Teaching aids are any type of tool that is used in instruction. An aid can be as simple as a pen or as complex as a computer. Adult teaching aids are used in adult education and tend to be more in-depth and complex than teaching aids used with children. Teaching aids should never be used as the sole method of instruction and should be supported by direct instruction.
Explain complex ideas in an interactive way using digital presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote. This software allows teachers to prepare text, images, movie clips and sounds to use during lectures. Digital presentations are also used in business environments and in K-12 education, so most students are used to learning and taking notes from this type of teaching aid. Unlike chalkboards, digital presentations are adaptable and can allow users to switch quickly between slides.
Provide adult learners with graphic organizers that allow them to visually sort, categorize or rank information. Examples of graphic organizers are thought webs, Venn diagrams and t-charts. Graphic organizers are helpful to many adult learners because most people learn best through visual information. They can be used to take notes or to brainstorm. Graphic organizers are used to teach students of all ages, so many adult learners will be familiar with them.
Rubrics are used to grade performative assessments, but should also be used as a teaching aid for adult learners. Rubrics are charts used to score students on specific criteria and gather quantitative data on qualitative assignments. Most rubrics list at least three criteria on one axis of the chart and list numerical rankings on the other axis. Descriptions of the criteria are provided for each numerical score in the corresponding box in the chart. Rubrics are commonly used as teaching aids in adult classrooms by showing students what is expected of them and describing what qualities will give them the best scores.
- "Teaching Aids in the College Classroom"; Lawrence Grayson and Joseph Biedenbach; 1975
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