Rich media appealed to advertisers because of the possibility of tracking and measuring online customer interactions such as display time, interaction rate, video playback, exit links, and custom events. These tracking metrics provide advertisers more information on what works or does not work among their online ad campaigns. The evolution of digital advertising in Western countries has led to an emerging job market for I.T. graduates in Philippines because of the BPO strategy. In the past five years, banner ad production grew as an industry in the Philippines and emerged newer job roles such as Creative Developer, Ad Builder, and Rich Media Quality Assurance Specialist. This paper aims to find out if the courses under the Information Technology (IT), Computer Science (CS), and Information Systems (IS) degrees are aligned to these emerging job roles. A questionnaire was sent out to the employees of a rich media service provider stationed as a BPO company in the Philippines to determine which courses from college were relevant to their current job. Results show that the BS-CS graduate fits the job of an ad builder than a QA specialist. The BS-IT graduate is fits the job of a QA specialist, but can perhaps adjust well in an Ad builder position with a good background in multimedia systems. The BS-IS graduate is not fully qualified for the QA specialist job role. The BS-IT graduate is not fully qualified for the creative developer job role. The researchers provide recommendations for additions / improvements in the current IT Degree Programs. Keywords— Banner Advertising, Rich Media Advertising, Information Technology Curriculum, Higher Education Curriculum Policy,

But in late 1996, Hewlett Packard and an online agency called Red Sky Interactive released an innovation in online ads: the classic “Pong” game embedded within a banner ad (Figure 1). From here, Rich Media advertising was born.

Figure 1. First Rich Media Ad Banner 1

The Interactive Advertising Bureau defines a rich media advertisement as an ad with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a webpage format. Rather than choosing a static image for a banner ad, advertisers can show ads with rich media and interactive features for target consumers to learn more about products, stream videos, play animation, play games, fill-up forms, and even download content from their ads. Rich media has developed into a popular format. These types of ads are more than just for display; they are intended for userinteraction and engagement. Different content types can be used to create online ads: text, images, flash animation, games, video and more. It is the quality and size of the ad content that puts the ‘rich’ into rich media (Table 1).
Table 1. Comparison of Content fitting to Rich Media Content Type Plain Text GIF/JPEG Image Animated GIFs Animation Plug-ins (Flash) Streaming Audio/Video Interactive Game Subscription Form Is it rich media? Non-Rich Non-Rich Non-Rich Rich Rich Rich Rich

INTRODUCTION Banner ads appear on billions of web pages everyday. Advertisers primarily use the online medium to create brand awareness, get brand messages across, and encourage product sales. In 1994, advertising on the Internet consisted mainly of 468x60-pixel GIF or JPG banners at the top of web pages (Gluck & Bruner, 2005).

1

Source of Image: Hewlett Packard and Red Sky Interactive, 1996

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-1-

Rich media ads are mostly developed with the Flash technology, but can sometimes be used with Java, Javascript, XML, and DHTML. Initially, rich media ads were not favoured because of compatibility issues between browsers and Flash players. Users had to download a plug-in to play ads that were using rich media technology. But with all browsers supporting the Flash format today, rich media ads can easily be displayed on any website. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has defined rich media guidelines for all ad formats to set a lowest common denominator for the advertising industry and creative agencies. Common ad formats that appear on Web browsers are the In-page, Expandable, Floating / Interstitials, Pop-ups, and Transitionals (Table 2). Rich media ads also come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The most common ad sizes are 728x90, 300x250 (Figure 2), and 160x600. Advertisers and agencies are now tapping social networks as means for advertising; accordingly newer formats have been defined by the IAB like the Instant Messenger format and the YouTube format. More ad formats are expected to arise as advertisers integrate brands into newer digital platforms beyond websites into mobile devices, digital TV, digital radio, online games, and digital displays.

These are defined as "Audience Interaction Metrics (AIM)”, which provide advertisers exact information on what works or does not work among their online ad campaigns.
Table 2. Descriptions of common Rich Media Ad formats (Gluck & Bruner, 2005) AD FORMAT In-page DESCRIPTION Standard IAB ad unit shapes that may include advanced rich media functionality, such as embedded games, animation, video, registration forms or interactive marketing brochures, and which may allow for larger file sizes through polite download technology Similar to in-page units, but they expand in size when a user moves his mouse over the ad or clicks to interact with it. Some publishers are experimenting with ads that automatically expand when the page loads, then retract after a small delay. These ads are sometimes called “push downs” or “server-initiated expandables” Ads that appear as a layer on top of the user’s current page; these are typically freeform ads that can move across the page in a variety of shapes and sizes and which may “resolve” into an in-page ad on the same page or a smaller floating “reminder” ad unit which continues to float above the page Ads that launch a new smaller browser window that appears above the open page Also known as “between-page ads” or “interstitials,” these ads appears between one page and another as a user clicks through a site

Expandable

Floating

Pop-ups Transitionals

Table 3. Common Rich Media Advertising Metrics (Gluck & Bruner, 2005) RM AD METRIC Display time Interaction rate Figure 2. In-Page Ads in two sizes: 728x90 and 300x250 2 Interaction time Expansion rate DESCRIPTION How long on average the ads were displayed on the web page. The percentage of the audience that engages with the ad unit. The amount of time users spend engaging with the ad. For expandable ads, the rate at which viewers exposed to the ads cause them to expand. Expansion is usually triggered with a mouse-over. The start and finish rate for video ads. Average length of play with the total length of the ad How often users take further actions with video ads, such as to video pause, rewind, and mute The ability to present and track multiple click-through destinations in a single ad unit Virtually any other action users may take on a rich media ad (i.e. ad content printed, form fields completed, etc.)

THE VALUE OF RICH MEDIA ADS With static display ads, the measurement of ad effectiveness was based on the click-through rate (CTR) or “how many clicks” an ad received from users online. Rich media ads appealed to advertisers because of the possibility of tracking and measuring user interactions beyond the “click”. Since rich media ads have more interactive features, new metrics could be tracked such as display time, interaction rate, expansion time, video playback, exit links, and other custom events (Table 3).
2

Video views and completions Average video view time Video pauses, rewinds, mutes Exit links Custom events

Source of Advertisement Banners: BBDO Proximity, 2010

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-2-

Traditional television and newspaper advertising still dominate the marketplace. Globally, an estimate on the annual budget for television advertising is at 37 percent, while newspapers, the second-largest advertising medium, constitutes 27 percent. Internet advertising represents about 9 percent (Table 4). In the Philippines, 70% percent still goes to TV advertising and around 25 percent is split between radio and print. Internet advertising constitutes only about 2 percent of the annual budget. However, the advertising landscape is shifting from traditional (TV, radio, and print) to Internet or digital advertising. Many studies (Accenture, 2008; Lloyd, 2008; Digital Direction, 2008; IMMAP, 2010; Madrid, 2010; Gluck & Bruner, 2005; Boone, Secci & Gallant; Rosenkrans, 2009; Ople, 2010) affirm that digital advertising will continue to grow as the Internet and mobile penetration around the world increase. The evolution of digital advertising in Western countries has led to an emerging job market for I.T. graduates in Philippines because of the BPO strategy. It all began with standard customer service and medical transcription. However now, the BPO market is capable of taking care of nearly any sort of service imaginable (Hopes, 2010). Many BPO companies are providing web services particular to digital advertising and creative work. Opportunities in the business of rich media banner ad production have emerged in the last five years. With the recent release of new broadband products, increased broadband use, rise of Internet mobile and smart phones and the proliferation of low-priced PCs in the Philippines, it is expected that online advertising will also grow in the Philippines. Currently, 30% or 29 million of the Philippine population are online (Internet World Stats, 2010). It is expected increase to 35 million people by 2012 (Yahoo!-Nielsen, 2009).
Table 4. Share of Media in Advertising

As long as the number of Internet users continues to increase, it can be expected that the digital advertising industry will have a steady growth outlook. In fact, respondents to the 2008 Accenture Global Digital Advertising Study noted that the pace of revenue growth for digital advertising is faster than that of traditional advertising growth. The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines similarly argues that while Internet media have started off just around 10 years ago, the growth rate is faster compared to any of the traditional media in history (2010). JOB ROLES IN RICH MEDIA In order to create rich media ads, the following job roles have been identified: Creative Developer, Ad Builder, and Rich Media Quality Assurance Specialist. A. Creative Developer This person implements a banner ad concept (sometimes represented in a storyboard) from an ad agency into fully functional Flash Ads. Specific Job Competencies: 1. Knowledge of Rich Media Ad formats and features 2. Layout text and graphics in Flash format 3. Apply principles of animation to create realistic movements among objects 4. Design interactivities for any rich media ad format (i.e. In-page, Expandable, Floating / Interstitials, Pop-ups, and Transitionals, Instant Messenger, YouTube Masthead, etc.) 5. Incorporate audio or video into any ad format Fundamental Job Skills: 1. Animation 2. Digital Layout and Design 3. Multimedia Systems Preferred experience with the following tools: Flash, Adobe Photoshop B. Ad Builder This person converts the Flash ads created by the creative designer into a platform that websites support. He also programs the audience interaction metrics to enable the media agency and advertiser to track user-interactions. Specific Job Competencies: 1. Knowledge of Rich Media Ad formats and features 2. Program required standard and custom tracking metrics into any ad format using Actionscript 3. Debug errors and document fixes

MEDIA TV Newspapers Magazines Radio Internet Others

WORLD
(AS OF 2007)*

PHILIPPINES
(AS OF 2008)**

37% 27% 12% 8% 9% 7%
(Outdoor, Cinemas)

70% 25% 2% 3%
(Billboards, Events)

* Source: ZenithOptimedia in (Accenture, 2008) ** Source: Donald Lim, CEO of Yehey Corporation in (Lloyd, 2008)

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-3-

Fundamental Job Skills: 1. Computer Programming 2. Multimedia Systems 3. Web Development Preferred experience with the following tools: Flash, Javascript, HTML C. Rich Media Quality Assurance Specialist This person ensures that the Flash ads sent from the Ad Builder are in line with the specifications given by the ad agency, publisher, and the quality standards set by the industry. Specific Job Competencies: 1. Knowledge of Rich Media Ad formats and features 2. Checks the quality and functionality of all media and interactivities on the ad based on pre-defined test scripts and client requirements 3. Looks for any errors or inconsistencies among Flash ads 4. Create reports to document completed ads, errors, or inconsistencies Fundamental Job Skills: 1. Software Testing/ Quality Assurance 2. Technical Documentation 3. Basic Multimedia Preferred experience with the following tools: Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Media Players RESEARCH OBJECTIVE This study aims to find out if the courses under the Information Technology (IT), Computer Science (CS), and Information Systems (IS) degrees are aligned to the job roles emerging in rich media advertising. According to the Philippines Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 53, Series of 2006, Information Technology Education (ITE) Programs include the BS Computer Science, BS Information Technology, and BS Information Systems degree programs. The document further describes each program as follows: • The Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BSCS) program prepares students to be IT professionals and researchers, and to be proficient in designing and developing computing solutions. • The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) program prepares students to

be IT professionals, be well versed on application installation, operation, development, maintenance and administration, and familiar with hardware installation, operation, and maintenance. • The Bachelor of Science in Information Systems (BSIS) program prepares students to be IT professionals and be expert on design and implementation of IS for business processes. METHOD A. Participants This paper presents a case study on the employees of Wideout Technology Services, Inc., a rich media service provider stationed as a BPO company in the Philippines. An open-ended online questionnaire was designed primarily to gather information from creative developers, ad builders, and rich media quality assurance specialists currently employed at Wideout. They were asked to list the college courses they found useful or relevant to their current job. They were also instructed to include a description of any course they would list and the software/tools they learned in the course. B. Data Collection and Analysis The questionnaire was sent out early February of 2011. It garnered responses from 8 creative developers, 53 ad builders, and 30 rich media quality assurance specialists, a total of 91 respondents. Questionnaires were filtered based on the degrees acquired by the respondents for each job role (Table 5). Thus, three sets of respondents were defined. Note: Employees who were not a graduate of an ITE degree program were not considered in the data analysis.
Table 5. No. of Respondents Filtered by Degree Program JOB ROLE Creative Developer Ad Builder RM QA Specialist BS-CS 1 28 9 BS-IT 3 13 8 BS-IS 0 2 4 OTHERS 4 10 9 TOTAL SUBTOTAL 8 53 30 91

In the questionnaire, respondents for each job role listed courses / tools they thought were relevant to their job. These courses or tools were analyzed and further classified according to fundamental job skills.

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-4-

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION A. Creative Developer Three graduates from BS-IT were analyzed for this job role.
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILLS Animation Digital Layout and Design Multimedia Systems BS-IT (N=3) 0%  67%  33% 

A summary of relevant courses and tools listed by respondents in the creative developer job role were the following:
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILL Computer Programming RELATED COURSES / TOOLS Object Oriented Programming Programming Logic Programming Logic Formulation Programming Languages Computer Programming Series Computer Programming 1 and 2 Design Patterns Basic and Advanced Programming Tools: C, C++, VB6, Java, Assembly, VB.Net, C#, C#.Net, Ansi C, Turbo C Multimedia Systems Courseware Development Teachware Development Interactive Multimedia Multimedia and Hypermedia Systems Tools: Flash Actionscript 2.0 / 3.0 Web Development Web Design Web Programming Web Development 1 and 2 Tools: Javascript, HTML, JSP, PHP, CSS, Dreamweaver, XML, MySQL

Among the three fundamental job skills of a creative developer, most of the respondents from BS-IT listed college courses that were aligned to digital layout and design. Few listed courses that were aligned to multimedia systems. None listed any courses related to animation. A summary of relevant courses and tools listed by respondents in the creative developer job role were the following:
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILL Animation Digital Layout and Design RELATED COURSES / TOOLS None Mentioned Web Design Digital Arts Multimedia Arts Tools: Photoshop Multimedia Systems Course: None Mentioned Tools: HTML, Flash

Comparing the two degree programs, the BS-CS program is more aligned for the ad builder job role compared to the BS-IT program. C. Rich Media Quality Assurance Specialist Nine graduates from BS-CS, eight graduates from BSIT, and four graduates from BS-IS were analyzed for this job role.
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILLS Software Testing/ Quality Assurance Technical Documentation Basic Multimedia BS-CS (N=9) 22% 56% 22%    BS-IT (N=8) 63% 50% 50%    BS-IS (N=4) 0% 50% 25%   

Given the low percentage for majority of the fundamental skills, the BS-IT program is not aligned for the job role of creative developer. B. Ad Builder The 25 graduates from BS-CS and 14 graduates from BS-IT were analyzed for this job role.
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILLS Computer Programming Multimedia Systems Web Development BS-CS (N=25) 71%  61%  68%  BS-IT (N=14) 69%  31%  62% 

The BS-CS and BS-IT graduate listed most courses relating to computer programming and web development. A large difference was revealed in the listing of courses that related to multimedia systems; only a few of the BS-IT graduates listed a relevant multimedia system course from college.

A common skill from college for this job role is technical documentation. In fact, most students from BS-CS and BS-IS listed courses relevant to technical documentation compared to the other two fundamental skills. More than half of the BS-IT graduates also listed courses related to software testing / quality assurance and multimedia. But only few graduates from BS-CS and BS-IS listed courses relevant to software testing / quality assurance and multimedia.

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-5-

A summary of relevant courses and tools listed by respondents in the creative developer job role were the following:
FUNDAMENTAL JOB SKILL Software Testing/ Quality Assurance RELATED COURSES / TOOLS Software Engineering Quality Assurance System Quality Assurance Quality Control Software Development Tools: None Mentioned Technical Documentation English 101 Speech and Grammar Grammar and Communication Skills English 2 Technical Writing Technical English Report Writing Tools: None Mentioned Basic Multimedia Video Production / Editing Photography / Photo Editing Audio Production / Editing Computer Graphics and Animation Multimedia Digital Media Tools: Dreamweaver. Flash, Photoshop,

• •

The reasons behind why courses were listed as relevant by the respondents; Which soft skills are relevant to the job roles of creative developer, ad builder, and QA specialist; and Through an industry study, to determine the demand for rich media advertising job roles in the Philippines. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

The researchers recommend the following additions / improvements for ITE Degree Programs: 1. Add multi-disciplinary learning areas multimedia and advertising to ITE programs like

Rich media advertising has defined a good link between the IT and Advertising fields. By nature, rich media advertising greatly involves the use of multimedia elements such as images, videos, audio, and interactivity as advertising mediums. If IT graduates intend to apply their skills in the Rich Media Advertising industry, it would be helpful for them to build a foundation in multimedia systems and basic advertising concepts from college in order to qualify well for rich media advertising job roles. Multimedia Systems. This course should already be defined as a required course in all IT degree programs. The course presents an introduction to digital media elements including text, images, audio, video, and interactivity. Various multimedia software and hardware will be discussed for students to develop technical skills and techniques in image manipulation, sound editing, video editing, and multimedia authoring. Focus is given on capturing, manipulating, and enhancing different media to convey information about a brand or product. Students will be able to develop digital advertising materials to promote a local product using interactive slideshows, interactive presentations, interactive websites, and interactive advertisements. By the end of the course, students not only develop technical multimedia skills, but exposure to digital advertising concepts. Introduction to Rich Media Advertising. This course could be offered as an elective for all IT degree programs. As an overview, this course discusses the evolution and benefits of rich media banners within the umbrella of digital advertising. More focus is given on the rich media production workflow, specifically the process of how banner ads are conceptualized, designed, served, and monitored on the Web. In addition, the different rich media ad formats and features are explained for students to gain a better

Comparing the three degree programs, the BS-IT program is more aligned for the rich media quality assurance job role. CONCLUSION Results show that the BS-CS graduate fits to the job of an ad builder than a QA specialist. The BS-IT graduate fits the job of a QA specialist, but can perhaps adjust well in an Ad builder position with a good background in multimedia systems. However, the BS-IT graduate is not fully qualified for the creative developer job role. The BS-IS graduate is not fully qualified for the QA specialist job role. FUTURE STUDIES Further studies could to be done to determine the following: • Where BS-IS graduates would fit in best since only the QA position was studied this time; • If the BS-CS and BS-IS have courses aligned to the creative developer job role;

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-6-

understanding of how different industries (e.g. automobiles, food and beverage, retailers, sports, entertainment) use banner ads for brand awareness and profit. 2. Develop proficiency with development tools, aside from programming languages No doubt, programming languages are essential for all IT graduates to learn. However, it is recommended that IT degree programs provide options for students to become well versed with development tools in the areas of web and mobile development, as well as, looking into cross-platform development tools. For rich media jobs, it is important for students to be experienced with multimedia tools for the Web and for media editing. REFERENCES Accenture. (2008). The Capabilities to Drive High Performance in the Digital Advertising Industry. Retrieved from http://www.accenture.com/gb-en/Pages/insightmedia-entertainment-study-capabilities-digitaladvertising-2008.aspx on February 9, 2011 Bruner, R. (2005). The Decade in Online Advertising. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/doubleclick/pdfs/DoubleClick04-2005-The-Decade-in-Online-Advertising.pdf on February 9, 2011 Boone, G., Secci, J., & Gallant, L. Emerging Trends in Online Advertising. Doxa Comunicacion, p.241-253. Retrieved from www.humanidades.uspceu.es/pdf/ articulo11Emergingtrends.pdf on February 16, 2011 CHED. (2006). CMO No. 53: Policies and Standards for Information Technology Education (ITE) Programs. Philippine Commission on Higher Education. Retrieved from http://www.elib.gov.ph/downloadfile.php?uid= e4aba95e68008defc124acd6f7188750 on February 9, 2011 Digital Direction. (2008). 5. Interactive Advertising – Creating a Hub. Media Development Authority (MDA) Singapore. Retrieved from http://ddrxn.com/wordpress/ wp-content/uploads/INTERACTIVE-ADVERTISINGWHITE-PAPERS-PART-4.pdf on February 13, 2011 Gluck, M. & Bruner, R. (2005). The Evolution of Rich Media Advertising: Current Market Trends, Success Metrics and Best Practices. Retrieved from http://www.google.com/doubleclick/pdfs/DoubleClick-

09-2005-The-Evolution-of-Rich-Media-Advertising.pdf on February 16, 2011 Hopes, J. (2010). The Evolution of Offshore Staffing Within the Philippines: A Dynamic Landscape. Retrieved from http://www.freebie-articles.com/Art/64223/110/TheEvolution-of-Offshore-Staffing-Within-the-Philippines-ADynamic-Landscape.html on February 9, 2011 IMMAP. (2010). Background. Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines. Retrieved from http://immap.com.ph/about-us.html on February 9, 2011 Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). (2010). Rich Media Creative Guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.iab.net/ iab_products_and_industry_services/508676/508767/Rich _Media on February 14, 2011 Lloyd, E. (2008). The Philippines: an online marketing snapshot. iMedia Connection. Retrieved from http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/18912.asp on February 11, 2011 Madrid, J. (2010). Internet Advertising Growth in the Philippines [Online Video Interview]. Retrieved from http://vimeo.com/18789040 on February 9, 2011 Martin, K. & Todorov, I. (2010). How will digital platforms be harnessed in 2010, and how will they change the way people interact with brands? Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol 10 No 2(Spring 2010), pp. 61-66. American Academy of Advertising. Retrieved from http://jiad.org/article132 on February 1, 2011 Rosenkrans, G. (2009). The Creativeness and Effectiveness of Online Interactive Rich Media Advertising. Journal of Interactive Advertising, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 18-31. American Academy of Advertising. Retrieved from http://jiad.org/article114 on February 1, 2011 Ople, C. (2010) State of Online Advertising in the Philippines (Yahoo PH’s Arlene Amarante). Retrieved from http://www.newmedia.com.ph/state-of-onlineadvertising-in-the-philippines-yahoo-phs-arleneamarante/ on February 9, 2011 Yahoo!-Nielsen. (2010). Yahoo-Nielsen Net Index 2010 [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/yuga/yahoonielsen-net-index2010 on February 12, 2011

The 13th PSITE National Convention Meralco Management and Leadership Development Center Foundation, Inc. (MMLDC) Antipolo City, Rizal, February 16-19, 2011

-7-

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful