Principles of Instructional Materials In Nursing Education

Nurses Educator 2

Instructional Materials In Nursing Education and Principles

Principles of Instructional Materials In Nursing Education

What are Instructional Materials, General Principles of Effectiveness of  Instructional Materials.

What are Instructional Materials

    Whereas teaching methods are the approaches the nurse uses to deliver education, instructional materials are the objects or vehicles by which information is communicated. Often these terms are used interchangeably and are frequently referred to in combination with one another as teaching strategies and techniques. 

    Nevertheless, teaching methods and instructional materials are not the same, and a clear distinction can and should be made between them. Teaching methods are the way information is taught. Instructional materials, which include printed, demonstration, and audiovisual media, are the tools used to enhance teaching and learning. 

    How effective these multimedia approaches are must be based on theory about the way people learn, on studies that examine the effects of each tool on the learner, and on evidence from practice (Mayer, 2014).

    Instructional materials are the tools and aids used to transmit information that supplement, rather than replace, the act of teaching and the role of the nurse as educator. These materials by which information is shared with the learner must be examined closely because they represent an important aspect of the education process. 

    Given the numerous factors affecting both the teacher and the learner, such as the increase in nursing staff workloads, the decrease in length of inpatient stays or outpatient visits, the increase in patient acuity, the alternative settings in which education is now delivered, the varied learner characteristics and preferences, and the shrinking resources for educational services, it is imperative that the nurse educator understand the various types of printed, demonstration, and audiovisual materials available to help nurses teach efficiently and effectively.

    Instructional materials provide the nurse educator with tools to deliver education messages creatively, clearly, accurately, and in a timely manner. They help the educator reinforce information, clarify abstract concepts, and simplify complex messages. Multimedia resources serve to stimulate a learner's senses as well as add variety, realism, and enjoyment to the teaching learning experience. 

    They have the potential to assist learners not only in acquiring knowledge and skills but also in retaining more effectively what they learn. Research indicates that a variety of printed, demonstration, and audiovisual materials do, indeed, enhance teaching and learning (Friedman, Cosby, Boyko, Hatton Bauer, & Turnbull, 2011).

    This chapter provides an overview of how to select, develop, implement, and evaluate instructional materials. The advantages and dis advantages of the various types of instructional materials are discussed. The choice of one or more of them often depends on availability and cost. 

    This chapter is intended to assist nurse educators to make informed decisions about choosing and using appropriate instructional materials that fit the learner, that affect the motivation of the learner, and that accomplish the expected learning outcomes. Whether nurses educate patients and their families, nursing staff, or nursing students, the same principles apply in making decisions about the type of materials selected for instruction.

General Principles of Effectiveness of  Instructional Materials

    Before selecting or developing instructional materials from the many available options, nurses educators should be aware of the following general principles regarding the effectiveness of these tools:

  • The teacher must be familiar with the content and mechanics of a tool before using it Printed, demonstration, and audiovisual materials can change learner behavior by influencing cognitive, affective, and psychomotor development.
  • No one tool is better than another to enhance learning because the suitability of any particular instructional material depends on many variables.
  • Instructional materials should complement. reinforce, and supplement not substitute for the nurse educator's teaching efforts. The choice of material should match the content and the tasks to be learned.
  • The instructional material(s) selected should match available financial resources.
  • Instructional aids must be appropriate for the physical conditions of the learning environment, such as the number of learners, the space, the lighting, the sound projection, and the hardware (delivery mechanisms) used to display information. 
  • Instructional materials should match the sensory abilities, developmental stages, and educational level of the learners.
  • The messages conveyed by instructional materials must be accurate, up to date, appropriate, unbiased, and free of any unintended content.
  • The tools used should contribute in a meaningful way to the learning situation by adding or clarifying information.

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