Career Development

Education and Training: Examining the Instructional Media

Education and Training: Examining Instructional Media

by Denise N. Fyffe

Instructional media are methods of communication used in the delivery of information to enable learning, and transfer knowledge and skills to students i.e. training and education or how the methods and processes which result in pupils’ behavior change are transmitted.

There are several types of Instructional Media. They include: 

  • Real objects and models
  • Printed text (books, handouts, worksheets)
  • Printed visuals (pictures, photos, drawings, charts, graphs)
  • Display boards (chalk, bulletin, multipurpose)
  • Overhead transparencies
  • Slides and filmstrips
  • Audio (tape, disc, voice)
  • Video and film (tape, disc)
  • Television (live)
  • Computer software, including the Internet

Relevance of Instructional Media

Felder (2006), in an article entitled Learning Styles, posits that when mismatches exist between the learning styles of most students and the teaching style of the teacher, the students may become bored and inattentive, do poorly, get discouraged about the course and themselves, and in some cases change to other curricula or drop out of school/session.

To address this problem, he recommended the use of instructional methods to strike a balance (as opposed to trying to teach each student exclusively according to his or her preferences.)

If the balance is achieved, all students will be taught partly in a manner they prefer, which leads to an increased comfort level and willingness to learn, and partly in a less preferred manner, which provides practice and feedback in ways of thinking and solving problems which they may not initially be comfortable with but which they will have to use to be fully effective professionals.

Therefore, to meet the learning needs of our students we have chosen to use the computer along with a multimedia projector, audio CDs, handouts, and the whiteboard.

The Computer

The versatility of the computer makes it an ideal instructional media. It will appeal to all three learning styles – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. With the use of a multimedia projector, attached to the computer, PowerPoint presentations will be projected. These presentations will have both graphics and text, thus visual learners will be able to benefit.

Audio CDs will be played, and audio files embedded into the PowerPoint, for the benefit of our auditory ones. The kinaesthetic learner will be able to learn through activities and exercises given on the computer, thus catering to their special needs.

There are several advantages of the computer that makes it one of the most suitable selections for the lessons.

Firstly, everyone can create documents, make changes, and save these changes. The computer has a high visual impact – creating a theatrical effect in the class. It facilitates better group control/management – the lecturer is up front facing the group. It makes a wide range of resources instantly available.

Lecturers and students can annotate presentations on the computer.

Students are engaged by the computer getting them moving and participating in the lesson. It facilitates concept mapping – items can be moved around the screen. It also supports discussion (on the topic) and peer learning.

Lastly, lecturers and students enjoy using it.


Handouts are printed texts that will benefit the visual learner mostly. This will serve to provide an outline of the lecture and demonstrate that the lecturer has given careful thought to the lecture and to the instructional needs of that particular level of students.

Handouts also emphasize what should be learned, and serve as an advanced organizer, putting the lecture into a meaningful whole. Providing “skeleton” notes, freeing students from the mechanics of note taking and allowing them to devote more attention to the lecture and the visuals being displayed by the lecturer is another purpose of the handout.

It also illustrates lecture content, assuring that the illustration displayed on the slide is accurately conveyed to the students. Thought-provoking questions are printed on handouts and it cites students to additional literature on the subject.

The Whiteboard

The whiteboard facilitates interactive teaching and learning, and the information placed on it is visual and can arouse discussions and student participation. Putting information on it benefits the visual and the kinesthetic learners the most.

The discussions, while information is being placed on the board, will ensure that the auditory learners are not left out.


Students/individuals learn in diverse ways hence teachers/educators/facilitators need to provide a learning environment that contains an array of devices that will appeal to and assist all of them to be successful in the learning process.




Check out Jamaican Guidance Counsellor’s Handbook

jamaican guidance counsellorThe Jamaican Guidance Counsellor’s Handbook, introduces the Jamaican educational system and highlights the psychometric movement, the trait, and factor theory as well as legislation that impacted the development of present guidelines and ethical standards. It also explores the counseling process, issues of school management, school organizational structure, and several counseling techniques which are apt for the school setting. The book also examines the various roles and responsibilities of a Jamaican Guidance Counsellor and provides a list of resource centers in Jamaica.


Available at all online book retailers and




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