There are guidelines that ought to be followed for an effective use of instructional materials; first is their selection and second is their use.
The materials that we select must: give a true picture of the ideas they present; contribute to the attainment of the learning objective; be appropriate to the age, intelligence and experience of the learners; be in good and satisfactory condition; provide for a teacher’s guide; help develop the critical and creative thinking powers of students; and be worth the time, expense and effort involved.
To ensure effective use of instructional materials, the authors of Instructional Media, Smith and Nagel advise us to abide by the acronym PPPF, which means – Prepare Yourself; Prepare Your Students; Present the Materials and; Follow Up.
The use of instructional materials is not the end in itself, but it is a means to an end, which is the attainment of the learning objective. Selecting appropriate instructional materials is one thing and it is another thing to ensure its effective use. And there is a need to follow up to find out if the objective was attained or not, otherwise they become useless.
The use of instructional materials can be of great help to the teacher to become effective in facilitating learning. As a teacher, I should adopt the guidelines provided by the experts in the selection of instructional materials and in their use. Likewise I should try to avoid the R.O.G. Syndrome (running out of gas) especially if the materials to be used are mechanical ones, hence it is a wise move to try out the materials ahead of the class schedule to avoid unwanted situations. If careful planning is employed, the use of instructional materials can be an effective partner in attaining the teacher’s mission.