Components of Instructional Materials In Nursing Education

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Instructional Materials In Nursing Education and Their Components

Components of Instructional Materials In Nursing Education

What are  Three Major Components of Instructional Materials, Delivery System as Component of Instructional Materials, Thrilled Content, Presentation of Content, Realia of Content, Illusionary Representations of Content ,Symbolic Representations of Instructional Material.

What are  Three Major Components of Instructional Materials

    Depending on the teaching methods chosen to communicate information, educators must decide which instructional materials are potentially best suited to assist with the process of teaching and learning. The delivery system (Weston & Cranston, 1986), content, and presentation (Frantz, 1980) are the three major components that educators should keep in mind when selecting print and non print materials for instruction.

Delivery System as Component of Instructional Materials

    The delivery system includes both the software and the hardware used in presenting information. For instance, the educator giving a lecture might choose to enhance the information being presented by using PowerPoint slides (software) delivered via a computer (hardware). 

    The content on DVDs (software), in conjunction with a DVD player (hardware), and CD-ROM programs (software), in conjunction with computers (hardware), are other examples of delivery systems.The choice of the delivery system is influenced by the number of learners to be taught at one time, the pacing and flexibility needed for the effective delivery of information, and the sensory aspects most suitable to an individual patient or group. 

    More recently, the geographical distribution of the audience has emerged as a significant influence on choice of delivery systems, given the popularity of distance education modalities. 

Thrilled Content

    The content (intended message) is independent of the delivery system and is the actual information being communicated to the learner. When selecting instructional material(s), the nurse educator must consider several factors:

  • The accuracy of the information being conveyed. Is it up to date and accurate?
  • The appropriateness of the medium to convey the chosen information. Pamphlets, posters, and podcasts, for example, can be very useful tools for sharing information to change behavior in the cognitive or affective domain but are not ideal for skill development in the psychomotor domain. Videos as well as real equipment or models with which to perform demonstrations and return demonstrations are much more effective tools for learning psychomotor behaviors.
  • The appropriateness of the readability level of materials for the learner(s). Is the content written at a literacy level suitable for the learner's reading and comprehension abilities? The more complex the task, the more important it is to write clear, simple, succinct instructions enhanced with illustrations so that the learner can understand the content. 

Presentation of Content 

    The form of the message is a very important component for selecting or developing instructional materials. However, a consideration of this aspect of any tool is frequently ignored. Weston and Cranston (1986) describe the form of the message as occurring along a continuum from concrete (real objects) to abstract (symbols).

Realia of Content 

    Realia (the condition of being real) refers to the most concrete form of stimuli that can be used to deliver information. For instance, a woman demonstrating breast self-examination is the most concrete example of reality. Because this form of presentation might be less acceptable for a wide range of teaching situations, the next best choice would be a manikin. 

    Such a model. which is similar in appearance to a human figure, has many characteristics that simulate reality, including size and three dimensionality (width, breadth, and depth), but without being the true figure that may very well cause embarrassment for the learner. 

    The message is less concrete, yet using an imitation of a person as an instructional tool allows for an accurate presentation of in training to stimulate the learners' perceptual abilities. 

    Further along the continuum of reality is a video presentation of a woman performing breast self examination. The learner could still visualize a breast self examination done accurately, but the aspects of only two types of dimensionalities are present (depth is absent) in a video format. Thus, the message becomes less concrete and more abstract.

Illusionary Representations of Content 

    Illusionary representations are a term that applies to a less concrete, more abstract form of stimuli through which to deliver a message, such as moving or still photographs, audiotapes projecting true sounds, and real life drawings. 

    Although many realistic cues, such as dimensional, are missing, this category of instructional materials has the advantage of offering learners a variety of real life visual and auditory experiences to which they might otherwise not have access or exposure because of such factors as location, availability, or expense. 

    For example picturzes that show how to stage decubitus ulcers and audiotapes that help learners discriminate between normal and abnormal lung sounds, although more abstract in form, do to some degree resemble or simulate realia.

Symbolic Representations of Instructional Material

    Symbolic representations are a term that refers to the most abstract types of messages, though they are the most common form of instructional materials to communicate information. These types of representations include numbers and letters of the alphabet, symbols that are written and spoken as words that convey ideas or represent objects. 

    Audiotapes of someone speaking, graphs, written texts, handouts, posters, flip charts. and whiteboards on which to display words: and images are vehicles to deliver messages in symbolic form. The chief disadvantage of symbolic representations is that they lack concreteness. The more abstract and sophisticated the message, the more difficult it is to comprehend. 

   Consequently, symbolic representations may be inappropriate as instructional materials for learners who are very young, from different cultures, or who have significant literacy problems or cognitive and sensory impairments. When making decisions about which tools to select to best accomplish teaching and learning objectives, the nurse educator should carefully consider these three media components. 

    When choosing from a wide range of print, demonstration, and audiovisual options, key issues to be considered include the various delivery systems available, the content or message to be conveyed, and the form in which information will be presented. 

    Educators must remember that no single medium is suitable for all learners to acquire and retain information. Most important, the function of instructional materials must be understood that is, to supplement, complement, and support the educator's teaching efforts for the successful achievement of learner outcomes.

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