In this unit, you will learn methods and elements you can adopt and use supplement your effort of delivering better learning to your students


Types of Audio-Visual Aids

1. Picture

These can help to sugest or help to explain things which are omitted when teaching a lesson. They direct children’s attention to the point you want to impress upon them, by guiding their observation with questions and suggestions you will train them to acquire the habit of looking for things that matter in pictures. Pictures give general impression of a lesson. We should use varieties of pictures to give the desired impression when we teach a lesson.

2. Illustrations

The term illustration is commonly applied to the wise use of teaching aids, pictures and drawings to the employment of examples and comparisons, to elucidate either an argument or to enliven an argument. But to the teacher it means more than the above for it includes geological specimens, chemical and physical apparatus, blackboard drawings, anything which appeals to the sense or the imagination of the learner; throwing light upon a piece of description or reasoning.

Illustrations should therefore lead from known to unknown, simple to complex and definite to indefinite. Illustrations are of three kinds.

  • Material Illustrations – These include actual objects, specimens, models or apparatus of various kinds. These are appropriately employed among junior pupils of a school.
  • Pictorial Illustrations – These consists of pictures, diagrams, cardboards, sketches of objects or models of things unobtainable. The teacher should endeavour to employ them step by step as the lesson proceeds. Drawings or diagrams and sketches on the blackboard in the presence of the children have more lasting impression than those prepared before hand. The use of colours, coloured chalks, shading etc makes impression on the children.
  • The following should be noted in using pictorial illustrations
  • They must be large and bold
  • They must be accurate but not elaborate
  • They must be self illustrating as much as possible
  • They must be hidden until they are required
  • Verbal Illustrations – These are used exclusively in the absence of both material and pictorial illustrations. Such is the case in some processes in Arithmetic e.g. interest, stock and shares etc in oral and written composition,. Literature, Grammar and civics. Here the use of examples, compositions, contrasts, analogy and so on is most appropriate. The teacher must be careful to see that he does not abuse the use of any of these illustrations among the junior pupils. Material illustrations are very important.

3. Blackboard

The basic visual aid used in most schools is the blackboard and the chalk. It can be used with advantage in the teaching of subjects like Geography, Biology and the first stage of language teaching. Children learn more quickly and surely by fitting words and pictures together.

4. Television

Most programmes will be of practical character with a view to presenting such educational materials as are not normally available in the classroom. The programmes include series of current affairs and science in daily life. In films, projectors, films slides, the object is usually seen and this makes subject matters real and understandable.

5 Cinema

Many studies have been made by the use of cinema, much useful information is presented and the lives of great people are often shown, which gives a good teaching on all subjects where subject matters are shown e.g. History – biographies of great people.

Rural Science – germination of seeds and parts of a flower. Geography – the causes of day and night which is very difficult to learn is made easy because pupils will see the objects moving.

6. Tape Recorder

The tape recorders and the materials are particularly good for teaching English Language e.g. speech training. The tape recorders have grown rapidly in popularity as aid to learning. However, the cost of these equipments has temporarily prohibited their widespread use in the rural and small schools.

Its chief value would appear to be the aid, which it gives in the improvement of oral English. In some classrooms, pupils are benefiting from the reproduction of their speech, class dramatization and musical reproduction.

7. Photographs

These should be mounted for the sake of permanency and catalographs or classified for the sake of convenience. Smaller pictures and photographs may be projected on a screen or passed round the classroom.

Lager pictures and photographs may be displayed to advantage at the front of the classroom. Pictures and photograph have the greatest value for what they are designed to illustrate if used at the time when explanations or comments are being made on them.

8. Charts

Charts represent desirable permanent equipment for teaching purposes. To achieve the best results, they should be in a natural colour, large enough and sufficiently clear to be seen easily from all parts of the classroom.

Good charts may be constructed rapidly by using either of the following methods:-

  • Tracking a magnified image.
  • Using a photograph to magnify a diagram map or sketch, filling filmstrips and slides.

Films, filmstrips and slides should be closely integrated with standard lesson procedure and not used merely as embroidery or entertainment.

For a successful use the teacher should be thoroughly familiar with the filmstrips or slides and should indicate to the class the specific areas to be observed. The relevance of these features to the lesson or lessons should be pointed out.

It is customary to show films without interruption and the showing with discussion. With the answering of questions asked prior to the showing or with the types or recapitulation since filmstrips or slides represent forms of “still pictures frequently, they requires preference by teachers for their flexibility and adaptability.

The Essential characteristics of good visual aids are:-

The pictures, maps and charts should be attractive and with suitable colour

Writing must be large enough and clear enough to be easily read from the back of the class

It must be neat (Pencil lines on board will help).

It is logically arranged, in short, clear steps (a model for exercise book e.g. Mathematics and Geography)

The Charts and posters should be accurate in spacing and planning.

The figures and the letters should be well formed.

Objects and pictures should be big enough for children to see from their sitting places

There should be a great deal of pictures or materials to go round the children if possible

Apparatus must be accurately prepared and be ready before the lesson.

Let all pupils first see any materials or apparatus before individuals or age group can see it

All pictures on the television must be clear and the radio should have a clear sound.

When preparing apparatus, the correct, accurate language and spelling must be considered.

How the Audio Visual Aids Can Be Effectively Used

The following are some suggestions for effective use of audio visual material

  • They should be relevant to the curriculum.
  • They should be previewed or tried out in advance before use in the class.
  • They should be taught, not merely shown. They should be useful not as mere decorations.
  • Provision should be made for definite follow-ups.
  • Records should be kept of the results obtained, evaluation should be made.
  • Too many teaching aids should not be used at a time.
  • The types of materials used should be within the knowledge and experience of children.
  • They should be used in the classrooms or laboratory. Some schools have geography room, history room etc.
  • They should be available when and where needed.
  • All teaching aids should be tactically and technically correct.
  • No one type or materials is best for all living situations. Each has a specific role in order to provide maximum effects.


For effective learning to take place the teacher ought to use audio-visual aids. There are a wide range of these aids ranging from illustrations on the blackboard to the more complex ones such as computers which was not treated in this unit. They all have their relevance depending on the situation. The important thing is that the teacher chooses the right aid and prepare well before the commencement of the class.

Source: School of Education, National Open University of Nigeria



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