Another characteristic of high business value training is the use of learning media and materials that are well designed, well matched to the content of the program and intended outcomes, and properly employed.
Learning media and materials can be defined as the physical resources that are used to facilitate instruction. Examples include handouts, overhead slides, audio files, videos, websites, props or objects, and whiteboards to name a few.
Instructors use media and materials to support learning because they activate multiple senses such as sight, sound, and touch at the same time, helping the learner pay attention to and receive new information. Key however, is ensuring that the media and materials facilitate, rather than impede learning.
The purpose of this month’s blog post is to introduce basic principles that should be followed when making decisions about learning media and materials. Provided below are fifteen principles, that if followed, will help ensure the learning media and materials facilitate learning.
- Information provided in the media is segmented and organized in a meaningful way
- The information provided in the media is current and factually accurate
- Headings and subheadings are used to serve as advanced organizers and provide structure to the information
- Different font sizes and contrasting font attributes are used to emphasize and draw attention to specific information
- Sentences and paragraphs are short and concise to facilitate scanning and reading by learners
- The overall use and design of the media and materials encourage learner participation, reflection, and interaction with the content
- The media are well suited to the instructional methods and strategies used in the program
- The learning materials are appropriate for the physical environment and situation in which the program is delivered
- The benefits of the selected media outweigh the cost to design, develop, produce, implement, and maintain them
- Media and materials are varied to help maintain learner interest, and are introduced at appropriate intervals throughout the program
- The learning media and materials are easy to access and use back on the job
- The media and materials are generally aesthetically appealing
- Clear directions for the use of the media and materials are provided
- Learning media incorporate visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic modes to accommodate for different learning styles
- Messages communicated via the media are consistent with those communicated by leadership, including core values, cultural attributes, and strategic plans
In review, learning media and materials are the physical resources that are used to facilitate instruction. They’re an important component because they activate multiple senses, helping learners attend to and receive new information.
This blog post shared basic principles that should be followed to ensure the media and materials are well designed, well matched to the content of the program and intended learning outcomes, and properly employed. Doing so will increase the overall effectiveness of the program, and ultimately its business value.