What is Instructional Media?
Instructional media encompasses all the materials and physical means an instructor might use
to implement instruction and facilitate students' achievement of instructional objectives. This
may include traditional materials such as chalkboards, handouts, charts, slides, overheads,
real objects, and videotape or film, as well newer materials and methods such as computers,
DVDs, CD-ROMs, the Internet, and interactive video conferencing.
Communications and its importance.
Effective Communication is significant for managers, Proffressionals, Educators, in their
organizations so as to perform the basic functions of management, i.e., Planning, Organizing,
Leading and Controlling.
Communication helps managers to perform their jobs and responsibilities. Communication
serves as a foundation for planning. All the essential information must be communicated to
the managers who in-turn must communicate the plans so as to implement them. Organizing
also requires effective communication with others about their job task. Similarly leaders as
managers must communicate effectively with their subordinates so as to achieve the team
goals. Controlling is not possible without written and oral communication.
Managers devote a great part of their time in communication. They generally devote
approximately 6 hours per day in communicating. They spend great time on face to face or
telephonic communication with their superiors, subordinates, colleagues, customers or
suppliers. Managers also use Written Communication in form of letters, reports or memos
wherever oral communication is not feasible.
Thus, we can say that “effective communication is a building block of successful
organizations”. In other words, communication acts as organizational blood.
The importance of communication in an organization can be summarized as follows:
1. Communication promotes motivation by informing and clarifying the employees
about the task to be done, the manner they are performing the task, and how to
improve their performance if it is not up to the mark.
2. Communication is a source of information to the organizational members for
decision-making process as it helps identifying and assessing alternative course of
3. Communication also plays a crucial role in altering individual’s attitudes, i.e., a well
informed individual will have better attitude than a less-informed individual.
Organizational magazines, journals, meetings and various other forms of oral and
written communication help in molding employee’s attitudes.
4. Communication also helps in socializing. In today’s life the only presence of another
individual fosters communication. It is also said that one cannot survive without
5. As discussed earlier, communication also assists in controlling process. It helps
controlling organizational member’s behavior in various ways. There are various
levels of hierarchy and certain principles and guidelines that employees must follow
in an organization. They must comply with organizational policies, perform their job
role efficiently and communicate any work problem and grievance to their superiors.
Thus, communication helps in controlling function of management.
An effective and efficient communication system requires managerial proficiency in
delivering and receiving messages. A manager must discover various barriers to
communication, analyze the reasons for their occurrence and take preventive steps to avoid
those barriers. Thus, the primary responsibility of a manager is to develop and maintain an
effective communication system in the organization. Communication is one of the most
fundamental and critical requisites for the progressive and harmonious interaction, survival
and development of humanity. It is generally described as the exchange of information
between two or more parties using previous agreed symbols. These symbols include but are
not limited to words, gestures and artistic presentations. It is important to note that human life
in any of its forms is dependent on communication as either a way to help in taking
advantage of opportunities or fighting against threats. Every human being interfaces with his
or her environment through the sensory mechanism (five senses) which captures information.
The sensory mechanism then passes this information to the brain which subsequently
processes it and sends a responsive command to the various body parts for a relevant action
to be taken. This scenario describes a situation where communication is taking place on a
personal level. However interaction, survival and development in business call for cooperation
between and among various individuals who have different backgrounds, hopes and
aspirations. Therefore in order to have a progressive and harmonious interaction between and
among these parties it is important for them to be equipped with communication skills. These
skills help in the quick and effective processing of information and on the same time helps in
identifying and dealing away with communication barriers. A communication barrier denotes
anything that interferes with the effective transfer, exchange and interpretation of information.
When this transfer, exchange and interpretation of information is negatively affected, it means
that a personal or corporate response to opportunities and threats will be slower than
expected. This therefore means that when an individual or an institution takes long to respond
to an opportunity, it highly is likely that the same opportunity will be lost. The same applies
to a slower response to a threat in that when it happens it means that an individual or
institution will succumb to danger. Based on this reasoning it is therefore important to
pinpoint that a communication skills are very vital for adaptation and development of both
individuals and institutions. There are quite a number of specific communication skills that
are considered to be a prerequisite for effective communication to take place and these
include but are not limited to: 1) Clarity 2) Concise 3) Empathy 4) Courteous 5)
Confidence 6) Open Mindedness 7) Feedback 8) Attentiveness
Organization of Appropriate message for Effective Communication:-Effective
communication which is applicable to both written as well as oral communication follows
following seven steps:
1. Completeness - The communication must be complete. It should convey all facts
required by the audience. The sender of the message must take into consideration the
receiver’s mind set and convey the message accordingly. A complete communication
has following features:
Complete communication develops and enhances reputation of an
Moreover, they are cost saving as no crucial information is missing and no
additional cost is incurred in conveying extra message if the communication is
A complete communication always gives additional information wherever
required. It leaves no questions in the mind of receiver.
Complete communication helps in better decision-making by the
audience/readers/receivers of message as they get all desired and crucial
It persuades the audience.
2. Conciseness - Conciseness means wordiness, i.e, communicating what you want to
convey in least possible words without forgoing the other C’s of communication.
Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication has
It is both time-saving as well as cost-saving.
It underlines and highlights the main message as it avoids using excessive and
Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words
to the audience.
Concise message is more appealing and comprehensible to the audience.
Concise message is non-repetitive in nature.
3. Consideration - Consideration implies “stepping into the shoes of others”. Effective
communication must take the audience into consideration, i.e, the audience’s view
points, background, mind-set, education level, etc. Make an attempt to envisage your
audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-
respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm. Modify your
words in message to suit the audience’s needs while making your message complete.
Features of considerate communication are as follows:
Emphasize on “you” approach.
Empathize with the audience and exhibit interest in the audience. This will
stimulate a positive reaction from the audience.
Show optimism towards your audience. Emphasize on “what is possible”
rather than “what is impossible”. Lay stress on positive words such as jovial,
committed, thanks, warm, healthy, help, etc.
4. Clarity - Clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather
than trying to achieve too much at once. Clarity in communication has following
It makes understanding easier.
Complete clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of message.
Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words.
5. Concreteness - Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather
than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. Concrete message
has following features:
It is supported with specific facts and figures.
It makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation.
Concrete messages are not misinterpreted.
6. Courtesy - Courtesy in message implies the message should show the sender’s
expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be
sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. Courteous message has
Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings
of the receiver of the message.
Courteous message is positive and focused at the audience.
It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of message.
It is not at all biased.
7. Correctness - Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical
errors in communication. Correct communication has following features:
The message is exact, correct and well-timed.
If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level.
Correct message has greater impact on the audience/readers.
It checks for the precision and accurateness of facts and figures used in the
It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message.
Awareness of these 7 C’s of communication makes you an effective communicator.
Instructional communication process
In instructional communication, a special contract exists between the teacher and the students
and this requires a necessary condition that makes it mandatory for the teacher to impact
useful knowledge to the students. The students in turn must be given opportunity to practice
what they must learn. Instructional communication is a process of stimulating meanings in
the students. It is specifically designed to broaden and extend the field of experience of a
learner (Heinich, Molenda, and Russell 1989: p.6). It is a relationship, an act of sharing and a
special contract between the learners and their teachers. The major difference between
informational communication (transmission approach) and instructional communication is
that, in the latter, it is important and relevant to build adequate learning activities around the
learners to bring about a desirable change in behavior. This is the major concern of learning.
Learning is an active process that comes from practicing given responses which textbooks
and lectures alone cannot sustain. Therefore, it behooves all teachers to "become aware that
progress in their classrooms comes about not so much from what they teach as from what
their students go about learning; the skills they practice, the problems they solve, the answer
they seek" (Schramm and Roberts, 1974: p 41). In instructional communication, learning can
be enhanced when a program of practice, discussion and individual activities are integrated
into the process of instruction no matter the medium of instruction, whether by radio or
television or other media. Instructional communication may be wasted if the students are not
given the opportunity to practice the useful knowledge that has been imparted to them by the
Types of Instructional Media:- Non Projected Media Photographs, diagrams, displays, and
models Project Media Filmstrips, overhead transparencies, and computer projection Audio
Media Cassettes, CDs, live lectures, broadcast lectures, class discussion, tapes, digital audio,
musical instruments, and audio signals. Motion Media Videos, DVDs, Computer Based
Multimedia and Hypermedia, Networks Related.
The use of media to enhance teaching and learning complements traditional approaches to
learning. Effective instruction builds bridges between students' knowledge and the learning
objectives of the course. Using media engages students, aids student retention of
knowledge, motivates interest in the subject matter, and illustrates the relevance of many
The Advantages of Using Media:
Many media sources (feature films, music videos, visualizations, news stories) have very
high production quality capable of showcasing complex ideas in a short period of time.
This helps develop quantitative reasoning. Learn more about this technique using
the Teaching Quantitative Reasoning with the News module.
Media offers both cognitive and affective experiences. It can provoke discussion, an
assessment of one's values, and an assessment of self if the scenes have strong
The uses of media sources help connect learners with events that are culturally
relevant. As a result, a positive consequence of utilizing media is that instructors must
keep their materials and examples up-to-date.
News stories can be used to connect theories taught in the classroom with real world
events and policies.
The Advantages of Media for Students:
Popular media (films, music, YouTube) are a familiar medium to students that helps gain
attention and maintain student interest in the theories and concepts under discussion.
Students can see the theories and concepts in action. In more than a figurative sense,
theories and concepts leap from the screen.
Students can hone their analytical skills by analyzing media using the theories and
concepts they are studying.
The use of media in the classroom enables students to see concepts and new
examples when they are watching television, listening to music, or are at the movies
Students can experience worlds beyond their own, especially if the media is sharply
different from their local environment.
In addition to numerous advantages, there are also a number of cautions that faculty should
keep in mind in utilizing media. Using media requires a complete understanding of copyright
law, an appreciation of the workload involved, and some skill in recognizing content that will
enhance learning, instead of becoming a distraction. Media can be used in direct instruction,
active learning teaching strategies and student projects.
Role of Media in Instruction:
Media can serve many roles in the instructional process. Understanding the purpose of
media, effective planning of instruction and systematic evaluation of media will enable the
teachers to make a careful selection of media to use for instruction. A media format is the
physical form in which a message is incorporated and displayed. Media formats include
flipcharts, slides, audio, video, and computer multimedia. Each has different strengths and
limitations in terms of the types of messages that can be recorded and displayed.
The purpose of the media selection process is to determine the best media for a given
instructional situation. To determine the most appropriate media for their needs, instructors
must evaluate the objectives, the content, and the learner. Many instructional programs may
be combinations of the methods of communicating messages to learners. Since, media is only
a distribution system for delivering various messages and representations to learners, each
strategy mentioned below places the learner and teacher in a different role.
The role of media for instructor-directed instructional situations is for supplemental support
of the live instructor in the classroom. In other words, media is used to enhance the live
instruction. It is most effective when the instructor explains the media and relates them to
instructional objectives. In this method an instructor relates and disseminates information to
learners. This takes shape in the lecture format, educational television, and various computer
The concept of advanced organizers has developed and is intended to create a mindset for
reception of instruction. Advance organizers can help ensure that media play an appropriate
role as a supplemental supporter of instruction. However, media effectiveness still depends
on the instructor competencies.
Instructor-Independent Instruction: - In this method of instruction, objectives and
guidance for achieving the objectives, materials, and self-evaluation are provided
through packaged media, which is supposed to be self-sufficient. This type of media contains
instructions, explanations, and/or guidance and should be well designed for a target
audience. In informal educational settings, trainees at the worksite or at home can use media
such as videocassettes and computer courseware. In some instances an instructor may be
available for consultation via telephone.
Media Portfolios: A portfolio is a collection of student work that illustrates growth over a
period of time. Portfolios often include such media as student produced illustrated books,
videos, and audiovisual presentations. Many educators who feel that standardized
assessments and conventional paper and pencil assessments are frustrating are having
students demonstrate their achievements by compiling portfolios of their work. The idea of
portfolio assessment is to measure student’s achievements by their ability to create tangible
products exemplifying their accomplishments in terms of analysis, synthesis, and
evaluation. The rationale of many educators is that assessment of portfolios gives a truer,
more rounded view of a learner’s strengths and weaknesses.
Thematic instruction is the organization of a curriculum around themes or anchors. Thematic
instruction integrates basic disciplines like reading, math, and science with the exploration of
a broad subject, such as communities, rain forests, river basins, the use of energy, and so
on. Thematic instruction is based on the idea that people acquire knowledge best when
learning in the context of a coherent "whole," and when they can connect what they're
learning to the real world.
Thematic instruction seeks to put the teaching of cognitive skills such as reading,
mathematics, science, and writing in the context of a real-world subject that is both specific
enough to be practical, and broad enough to allow creative exploration.
1. Choosing a theme: - Themes often involve a large, integrated system (such as a city, an
ecosystem, and so on) or a broad concept (such as democracy, weather, and so on).
Instructors often strive to connect the theme to the students' everyday life. In some cases,
students participate in choosing the theme or themes.
2. Designing the integrated curriculum: - The teachers involved must organize the
learning objectives of their core curriculum (both process skills and content knowledge)
around the theme. In the study of a river basin, for instance, math might involve
calculating water flow and volume; social studies could look at the nature of river
communities; science might study phenomena like weather and floods; and literature
could study books and novels that focus on rivers, such as the works of Mark Twain. The
initial design requires considerable work on the part of teachers. Again, sometimes
students help design the curriculum.
3. Designing the instruction: - This usually involves making changes to the class
schedule, combining hours normally devoted to specific topics, organizing field trips,
teaching in teams, bringing in outside experts, etc.
4. Encouraging presentation and celebration: - Because thematic instruction is often
project-oriented, it frequently involves students giving collective presentations to the rest
of the school or the community. Plus, students commonly create extensive visual
The distinguishing characteristic of distance education is the separation of teacher and
student during the learning process. The media may be primarily print, as in traditional
courses, however it covers a wide set of applications and processes such as web-based
learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. It includes
the delivery of content via Internet, intranet/extranet, audio and videotape, satellite, and CD-
Education for Exceptional Students: - Media play an important role in the education of
students with exceptionalities. Adapted and specially designed media can contribute
enormously to effective instruction of all students and can help achieve at their highest
potential regardless of their innate abilities.
Individuals with disabilities such as mental retardation need highly structured learning
situations because their prior knowledge and ability to incorporate messages into mental
constructs is limited. Students who are hearing impaired, blind, or visually impaired require
different kinds of learning materials.
Gifted and talented students can use videotape and other media to explore topics beyond or in
addition to that covered by other students in the class. They can also use the Internet to search
for information related to topics being covered in class or for their own personal interests and