Instructional materials are devices that are used during teaching to simplify the work of the teacher and make learning better for the students. Instructional materials help the learner grasp what is being taught.
Classification of Instructional Materials
Instructional materials can be classified into the following types.
- Visual materials
- Audio materials
- Audio-visual materials
- Visual Materials
These are materials that appeal to the sense of seeing while learning. They are always cheap and easy to produce. Examples are pictures, diagrams, charts, printed materials, photographs, models.
2. Audio Materials
Audio materials are all instructional materials that appeal to the sense of hearing only while learning examples are radio, gramophone, ear-phones, recording on CDs, tapes and cassettes.
3. Audio-visual Material
These are materials that and or appeal to both the senses of hearing and seeing in learning. Examples are television, video, films, projections, etc
Importance of Instructional materials
Instructional materials will help the teaching and learning process when effectively used.
- The use of instructional materials will develop interest and motivate the students.
- Instructional materials break the monotony of a teacher dominated lesson, reduce verbalism, save time and give a better idea of the real things.
- Make learning concrete, and enhance better understanding for the students.
- Many teaching problems can be solved by the use of instructional materials, they therefore offer great opportunities for improved learning.
Limitations of instructional resources
Jakayinfa (2005) listed the following possible limitations of instructional materials;
- They could become stale and useless if they are left for too long in the classroom.
- They may be prepared without focus and hence no specific learning objective.
- They may be unrelated to the on-going learning activities in the classroom.
- They may have little or no relevance to either the immediate or the remote needs of the learners.
- The message may be factually incorrect without anyone being able to detect it.
- Lack of accuracy
- Can represents wrong concept if not properly produced
- Storage could be difficult
- May not have good finishing
- Money may hinder production.
Characteristics of good instructional material
- It must be appropriate to the age of the learner
- It must be simple to operate
- It must be relevant to the topic
- it must not predispose the both the students and teachers to accident.
- It improves equipment trust be well compared with standard one.
Essential characteristics of good visual aids
Phases are essential characteristics of good visual aids.
- It should be attractive with suitable colour
- Writings must be large enough and clear enough to be easily read.
- It must be neat
- It must be logically arranged, in short clear steps.
- Figures and letters should be well formed
- Charts and posters should be accurate in spacing and planning.
- Objects and pictures should be big enough for children to see from their sitting places
- There should be a great deal of pictures or materials to go round the children if possible.
- Apparatus must be accurately prepared and to be ready before the lesson.
- Let all pupils first see the materials or apparatus before individuals or a group can see them.
- All the pictures on the television must be clear.
- correct, accurate language and spellings must be use for the apparatus.
Effectiveness of using the Visual Aids
The visual aids can be used effectively in the following ways.
- They should be tried out in advance before usage in class with learners.
- They should be relevant to the content of the curriculum.
- The teacher should relevantly refer to them in the class and the learners should respond to these materials.
- When necessary data should be collected and record should be on the teaching materials.
- Too many teaching materials should not be used at a time.
- The age, experience and knowledge of the students must be considered before using any instructional materials.
- The teacher should make sure that the instructional material is functioning correctly.
- The teacher should be aware that, no one type of material is best for all learning situations; each material has a specific role to play to provide maximum effects.