Overview on teaching aids
According to Aguokogbuo (2010), teaching aids are materials that the classroom teacher uses to help students understand the concepts being introduced during a lesson. These teaching aids can take numerous forms, from the beads students might count while learning simple math in kindergarten to the photos of famous people and places teachers might display during a history lesson.
Mkpa (2007) described teaching aid as human and non-human materials and facilities that can be used to ease, encourage, improved and promote teaching and learning activities. They are whatever materials used in the process of instruction. They are a broad range of resource which can be used to facilitate effective instruction. They indicate a systematic way of designing, carrying out and employing the total process of learning and communication and employing human and non-human resources to bring out a more meaningful and effective instruction. They are human and non-human material that a teacher uses to pass information to the learner in his/her class.
Kochhar (2008) asserted that teaching aids are educational resources used to improve students’ knowledge, abilities, and skills, to monitor their assimilation of information, and to contribute to their overall development and upbringing. Ema and Ajayi (2007) highlighted that teaching aids come in three basic forms:
- The first form of teaching aids includes such objects and phenomena as minerals,rocks,raw materials,semi-finished and finished manufactured articles, and plant and animal. Included among these materials are reagents and apparatus for producing chemical and other reactions and for demonstrating and studying such reactions during laboratory sessions.Also included in the first group are materials and equipment for students’ expeditions and other travel, as well as supplies, instruments, and equipment for production training and for courses in drafting and the representational arts. Among such supplies, instruments, and equipment are wood, metal, plastic, and glass objects, measuring and monitoring instruments and equipment, equipment for the assembling and finishing of various products,and machines and machine tools.
- The second form of educational materials, that of representations of actual objects and phenomena,includes three-dimensional materials(castings, globes, and experimental models),two-dimensional materials (charts, pictures, photographs, maps,diagrams,and drawings), and audio visual materials (motion pictures,film clips,filmstrips, slide sequences, transparencies, records and tape recordings, and radio and television broadcasts). Audio visual materials, including the resources of films, radio, and television, help acquaint students with the achievements of modern science, technology, industry, and culture and with phenomena that are inaccessible to direct Audio visual materials also acquaint students with early periods of history and with distant places in the world and in space.Such materials elucidate natural and social phenomena and enable students to study the inner world of matter and the internal motion of waves, elementary particles, atoms, molecules, and living cells.
- The third form of instructional materials,that of written descriptions, includes scientific, scholarly, reference, and methodological teaching aids, as well as textbooks,books of problems and exercises, books for recording scientific observations, laboratory manuals,manuals for production training,and programmed
Types of teaching aids
Amotua-Efebor (2014) classified teaching aids into three (3) which are:
- Visual aids
- Audio aids
- Audio-visual aids
There are many different types of visual aids. The following are some of the most common visual aids as identified by Tuckman (2008) include:
- PowerPoint (or equivalent): Microsoft PowerPoint is probably now the most commonly used form of visual aid. Used well, it can really help you in your presentation; used badly, however, it can have the opposite effect.
- Overhead projector slides/transparencies: Overhead projector slides/transparencies are displayed on the overhead projector (OHP) – a very useful tool found in most lecture and seminar rooms. The OHP projects and enlarges your slides onto a screen or wall without requiring the lights to be dimmed.
- White or black board: White or black boards can be very useful to help explain the sequence of ideas or routines, particularly in the sciences. Use them to clarify your title or to record your key points as you introduce your presentation (this will give you a fixed list to help you recap as you go along). Rather than expecting the audience to follow your spoken description of an experiment or process, write each stage on the board, including any complex terminology or precise references to help your audience take accurate notes.
- Paper handouts: Handouts are incredibly useful. Use a handout if your information is too detailed to fit on a slide or if you want your audience to have a full record of your findings. Consider the merits of passing round your handouts at the beginning, middle and end of a presentation.
- Flip chart: A flip chart is a large pad of paper on a stand. It is a very useful and flexible way of recording information during your presentation – you can even use pre-prepared sheets for key points. Record information as you go along, keeping one main idea to each sheet. Flip back through the pad to help you recap your main points.
- Video (DVD or VHS): Video gives you a chance to show stimulating visual information. Use video to bring movement, pictures and sound into your presentation. Always make sure that the clip is directly relevant to your content.
The first category of aids is audio-aids. Audio-aids help in developing the listening skill of an educand. Audio-aids are those aids which can be only listened. Examples of audio aids as highlighted by Mcluhan (2014) are:
- Tape recorder: A tape recorder consists mainly of three parts-the microphone, the amplifier and the receiver. The talks of eminent personalities, educationists, academicians and scientists can be recorded and reproduced in the classroom through this teaching aid. The important merit of this audio-teaching aid is that the speech of a person can be recorded at any time and it can be used for a number of times at will, again and again.
- Radio: Radio programmes can be categorised into two types. One type of radio programme is called education radio-broadcasts, which provides opportunity to the teachers and students to listen to the programme and take notes on them. The teachers should discuss the programme, the main points of the radio lesson, the lecture, the dialogue and the characters, etc., with the students to supplement, evaluate and consolidate their learning.
- Audio-Cassettes: Audio-cassettes can be used for recitations of nursery rhymes, poems and stories, etc.
Audiovisual aids refers to materials used in possessing both a sound and a visual component, such as slide-tape presentations, films, television programs, church services and live theater productions. Audio-visual is, of course, a combination of two words: audio referring to that which we can hear, and visual referring to that which we can see. Examples of audio visual aids are television, video player, etc. (Heeks, 2009).
Impact of teaching aids on learners
Teaching aids play important role in teaching- learning process. Some of the importance of teaching aids according to Adekeye (2008) are:
- Motivation: Teaching aids motivate the students so that they can learn better.
- Clarification: Through teaching aids, the teacher clarifies the subject matter more easily.
- Discouragement of cramming: Teaching aids can facilitate the proper understanding to the students which discourage the act of cramming.
- Increase the vocabulary: Teaching aids helps to increase the vocabulary of the students more effectively.
- Makes classroom live and active: Audio visual aids make the classroom live and active.
- Direct experience: Teaching aids provide direct experience to the students
Advantages of teaching aids
According to Bozimo (2012), the following are some of the advantages of teaching aids:
- Best motivators: Teaching aids are best motivators. Students work with more interest and zeal. They tend to be more attentive when teaching aids are used in teaching and learning.
- Fundamental to verbal instructions: They help to reduce verbalism which is a major weakness of our schools. They convey the same meaning as words mean. They give clear concepts and thus help to bring accuracy in learning.
- Clear images: Clear images are formed when we see, hear, touch, taste and smell as our experiences are direct, concrete and more or less permanent. Learning through the senses becomes the most natural and consequently the easiest.
- Vicarious experience: Everyone agrees to the fact that the first hand experience is the best type of educative experience but such an experience cannot always be provided to the pupils an so in some situations certain substitutes have to be provided. For this we find a large number of inaccessible objects and phenomenon.
- Variety: Teaching aids provide variety and provide different tool s in the hands of the teacher.
- Freedom: The use of teaching aids provide various occasions for the pupil to move about, talk, laugh and comment upon. Under such an atmosphere the students work because they want to work and not because the teacher wants them to work.
- Opportunities to handle and manipulate: The use of teaching aids provides immense opportunities to the pupils to see, handle and manipulate things.
Disadvantages of teaching aids
Inside of the increasing popularity that the teaching aids have gained in the educational system, there are certain problems to be faced which were identified by Bolick (2013) include:
- Apathy of the teacher: It has not yet been possible to convince the teacher that teaching with words alone is quite tedious, wasteful and ineffective.
- Indifference of students: The judicious use of teaching aids arouses interest but when used without a definite purpose they lose their significance and purpose.
- Ineffectiveness of the aids: Because of lack of proper planning and lethargy of teacher as also without proper preparation, correct presentation, appropriate application and essential follow up work, the aids have not proved their usefulness. A film like a good lesson has various steps-preparation, presentation, application and discussion.
- Absence of electricity: Most of the audio and audiovisual aids cannot work without electric current and so the non-availability of electricity is creating a hurdle in their proper use as teaching aids.
Areas where the use of teaching aids are necessary
For effective teaching and learning to take place, Mkpa (2007) suggested that the teacher or instructor must be able to paint a vivid picture in the mind of the audience through the use of teaching aid. He further stressed that teaching aids are necessary in the classroom while teaching children, in the hospital during health talk, in the companies making use of models and simulations, etc.
Impacts of teaching aids on the learners
Bozimo (2012) stated that teaching has several impacts on the learner which include:
- Creating a lasting impression in the mind of the learners.
- Enable learners to remember what they had learnt for a very long period of time.
- Enables learners to thing and draw their own conclusion of the concept learnt.
- The learners are given the opportunity to manipulate the teaching aid to create a clearer understanding.
- It helps learners to relate their knowledge to real life situations.
Teaching aids appeal to the senses of the learners and make it easy for the teacher to clarify the concept they are trying to pass across to the learners. Based on this, it is recommended that:
- Teachers should ensure that they develop and organized adequate teaching aid that will assist in passing information to learners.
- Teaching aid should be introduced strategically to ensure that the attention can understand the importance of the teaching aids and how they apply to the concept under study.
- To cut down on financial hurdles need for teaching aids, teachers should improvised using locally available materials.
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Bolick, C. (2013). Technology Applications in Social Studies Teacher Education: A Survey of Social Studies Methods Faculty. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. 3(3) Retrieved on 20th March 2017 from http://www. Citejournal.org/vol3/is s3/social studies/article1.cfm.
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