It is essential that a variety of resources are used, including handouts, videos, etc. All students will have a learning preference and will learn more effectively using particular methods. Fleming (Fleming, 2005) divides people into 4 groups based on their learning preferences, these groups are visual, aural, read/write and kinaesthetic or a combination. While selecting resources it is important to “ensure they promote equality of opportunity, reflect diversity and challenge stereotypes” (Gravells, 2014, p. 82) for example, the text and images on PowerPoint presentations should “portray all aspects of society”. (Gravells, 2014, p. 82)
It is important that all students are able to access the material, “when designing resources, any individual needs should be taken into account; for example, dyslexia, a hearing impairment, visual impairment, physical or mental disability.” (Gravells, 2014, p. 84) This may mean that learning material requires “larger-sized font, on different coloured paper, or ensure there is plenty of white space surrounding the text.” (Gravells, 2014, p. 84)
I use a selection of resources on a regular basis, being a lecturer in computing the most common resource I use is computers. Computers can be an excellent resource for research and graphic design and many of my practical classes would not function without computers, e.g. practical programming classes. Students’ always having access to computers has some major negatives; it is easy for them to become distracted as they have access to their social accounts. Students having access to computers can make checking learning more challenging as questioning can result in students Googling the answer before being selected to answer. The ability to remotely control student computers goes a long way to reducing the negative aspects of computers within the classroom. Another resource I use on a regular basis is a handout; handouts are flexible so this could be either in the form of a worksheet or an information resource. When using handouts in a programming class it ensures students don’t copy and paste the provided code, as a result they are more likely to remember what they have entered. Handouts can be adjusted quickly, meaning they can be tweaked to suit the needs of the particular class or even particular students, allowing for stretch and challenge tasks for stronger students. Variations such as different coloured paper, font or larger white space can all benefit students with particular requirements, such as dyslexia. There are many negatives to using handouts as a resource; students will frequently leave them behind, meaning they cannot be used for revision. The additional time and cost required for complex multipage colour handouts can require additional preparation time to ensure the resource can be obtained from the academic establishment. I also use a whiteboard within lectures, although a PowerPoint is my preference for displaying content in this manner, there are often times when being able to provide a live, free hand, spontaneous diagram is ideal as I’m not constrained by software. I particularly like that they can be erased quickly and then reused, allowing for multiple explanations of a topic. As whiteboards are simple and require no training or synchronisation they are ideal for student use. There are many negatives to using a whiteboard; the primary issue being it is not possible to retain a high quality version of the information on the whiteboard. The best option is to take a picture of the board; however, this will often provide images that are unusable. Another major negative is a whiteboard marker is required; it is very common for these to go missing.
Fleming, N., 2005. Teaching and Learning Preferences: VARK strategies. Honolulu: Honolulu Community College.
Gravells, A., 2014. The Award in Education and Training. Exeter: Sage Publications Inc..