Teaching aids are relevant materials for supplementing teaching and learning processes. Teaching aids are essential tools in the hands of the teacher as effective teaching and learning cannot take place without the relevant and effective use of teaching materials to motivate and make learning permanent.
This article addresses different types of learning aids essentially necessary for teaching students.
Teaching aids will help the students to learn better and to prepare a more conducive learning environment that could make teaching and learning quite stimulating to both the learners and the teachers.
It should be stressed that educators have the responsibility for ensuring the property is selected, prepared, and used as learning aids for the learners.
There are so many teaching and learning resources that are employable in education. According to Brown and Tomori (1979), ‘An essential element in any teaching plan is the choice of appropriate media.
This is because all cannot be employed at a time in a single lesson. Any chosen teaching and learning resources must be:
- Suitable for the teacher
- Suitable for the need of the learner
- Suitable for the requirement of the subject matter.
Teaching and learning resources may be visual, audio, or audio-visual. The following are teaching aids that can be used for perfect teaching.
This is the most conventional teaching aid. Chalkboards may be green or black. These two are at least common in African schools. It is one of the simplest and most efficient aids at the disposal of the teacher.
Brown and Tomori (1979) describe the chalkboard as ‘the most versatile, very economical and long-lasting. Chalkboards should be well renovated and the print on them should be bold and illustrative.
Bothan (1967), says, ‘The chalkboard may be used to present drawings, sketches, maps, diagrams, graphs, and statistics. It is also a very necessary aid for summarizing lessons.
Charts and pictures
These can be employed for necessary illustrations of whatever is being taught. Charts may be teaching charts, flip charts, or wall charts. Teaching charts should be light in weight and easy to present.
A flip chart is an arrangement of illustrations that looks like a calendar with twelve or six leaves containing the twelve calendar months. Whenever a point is illustrated, there is a ‘turnover’.
Flip chart creates anticipation, participation, and curiosity. Wall charts are somehow made permanent on walls. They are useful as reference points as they could be referred to when discussing the previous lessons.
Examples could be a map of Nigeria; the world map, digestive organs, reproductive organ charts, and many others. However, these will have places only when the classroom is spacious and permanent.
A well-stocked library is essential for classes. Learners should be encouraged to visit such a library and find information on the assignments given to them. Teachers must guide students’ efforts on how to locate necessary books on any sought information.
These are known as flash cards. Flash cards are made to contain relevant information on the lesson, bit by bit.
Lessons through picture cards are taught progressively in systemized order for cemented learning. Picture cards have the advantages of sequences, serialization, and portability.
Adhesive aids may be flannel graphs or magnetic boards. Adhesive aids are good for the illustration of captions, pictures, and other symbols, when flannel graphs and magnetic boards are prepared, pictures or captions are stepped onto their faces and they stick or adhere for at least some time.
Flannel graphs can be used inside and outside the classroom while the magnetic board has resistance to even moderate gusts of wind. Another added advantage is that ordinary chalk can be used on it to make illustrations.
Films of progressive learners
Films of progressive learners from other countries can be shown to learners to motivate them in various ways.
Videotape/Video Cassette recorders
It is a commonplace experience whose sound can be captured on tapes edited and played whenever its owner wants it to be played.
For history, political and current affairs, the voices of the living and the dead can be brought into the class to add to the interests in a discussion. Students are seated comfortably when they are engaged in listening to tape recorders.
The recent development in video equipment has made recorders almost as commonplace as a television sets. Their familiarity has made them ideal to facilitate effective learning.
For one to be an effective user of the video cassette recorder (VCR), it is worth checking that one is conversant with the equipment.
Apart from picture control and sound quality, one must be able to control the visual image through the fast-forward, rewind, and freeze-frame button.
For lesson presentations, the television monitor should be positioned so that it is visible and the screen is not affected by excess sunlight or shadow.
Whiteboard, which is used with markers, is common in every classroom and it is now the most accessible visual support.
This board can be used for drawing very simple diagrams. Once the diagram or the drawing is on the board, the teacher should turn to facilitate an effective explanation.
Objects and models
In certain instances, real objects are used for the presentation of lessons because the learners may want to see them.
Models, on the other hand, are a replica of actual objects which facilitate effective learning when the real objects are too complex to be exhibited physically. Examples are models of aircraft, cars, or buildings.
Posters and diagrams
A poster consists of lettering or pictures or both. The purpose of posters is to enhance the speaker’s subject.
A diagram may range from a simple organizational chart to a complex rendering of a three-dimensional object. Diagrams are particularly valuable in showing how something works.
Stripes and slide projectors
Generally, both slides and stripes project images unto a screen and require a darkened room. This makes it difficult to retain contact with the learners and for the learners to make notes.
It can be operated by remote control, which can allow the producer to stand before students, beside the screen, and change the slide at any time.
Overhead projectors (OHP)
Overhead projectors show images through transparent material (acetate) to a screen behind the operator.
No blackout is required; though brightly-lit rooms, images may lose sense and definition. It gives the teacher the great advantage of facing his students while writing or showing transparency and retaining his rapport with them.
Tables and graphs
Tables are columns of figures arranged in an order that enables the learner to easily pick out the information needed.
Graphs are statistical materials taught in a visual form that helps learners see similarities, differences, relationships, or trends. These are commonly used graphs namely bar, pie, and line.