are devices that assist an instructor in the teaching-learning process.Instructional aids are not self-supporting; they are supplementary training devices. The keyfactor is that instructional aids support, supplement, or reinforce.While instructors may become involved in the selection and preparation of instructional aids,usually they are already in place. Instructors simply need to learn how to effectively usethem.
Instructional Aid Theory
For many years, educators have theorized about how the human brain and the memoryfunction during the communicative process. There is general agreement about certaintheoretical factors that seem pertinent to understanding the use of instructional aids.
During the communicative process, the sensory register of the memoryacts as a filter.
As stimuli are received, the individual's sensory register worksto sort out the important bits of information from the routine or less significantbits. Within seconds, what is perceived as the most important information ispassed to the working or short-term memory where it is processed for possiblestorage in the long-term memory. This complex process is enhanced by the useof appropriate instructional aids that highlight and emphasize the main points orconcepts.
The working or short-term memory functions are limited by both timeand capacity.
Therefore, it is essential that the information be arranged inuseful bits or chunks for effective coding, rehearsal, or recording. Theeffectiveness of the instructional aid is critical for this process. Carefully selectedcharts, graphs, pictures, or other well-organized visual aids are examples of items that help the student understand, as well as retain, essential information.
Ideally, instructional aids should be designed to cover the key pointsand concepts.
In addition, the coverage should be straightforward and factualso it is easy for students to remember and recall. Generally, instructional aidsthat are relatively simple are best suited for this purpose.
Reasons for Use of Instructional Aids
It helps the students remember important information.2.When properly used, they help gain and hold the attention of students.
Audio or visual aids can be very useful in supporting a topic, and the combination of both audio and visual stimuli is particularly effective since the two most important senses are involved.
Instructors should keep in mind that they often are salesmen of ideas, and many of the best sales techniques that attract the attention of potentialclients are well worth considering. One caution-the instructional aid should keepstudent attention on the subject; it should not be a distracting gimmick.
Good instructional aids also can help solve certain language barrier problems.
Consider the continued expansion of technical terminology in everyday usage. This,coupled with culturally diverse backgrounds of today's students, makes it necessaryfor instructors to be precise in their choice of terminology. Words or terms used in aninstructional aid should be carefully selected to convey the same meaning for thestudent as they do for the instructor. They should provide an accurate visual imageand make learning easier for the student.
Another use for instructional aids is to clarify the relationships between material objects and concepts.
When relationships are presented visually, they often are mucheasier to understand. For example, the subsystems within a physical unit are