Teachers at all levels utilise a variety of instructional materials such as textbooks, presentations and handouts to enhance the quality of their lessons. The quality of those materials directly impacts the quality of teaching. Knowing how to find the best instructional materials is a valuable skill for a teacher to have.
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Professors and teachers should ensure they assign or use instructional materials that are on pace with knowledge in the field. Using old material that has been surpassed by more modern texts provides students with an inferior education, and puts students behind when they move onto more advanced levels in a given subject. Use sources that have the most current available knowledge, such as the most up-to-date version of a given textbook.
One of the biggest problems in classrooms is disengagement of students. Traditional methods of teaching such as writing notes on the chalkboard can exacerbate the disconnect of students. Choosing nontraditional instructional materials such as video and multimedia can re-engage students in study. Choose videos that offer opportunities for discussion based on the material.
Textbooks on their own are a very inactive type of instructional material. Choosing books that encourage more interaction from students is a way to ensure effective home study. For instance, a text that only contains chapter after chapter of information is likely to be used only passively by the student. A text that includes review questions, exercises or that has an accompanying workbook becomes a more active instructional tool. Active is more effective than inactive when it comes to selecting instructional materials.
Use materials that are easy for students to understand. Use overhead or presentation images that are legible and clear and handouts that are structured and easy to follow. Good instructional materials should avoid monotony. Choose print materials, visual presentations or websites that break up straight text with images, interactive portions, questions or anything else that makes the material easier for students to process.
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