How to Design Teaching Material

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A lesson is only as effective as the material used to teach it. Teachers need to create effective teaching materials to ensure that students are learning to their maximum potential. Any tool used to convey information or test understanding is a teaching material. This broad category includes common classroom elements such as worksheets, videos, quizzes and activities. When designing materials, teachers need to consider a number of factors. By taking time to consider educational goals—and ways to create and deliver materials appropriate to the specific body of students being taught—teachers will be more successful in creating quality teaching material that promotes learning.

1 Establish an objective

Establish an objective. Start by deciding what you want the students to know at the end of the lesson; this is referred to as the cognitive objective. Also consider what you want the students to be able to do at lesson's end, otherwise known as the behavioral objective. Establishing objectives prior to creating the material will provide you with a better understanding of what you are trying to accomplish. With this knowledge, you will be more successful in creating material that achieves the lesson's goals.

2 Analyze the audience

Analyze the audience. Take the characteristics of the group into account when creating materials. Consider their race, socio-economic status and age. Tailor the material to the students through the use of ethnic names or terms, making reference to places or objects the group of students will be familiar with, and selecting topics they have some experience with. These small things will increase student interest in the lesson and allow the lesson to speak to students at their level.

3 Consider differing learning styles

Consider differing learning styles. Students learn more effectively when they are engaged in their style of learning. Visual learners learn most effectively when they can see something; auditory learners learn best through sound; and kinesthetic learners learn the most while engaged in motion. Provide your students with a learning inventory to determine whether your students are mainly visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. Allow this information to influence your material development.

4 Select a delivery method

Select a delivery method. Determine how you want to present the material. Do you want to make copies, or instead project the image onto a screen with an LCD projector? Consider which delivery methods have proven effective with your students in the past, as well as which method is the most appropriate match for the learning styles present in your class.

5 Seek ways to integrate technology

Seek ways to integrate technology. Using technology increases student engagement. When creating your materials, consider ways in which you could use available technology. If you could show an online video or have students complete a digital simulation, take advantage of the opportunity and use the technology available to you to aid student learning.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.