AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

AIOU Solved Assignments code B.ed 8601 Spring 2020 assignment 2  Course: General Method of Teaching (8601) spring 2020. AIOU past papers

General Method of Teaching (8601)
B.ed 1.5 Years
Spring, 2020

AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

Q. 1  What are the individual and group projects? Illustrate the function and importance of both types of projects.                                                                                           (20)

Interactive writing is a cooperative event in which a teacher and students jointly compose and write a text. In this lesson, we will discuss how to use interactive writing in both individual and group settings.

Lonely Writing?

John Donne once said, ‘No man is an island’. We are never really alone. We have friends, family and people to keep us busy. We have smartphones, computers and television to entertain us. It is rare that we would go a day without talking or interacting with someone else.

When writing, you are also not alone. This may be hard to imagine. Many people see writing as a personal event, and one that they do not want to share. To these people, they plan alone, write alone and then give their paper to their teacher, hoping for the best. The entire project, start to finish, is done alone.

But how successful are these writers? Can you really be an island when writing? Well, not really. Writing should be a shared activity. You can work with other writers to help plan your paper, develop ideas, research, revise, proofread and even submit your work. In this lesson, we’ll discuss why interactive writing is important and then give some suggestions on how you can practice interactive writing.

What is Interactive Writing?

Interactive writing is a cooperative event in which a teacher and students jointly compose and write a text. What does this mean? In interactive writing, the teacher and students would decide what to write about and work together to write a paper. It can be done one-on-one or even in small groups.

The goal of interactive writing is for students to become better writers by seeing good writing modeled to them. For example, if a teacher practices interactive writing during the prewriting stage, the student can learn how to brainstorm, make a list and then decide on a topic. If interactive writing happens during the drafting stage, students may become more comfortable with the essay structure, writing a thesis or adding more details to the paper.

Interactive writing can help a writer grow in confidence. Many times, new writers can be intimidated by the writing process. However, through interactive writing, students can grow with others and learn from sharing the writing process with them.

How does interactive writing work? Interactive writing can take many different forms. Let’s look at one scenario. Ruth sits in a college composition classroom. Her instructor tells the class that the first essay is a narrative. Together, the class lists some potential topics on the board. This is the first step of interactive writing – brainstorming. Together, they decide on a focused topic and begin to plan the requirements of the paper. Then the students begin to write at their desks to get started. The instructor walks around the room, stopping at each student’s desk, reading each paper, commenting and writing with the students. Finally, the class divides into smaller groups, and the students read their drafts to each other. Through each of these steps, the class and the instructor work together.

One important aspect teachers need to focus on is creating an environment that supports different types of learning. This lesson explains how to create learning environments where students can construct knowledge in groups and individually.

What Are Learning Environments?

When you were a young student, you probably didn’t put much thought into your learning environment, the space and framework you worked in. If you were like most children, you were more interested in your friends and when you got to eat lunch. Educators, however, know the importance of creating a learning environment that supports diverse opportunities for growth.

Take Matt, for example. He’s a teacher who puts a lot of time and energy into thinking about the learning environment he creates for his students. Matt wants to create a community of learners, children who eagerly engage with content and each other, make sense of teaching, and are motivated to learn. A learning environment starts with the physical space in a classroom but extends to much more. Let’s peek in on Matt’s students.

Aspects of Learning Environments

It’s math time and the classroom hums with active learning. Some students are working collaboratively, solving a problem at a table, others individually at their desks, and another group is using technology. Matt circulates the classroom to support students as they construct their knowledge of fractions. This is no accident; in fact, Matt set up his learning environment to:

  • Allow all students ways to make sense of new ideas
  • Engage his students in decision-making
  • Solve problems
  • Experience inquiry learning

Matt just finished a mini-lesson on fractions. Some of his students are making sense of their new concepts by working collaboratively on solving sample problems. Others are working independently to create their own understanding. Each student has opportunities to solve problems and make decisions about this new concept in a way that works for them. He supports inquiry learning, a method that poses problems to students and allows them to gather information in order to understand. Whether working in a group or individually, the environment supports student learning. You can see this in two ways – the physical and psychosocial classroom environment.

The Physical Environment

The physical space in Matt’s classroom is set up to support learning in many ways. He has tables with chairs and a large carpet where groups of children can meet. He also has seating and quiet learning spots for individual learning. Some of these desks are arranged in partner pairs, and all can be easily moved to welcome differing groupings. Finally, he has a table at which he supports small groups of learners. This arrangement allows him to teach to the whole group, then send students off to work in small groups or individually.

He stocks his classroom with supplies that support inquiry learning – manipulatives, technology, and plenty of learning support materials like books, are readily available. His room is lit in a way that allows for a more subdued atmosphere, using lamps and natural lighting, as well as overhead light for more active learning. He made sure to separate activities that may be noisier, like pencil sharpening or collaborative group areas, from quieter areas, like the classroom library. This way, students can focus on their work without distractions.

The Psychosocial Environment

Another important aspect Matt plans for when designing his classroom environment is the psychosocial, or the psychological and social factors that impact student achievement. In other words, psychological aspects like feelings, actions and thoughts, and social encounters, like friendships, peer and adult relationships, and classroom culture impact how students learn. If the psychosocial environment is disruptive, it prevents students from feeling safe and open to learning. When the psychosocial environment is warm and inviting, students feel enabled to take chances and secure in their experiences.

AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

Q. 2  Write short notes on:                                                                           (20)

i.       Small group

Claire is a teacher working with a diverse group of learners. With a few years of teaching under her belt now, Claire understands that though she teaches one grade level, her students all have unique needs, strengths, and struggles. Her experience has taught her that to make sure she reaches all students at their own level and helps them to make progress, she needs to use differentiation techniques in her classroom.

Differentiation is how teachers, like Claire, respond to students’ needs in order to help each of them make progress. Differentiation involves modifying curriculum content, the processes used to teach and reinforce learning, and the way teachers assess. When Claire differentiates, she looks closely at her students’ learning readiness, interests, and profiles. She uses flexible groupings, checks in with her students often by using ongoing assessments, and adjusts groups when necessary. Let’s look at how this works.

General Principles of Differentiation

Claire’s first year as a teacher was little bumpy. She even pulled out her college textbooks from time to time to help her figure things out. One manual that she found particularly helpful was on techniques of differentiation. Although she thought she had learned differentiation techniques, things seemed so much easier to understand when she didn’t have 24 students to teach.

Claire first reviewed general principles of differentiation. These are the important ideas she needed to keep in mind to be successful at differentiation, such as:

  • Differentiated classrooms are flexible for both teacher and students.
  • Differentiation classrooms rely on ongoing assessments to determine student levels and needs.
  • Teachers use flexible grouping to ensure all students learn the skills they need.
  • Students have opportunities for a wide range of learning activities that are respectful of their abilities.
  • Students and teachers collaborate in learning.

This last one was a stumper for Claire; she knew collaborating with parents and coworkers was important. Why would she need to collaborate with students? And how?

ii.      Buzz group

Buzz groups is a cooperative learning technique consisting in the formation of small discussion groups with the objective of developing a specific task (idea generation, problem solving and so on) or facilitating that a group of people reach a consensus on their ideas about a topic in a specific period of time. So, buzz groups allow covering the discussion about different aspects referred to the same study themes, maximizing the possibilities of partition of the members of the group.

After the initial presentation of the task to be developed, big groups are divided into smaller groups, among three and six people. Each group names a spokesperson to inform the rest of the groups about the results of the discussion of their group.

A buzz group has many applications and benefits, as listed below:

1. It is a creative process.
2. Recalling/reviewing previous learning.
3. Linking elements/concepts/ideas together.
4. Reflecting back to what was previously discussed.
5. Probing issues in greater depth.
6. Transition from one issue to another.
7. Evaluating learning.
8. Connecting life experience with theory.
9. Helping the trainer to discover missing data or misunderstandings and make corrections.
10. Raising unsuspecting issues that must be addressed to make progress.

This technique can be used at anytime throughout the program, particularly when you want trainees to become actively engaged with the issues. For example, you can give a short lecture, follow it with a Q&A session for clarification and then follow that with a buzz group discussion to connect what you were talking about to their job and life experiences.

The intensity of the discussion lasts for up to 10 minutes, less if the task is completed in a shorter time period. There’s nothing more mysterious than that! With many small groups working on a common issue, many options and contributions are offered.

iii.     Talking Tickets

Teachers seldom have the time to drop everything and talk at length with a student who is upset about an incident that occurred within , or outside of, school. The “Talk Ticket” assures the student that he or she will have a chance to talk through the situation while allowing the teacher to schedule the meeting with the student for a time that does not disrupt classroom instruction. The Talk Ticket intervention is flexible to implement and offers the option of taking the student through a simple, structured problem-solving format.”

Reading:  This is a great intervention for reading because it will decrease the blurting that goes along with a read-aloud.  When students read something exciting that they can relate to their prior knowledge and lived experiences, they instantly want to tell.  This will give the teacher a better handle on the blurting out and an easier way to manage the classroom.

Math:  Math can cause a lot of questions, and a lot of questions can be similar.  If students are using talk tickets, they will have plenty of time to think about the question and how they want to word it for the teacher.  The teacher will also be giving full attention to the student who is talking, so they will be able to adapt their explanation to each student and their question.   

Science:  Vocabulary and scientific topics are difficult for some students to understand.  By using talk tickets, you can minimize the questions that don’t apply to science and hopefully stick to science-based questions.  The students can use the talk tickets to tell stories as well as make a connection to their lived experience.  This will be exciting for them because they know they get the teacher’s undivided attention when they hand over the talk ticket. 

iv.     Thing-Pair-Share

How well do your students communicate in class? If they tend to be shy participants, there’s a learning tool you can use to help them think independently, pair up and discuss with a classmate or in small groups, and share their knowledge with the class. Developed by Frank Lyman, a professor at the University of Maryland, in 1981, it’s simply called Think-Pair-Share. I’m a big fan of this collaborative discussion strategy, especially with my primary students.

How It Works

The teacher asks an open-ended question and students think quietly about it for a minute or two. Then every student pairs up with a partner and they discuss the question for two to five minutes. Finally, the whole class engages in a discussion where students raise their hands and share all the thoughts and ideas they’ve gathered.

With young children, it’s best if the teacher models the technique with a volunteer so the class knows what to do. Just make sure to emphasize the rules of this exercise with your students. They must use their inside voices, take turns, and avoid interrupting their partner. Some teachers even pass out work sheets so students can write down the questions and their thoughts.

The Benefits

Some students feel safer and more relaxed when talking in small groups, rather than having to speak in front of the entire class. The Think-Pair-Share activity gives them the opportunity to feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts. In addition to fostering social skills, this strategy also improves students’ speaking and listening skills. When pairs brainstorm together, each student learns from their partner. This can help students expand their vocabulary as they learn new words from their peers and build on their prior knowledge.

AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

Q. 3  What is cooperative learning? Explain the benefits of cooperative learning.       (20)

There are five fundamental elements involved in cooperative learning. In fact, these five elements distinguish cooperative learning from other forms of group learning. These elements can be thought of as pieces in a puzzle. When all of these elements are present in a learning situation, the result is a cooperative learning group. The five basic elements of cooperative learning are:

  • Positive interdependence
  • Individual and group accountability
  • Interpersonal and small group skills
  • Face-to-face promotive interaction
  • Group processing

Positive Interdependence

This means the group has a clear task or goal so everyone knows they sink or swim together. The efforts of each person benefit not only the individual, but also everyone else in the group. The key to positive interdependence is committing to personal success as well as the success of every member of the group.

Individual and Group Accountability

The group is accountable for achieving its goals, and each member must be accountable for contributing a fair share of the work toward the group goal. No one can “hitchhike” on the work of others. The performance of each individual must be assessed and the results given back to the group.

Interpersonal and Small Group Skills

Interpersonal and small group skills are required to function as part of a group. These are basic teamwork skills. Group members must know how to – and be motivated to – provide effective leadership, make decisions, build trust, communicate, and manage conflict.

  • Completing tasks
  • Communicating
  • Decision making
  • Managing conflict
  • Appreciating group members

Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction

This means that students promote each other’s success by sharing resources. They help, support, encourage, and praise each other’s efforts to learn. Both academic and personal support are part of this mutual goal.

Group Processing

Group members need to feel free to communicate openly with each other to express concerns as well as to celebrate accomplishments. They should discuss how well they are achieving their goals and maintaining effective working relationships.

To help you understand cooperative learning a little better, here are some ideas and activities that could help team members develop better skills in each of the areas listed above.

Ways To Ensure Positive Interdependence:

  • The group has only one pencil, paper, book, or other resource.
  • One paper is written by the group.
  • A task is divided into jobs and can’t be finished unless all help.
  • Pass one paper around the group on which each member must write a section.
  • Each person learns a topic and then teaches it to the group (Jigsaw method).
  • Offer a reward (e.g. bonus points) if everyone in the group succeeds.

Ways To Ensure Individual and Group Accountability:

  • Students do the work before bringing it to the group.
  • One student is chosen at random and questioned on the material the group has studied.
  • Everyone writes a paper; the group certifies the accuracy of all their papers; the instructor chooses only one paper to grade.
  • Students receive bonus points if all do well individually.
  • Instructor observes students taking turns orally rehearsing information.

Ways To Ensure Interpersonal and Small Group Skills:

  • Be on time for group meetings and start them on time.
  • Listen to others. Don’t be so busy rehearsing what you are going to say that you miss other group members’ points and ideas.
  • Don’t close the road to mutual learning by interrupting or using language that can be regarded as a personal attack.
  • Make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak.
  • Don’t suppress conflict, but do control and discipline it.

Ways To Ensure Face-to-Face Promotive Interaction:

  • A student orally explains how to solve a problem.
  • One group member discusses a concept with others.
  • A group member teaches classmates about a topic.
  • Students help each other connect present and past learning.

Ways To Ensure Group Processing:

  • Group members describe each other’s helpful and unhelpful behaviors and actions.
  • As a group, make decisions about which behaviors to continue and which behaviors to change.

Additional Elements of Effective Groups

Although team dynamics (how the individual team members work together) can differ from team to team, effective teams share the following characteristics (modified from Bodwell 1996, 1999):

Full participation – All team members contribute their time and energy to the project. More importantly, all team members participate in the decision making process.

Trust – Members trust that each member will add value to the project, and members work to ensure that everybody contributes and that appreciation is expressed for different contributions.

Open communication – Communication is the glue that holds a team together. Communication is effective when all members:

  • Contribute ideas.
  • Provide feedback constructively.
  • Ask for clarification on anything that might be confusing.
  • Provide frequent updates.
  • Listen to each other carefully.

Social/business balance – Although teams shouldn’t socialize 100% of the time, it shouldn’t be all business either. Casual conversation allows members to know each other better, leading to better working relations.

AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

Q. 4  i.       Elaborate different types of set induction.                            (20)

Educational technology is a systematic and organized process of applying modern technology to improve the quality of education (efficiency, optimal, true, etc.). It is a systematic way of conceptualizing the execution and evaluation of the educational process, i. e. learning and teaching and help with the application of modern educational teaching techniques. It includes instructional materials, methods and organization of work and relationships, i.e. the behavior of all participants in the educational process. The term “teaching resources” is commonly used, although they are not synonymous. The word technology is derived from the Greek word “techno” which means the willingness, skills, knowledge of the way, rule, skill, tools and “logos” which means science, word, learning, mental state. There is no single term for educational technology. Different countries use different terms and synonyms as educational technology, educational equipment, AV resources.

As we know set induction is the important part that teacher always do at the beginning of teaching and learning process. The objective of set induction is to induce the pupils to attract them and make them concentrate their attention towards teacher’s presentation.

The most effective ways to present set induction by using teaching aids, related situation with the lesson, motivation, questioning technique, revision of related topic and much more.For example if you want to teach lesson about Mathematic subject like topic of volume of liquid you can bring one bottle of water and a bowl of water that in red colour and same volume and ask them what you bring and ask them also question like ” Which volume of water is more? This is some questioning technique that you can do so. Maybe some pupils will answer it wrong because they see at the shape of cointaner in determine the volume of water but it is okay because you want they to focus on your teaching.

Than you can relate with the topic that you will teach them at that day. In determine good set induction you must know it is suitable with their ability and also experience. Also the activity ougt to relate closely to the lesson content that follows.

Many teachers spend outrageously little time preparing their students for classroom activities. Often this preparation consists only of telling their students to read some story by the next class session or to watch some demonstration carefully. With such a limited introduction, could any teacher truly expect students to be attentive and eager to learn the material? The purpose of this microteaching is to stimulate you to think of better ways of preparing your students for learning.

Several psychological experiments

Several psychological experiments have demonstrated the importance of set induction in learning. Research indicates that activities preceding a learning task influence the performance of the task. The research also indicates that the effectiveness of a set depends somewhat on the situation to which it is applied. Hence, teachers must find those kinds of sets most appropriate to their purposes and must modify these sets to fit the specific classroom situation.

In most cases, the initial instructional move of the teacher should be to establish a set. The set focuses students’ attention on some familiar person, object, event, condition, or idea. The established set functions as a point of reference around which the students and the teacher communicate. The teacher uses this point of reference as a link between familiar and new or difficult material. Furthermore, an effective set encourages student interest and involvement in the main body of the lesson.

The establishment of a set usually occurs at the beginning of a class period, but it may occur during the session. Set induction is appropriate whenever the activity, the goal of the content of the lesson is changed so that a new or modified frame of reference is needed. Set induction is also used to build continuity from lesson to lesson and from unit to unit. Thus, a new set may be linked to an established set of to a series of sets.

Influence of set induction

All of us have experienced the influence of set induction on our responses to a situation. If we have been told that some person is a brilliant scientist, we respond differently than we would if we had been told he or she were a star athlete. What we “learn” during our conversation with this person will depend in part on what we have been told. Similarly, whatever information a teacher gives students about the degree of difficulty and format of a test will probably affect the way they study for it.

Suppose that a teacher wants the students to read Chapter Six in their textbooks as homework. Suppose Chapter Six is about the Constitutional convention of 1787. What remarks or activities will produce the most learning for the next day? The teacher could say, “Now class, for tomorrow I want all of you to read chapter Six in the text.” Such a weak set would normally produce a weak response. The next day the teacher might discover that half the class had not read the assignment, and that the other half, although claiming to have read it, was unable to discuss it in any depth.

The teacher could take a completely different approach to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. A different set, one more likely to motivate the students, might be something like the following:

Teacher: Suppose you were setting up a colony on a distant planet. Since this colony will be self-governing, the colonists have to draw up some kind of rules for governing themselves. For tonight I want each of you to pretend that you are a colonist on that planet, and that tomorrow you will begin discussions to draw up some sort of constitution. Think about who will do the ruling, how the ruler will be chosen, and what kinds of rights each individual will be guaranteed. Also consider what the colony will do when its population expands to over a million people. Each one of you should answer these questions and be prepared to discuss them tomorrow.

After spending a subsequent class period discussing these and related questions, the teacher could assign appropriate reading and conduct discussions about the problems that confronted the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The teacher would have established a sufficient set, one that both stimulated the students and prepared them for the learning activity.

Sets are appropriate for almost any learning activity. For example, a set is appropriate:

1. at the start of a unit
2. before a discussion
3. before a question-and-answer period,
4. when assigning homework,
5. before hearing a panel discussion,
6. before student reports,
7. when assigning student reports,
8. before a film or other media event,
9. before a discussion,
10. before a homework assignment based on a discussion that followed a filmstrip.

ii.      Critically analyze importance of set induction.

Set induction is about preparation, usually for a formal lesson. When the students are set, they are ready to learn (‘are you set?’). Set induction is thus about getting them ready, inducing them into the right mind-set.


Sets are used before any new activity, from introduction of a new concept to giving homework. It is important in each set both to create clarity about what is expected happen (both what you will do and what they should do), and to create motivation for this to occur, with students being fully engaged in the learning.

Set induction can be done by such as:

  • Explaining potential benefits to the learner.
  • Giving clear instructions.
  • Describing what is going to happen.

The STEP acronym may be used to help remember what to do:

  • Start: Welcome the students, settle them down and gain attention.
  • Transact: Understand their expectations and explain yours. Link with previous learning.
  • Evaluate: Assess the gap between their expectations and current reality. Clarify any discrepancies for them.
  • Progress: Move on to the main body of learning.


Perrott (1982) identified four purposes of set induction.

  1. Focusing attention on what is to be learned by gaining the interest of students.
  2. Moving from old to new materials and linking of the two.
  3. Providing a structure for the lesson and setting expectations of what will happen.
  4. Giving meaning to a new concept or principle, such as giving examples.

Getting students excited about learning can be a challenge. The anticipatory set helps you engage and prepare students for your lesson so they are eager to learn. Keep reading to learn more about the anticipatory set as well as examples of how to use it in your classroom.

What Is an Anticipatory Set?

You could start off your lesson by saying, ‘Today we’re going to study weather patterns.’ However, it would be much more exciting to watch a video of a lightning storm. This is the idea behind the anticipatory set. The anticipatory set is a short activity at the start of a lesson that focuses the students’ attention and gets them ready and excited for the material you’re about to present. The anticipatory set should grab the students’ attention, connect to their prior learning, and prepare them mentally or physically for the lesson ahead.

Anticipatory Set Parts

The anticipatory set contains five essential elements. It should engage and prepare students, connect with earlier lessons, explain the material students will learn, explain the activity the students will complete, and connect with future lessons.

Student-teachers usually have difficulty communicating with pupils during practice-teaching periods. Psychological studies on set indicate it is a necessary precondition to learning. Set induction procedures were devised for student- teachers to use in facilitating communication with pupils and promoting learning possibilities.

A four-group design was used to test the most effective form of set induction training, and the formula for co- variance analysis was employed.

Training in set induction procedures promotes gains in teaching effectiveness as perceived by high-school pupils under conditions set forth in this experiment (.05 level). Set induction training combined with treatments of practice and pupil feedback was most effective 

AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 8601 Spring 2020

Q. 5  Describe the purpose of teaching tools. Write down the advantages and disadvantages of multimedia.                                                                                                      (20)

There are many different types of visual aids. The following advice will help you make the most of those most commonly used.

PowerPoint (or equivalent)

Microsoft PowerPoint is probably now the most commonly used form of visual aid. Used well, it can really help you in your presentation; used badly, however, it can have the opposite effect. The general principles are:

use a big enough font (minimum 20pt)make it so small you can’t read it
keep the background simpleuse a fussy background image
use animations when appropriatebut don’t over-do the animation – it gets distracting
make things visualuse endless slides of bulleted lists that all look the same

Overhead projector slides/transparencies

Overhead projector slides/transparencies are displayed on the overhead projector (OHP) – a very useful tool found in most lecture and seminar rooms. The OHP projects and enlarges your slides onto a screen or wall without requiring the lights to be dimmed. You can produce your slides in three ways:

  • pre-prepared slides : these can be words or images either hand written/drawn or produced on a computer;
  • spontaneously produced slides: these can be written as you speak to illustrate your points or to record comments from the audience;
  • a mixture of each: try adding to pre-prepared slides when making your presentation to show movement, highlight change or signal detailed interrelationships.

Make sure that the text on your slides is large enough to be read from the back of the room. A useful rule of thumb is to use 18 point text if you are producing slides with text on a computer. This should also help reduce the amount of information on each slide. Avoid giving your audience too much text or overly complicated diagrams to read as this limits their ability to listen. Try to avoid lists of abstract words as these can be misleading or uninformative.

White or black board

White or black boards can be very useful to help explain the sequence of ideas or routines, particularly in the sciences. Use them to clarify your title or to record your key points as you introduce your presentation (this will give you a fixed list to help you recap as you go along). Rather than expecting the audience to follow your spoken description of an experiment or process, write each stage on the board, including any complex terminology or precise references to help your audience take accurate notes. However, once you have written something on the board you will either have to leave it there or rub it off – both can be distracting to your audience. Check to make sure your audience has taken down a reference before rubbing it off – there is nothing more frustrating than not being given enough time! Avoid leaving out of date material from an earlier point of your presentation on the board as this might confuse your audience. If you do need to write ‘live’, check that your audience can read your writing.

Paper handouts

Handouts are incredibly useful. Use a handout if your information is too detailed to fit on a slide or if you want your audience to have a full record of your findings. Consider the merits of passing round your handouts at the beginning, middle and end of a presentation. Given too early and they may prove a distraction. Given too late and your audience may have taken too many unnecessary notes. Given out in the middle and your audience will inevitably read rather than listen. One powerful way of avoiding these pitfalls is to give out incomplete handouts at key stages during your presentation. You can then highlight the missing details vocally, encouraging your audience to fill in the gaps.

Flip chart

A flip chart is a large pad of paper on a stand. It is a very useful and flexible way of recording information during your presentation – you can even use pre-prepared sheets for key points. Record information as you go along, keeping one main idea to each sheet. Flip back through the pad to help you recap your main points. Use the turning of a page to show progression from point to point. Remember to make your writing clear and readable and your diagrams as simple as possible.

Video (DVD or VHS)

Video gives you a chance to show stimulating visual information. Use video to bring movement, pictures and sound into your presentation. Always make sure that the clip is directly relevant to your content. Tell your audience what to look for. Avoid showing any more film than you need.

Artefacts or props

Sometimes it can be very useful to use artefacts or props when making a presentation (think of the safety routine on an aeroplane when the steward shows you how to use the safety equipment). If you bring an artefact with you, make sure that the object can be seen and be prepared to pass it round a small group or move to different areas of a large room to help your audience view it in detail. Remember that this will take time and that when an audience is immersed in looking at an object, they will find it hard to listen to your talk. Conceal large props until you need them; they might distract your audience’s attention.

Designing visual aids

There are many different rules for designing visual aids, some of which will apply directly to different kinds of equipment. In general, sticking to the following guidelines will produce high quality visual images:

  • use one simple idea for each visual;
  • make the text and diagrams clear and readable;
  • avoid cluttering the image;
  • keep your images consistent (use the same font, titles, lay out etc. for each image);
  • make sure your images are of a high quality (check for spelling and other errors).

Always remember that an audience should be able to understand a visual image in a matter of seconds.

Room layout

Remember that your audience needs to be able to see you as well as your visual aids. Try to involve every member of your audience by changing the layout of your room. Below are some suggested layouts to help maximise contact between you, your audience and your visual aids.

(Speaking to small audiences)

(Speaking to larger audiences)

Try these arrangements in different settings. Use them to create different atmospheres; for example, an intimate setting might suggest an informal tone, whilst placing yourself at a distance might suggest a more formal relationship.

And finally … practice

Always check your equipment to make sure that it:

  • works;
  • is equipment you are familiar with (How do you start the slide show? How do you change the pad? Should you use permanent or waterproof pens?).

There is nothing worse than a presenter struggling with their visual aids. Be familiar enough with your tools to ensure that you won’t be thrown if something goes wrong. A confident use of visual aids will help marry them to your spoken presentation helping them become part of an impressive performance.

Use visual aids to display complex information clearly and introduce variety into your delivery technique. Make sure that you are familiar with the equipment required to create and display visual aids, and deploy visual aids creatively in your presentations mixing techniques and media to create an impact.                    

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