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Purpose and Importance of Various Learning Resources in Teaching and Imparting Education

Task:

Write the Report:

a) Explain the purpose of resources in teaching and learning

b) Evaluate the effectiveness of specific resources in meeting individual learning needs in teaching and learning contexts

c) Analyse principles of resource design

d) Analyse how theories, principle and models of inclusive curriculum design in informing resource development

e) Evaluate sources of resource development

f) Design resources, including emerging technology

g) Employ resources

h) Analyse Ways in which resources can be adapted to enable inclusive approach

i) Reflecting on your pratice, identify your areas of strengths in developing and using resources and areas you need to improve on.




Answer

TASK: REPORT ON THE LEARNING RESOURCES

Introduction

Learning resources are primarily any tool that facilitates the process of learning for both the teachers and the students. Learning resources in contemporary times are more than outdated study materials and its effectiveness is dominated by the variation in the teaching process and innovative learning materials. Every individual has its own learning needs and learning style. In a similar manner, every teacher uses different teaching and learning resources that indicates towards the effectiveness of the teaching process. This report attempts to shed light upon different teaching and learning resources during the teaching practice in the time of the teacher training. Along with the purpose of the resources, this report also present a detailed analysis of different learning and teaching techniques and resources in order to understand the effectiveness of using different innovative learning resources.


Purpose of resources in teaching and learning

Learning resources are often considered as educational materials for instance long and tedious printed classroom textbooks with outdated information and content which can primarily covers the breadth of any particular subject but it often fails to cover the depth of the subject. Learning resources are more than that and it can be summed up as various tools that provide the teachers with the opportunity of teaching effectively in order to offer an easier learning process to the students (Savery, 2015).


Teaching materials or learning resources are designed mainly to support teaching and learning in different contexts. The major purpose of learning and teaching resources is to provide a source of learning experience that is effective enough to invoke interaction among students and teachers in the learning or teaching process (Savery, 2015). An effective learning resource has the ability of helping the students in the learning process and broaden the learning experience of the students along with meeting the learning needs of the students. 


Effective usage of proper learning resources help the students to construct more than superficial knowledge that is building in depth knowledge on a particular subject and also developing their individual learning strategies, values, attitudes and generic skills. It is important to use proper learning resources in the teaching process in order to build a solid foundation for lifelong learning.


Effectiveness of specific resources in meeting individual learning needs in teaching and learning context

Classification of learning and teaching resources

In this age of technological advancement learning and teaching resources are not confined to textbooks and they are available in several different forms like reference books, workbooks, worksheets, web-based learning  materials, computer based learning, structured coursework and audio-visual teaching aids. Libraries and learning communities also serve as effective tools in the natural environment of learning (Savery, 2015). Specific learning resources have their own credibility in meeting individual learning needs and few of the effective resources that are used in the senior secondary curriculum are evaluated below in order understand their individual effectiveness.


  • Textbooks

Textbooks are considered to be the primary learning resource that provides the learners core elements of learning in the subjects that are recommended by the Curriculum Development Council. Selection of the textbooks is an important process as textbooks are mainly used as the primary tool to develop the critical and creative perspective of the students along with their other generic skills thorough activities and information provided in the textbooks. 

Experts have opined that quality textbooks have the ability to assist the teachers by providing a one stop shop for the aiding materials that are helpful in planning the scope and sequence of their teaching (Savery, 2015).

Selecting appropriate textbooks is important for effective learning and the following guidelines need to be followed:

  1. It is of sheer significance that the selected textbook is in line with the aims and objectives of the curriculum and contains the core elements of the curriculum.
  2. A textbook needs to be potent enough so that it can provide the students with a range of materials at several difficulty levels and increase their ability of problem solving along with developing different perspectives in them.
  3. It also needs to enhance the generic skills and motivate the students by stimulating curiosity regarding the subject.
  4. The primary education offered by the textbook broadens the scope of will of further learning among the learners. It also brings forth the scope of individual learning and encourage self-access.


Apart from the primary learning resources the table below sheds light on the resources that can be used in teaching the learners in an outdoor environment.

Resource

Meeting individual learning needs
Worksheet
e.g. measuring the velocity of train
-This learning resource is effective as it can be adapted   to suit the individual learning needs of the students such as dyslexia.
-This can also be discussed in order to suit the aural   learning preferences.
-Provides the opportunity for the learners to include   their own notes on the sheet.-Can be performed individually and in groups. Therefore it   provides a chance for individual learning as well as ability of team work in   a group.
ID guides
-Supports the preferences of visual learning.
-Different ID guides meet different learning needs in   accordance to its design.-Extra time for individual learning can be provided.
The natural environment
-More interesting to suit the learners who find the   classroom learning tedious and boring
-Increase the concentration of the learners facing issues   regarding concentrating in a confined classroom.
-Suits a range of learning preferences-Provides a new learning experience to the learners.
Community resources 
-Enriches learning experience of the students
-Builds the ability to learn via listening activities-Enhances practical knowledge of the students.


Principles of resource design

Learning resource design is a design of learning experience. The primary purpose of resource designing is to support a particular learning goal or objective or in order o address a defined challenge or problem in a particular learning environment (Beetham and Sharpe, 2013). Effective learning design is a result of productive collaboration among the content experts, learning practitioners and learners. Learning resource designing is guided by few principles and they are;

  • Respect

The prime motif of this principle is to honour the intention, experience and expertise of the teacher and help one to achieve the goals by leveraging used learning resources.

  • Iteration

It primarily indicates small step development along with early and frequent feedbacks. This is necessary in order t provide a resource design that supports in achieving the goals.

  • Collaboration

Collaboration is supported through clear roles, documentation and decision making principles.

  • Efficiency and effectiveness

In order to learn from the resources in is important to develop focus along with that provide the learners with usable resources as quickly as possible.

  • Sustainability

Sustainability of any learning design or project is dependent on the consideration.


Usage of theories, principle and models of inclusive curriculum design in informing resource development

According to Dale’s Cone of Learning, it has been proved that the learners retain more information by doing or performing an activity rather than hearing, reading or observing. For outdoor practitioners it is important to incorporate the moot principles of this theory as it facilitates the process of providing several opportunities for the outdoor learners to participate in various activities in order to increase their practical learning through ‘doing’ rather than reading and hearing (Prosser and Trigwell, 1999). For examples, learners can read or have a basic knowledge of habitats but it is important for their lifelong learning to experience the habitat and it helps in retaining their knowledge and also invokes their curious spirit. Experiencing a habitat like woodland and participating in the learning experiences and activities that are associated with the specific habitat can result in long lasting remembrance of the particular lesson. The following figure helps in understanding the effectiveness on Dale’s Cone of Learning and Experience.


Figure 1: Cone of Learning

Source: (Savery, 2015)

The teaching and learning cycle is consisted of identifying learning needs of the students, plan and designing the lesson, delivering, assess and evaluation. The theory of Inclusive Curriculum as defined by John Kerr is all the learning processes which are planned and guided by any educational institutions whether it is carried on in groups or individually and it can be applied to both inside and outside the institution (Savery, 2015). Curriculum theory is considered to be successful approach in the light of Aristotle’s influential classification of knowledge into three different disciplines, which are the theoretical, the practical and the productive.

Figure 2: different disciplines

Source: (self developed)

In higher education the term curriculum and programme are used interchangeably and it is used in order to indicate the following:

  • The structure and content of a unit or a subject
  • The structure and content of a programme of a study
  • The experience of the students of learning
  • A dynamic and interactive process of learning and teaching


Sources of resource development

In a particular or specialized area in order to inform resource development, it is important to evaluate the sources that are associated with resource development (Savery, 2015). The first step of the process is to identify the sources. 

Identification of resources

  • Awarding body
  • Industry
  • Colleagues
  • Institutional 
  • Online teaching resources


Criteria for evaluating the resources

Learning resources can be evaluated using the technique CRAAP which indicates currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose (Lage, Platt and Treglia, 2000). 

This is an effective technique as it provides a scope for necessary evaluation of the learning resources. It is important to analyze the timeliness of a particular information in order to provide current and revised information to the learners (César and Santos, 2006). Te next step is to evaluate the relevance of the information. As there are many learning resources and they often vary from one other, it is important to analyze the relevance of the resource along with the source of the information. After the authority it is important to judge the accuracy of the information in order to understand the reliability, correctness and truthfulness of the content. The last step is to understand the purpose of the information that indicates the reason behind the existence of the information.


Designing resources 

In order to design a learning resource it is important to consider the curriculum, ID framework and the technological specifications. In order to understand the design of the learning resource used in the teaching process following table has been provided.

Climate 
Identification of the learners 
Assessment style 
Learning tasks 
Instructional   strategies 
-Inclusive
-Stimulating
-Challenging
-Complex
-questioning
-learning styles 
-thinking styles of the students
-traditional assessment style
-authentic assessment
-assessment based on learning needs of the learners 
-group activities
-pairing activities
-presentation
-small groups
-individual tasks 
-cooperative learning
-culturally relevant and responsive-responsive to the learning styles of the individuals  

 

The following figure presents the designing process of the learning resource for a particular learning material.                                


Figure 3: development of resource

Source: (self generated)

Employment of resources

One of the most effective learning resource that can help in enhancing the classroom learning experience of the students is incorporating multimedia resources (Lacey, 2001). In the classroom teaching employing a particular learning resource needs to be done carefully in accordance with the identified learning needs of the students. Employing this particular resource in the classroom learning activity suits with the learning needs of the maximum learners and it has following advantages in the learning of the students:

  • It is flexible and easily adaptable by the learners and most of the learners have gained advantage of this learning resource.
  • It provides the students with multi-sensory experience
  • It connects the learners and increases the possibility of the learners and the teachers.


Ways of adapting resources to enable inclusive approach

Inclusive teaching and learning indicate towards the modes of learning and teaching which are designed in order to actively engage and include the students in the classroom activities. In order to enable inclusive approach following learning resources can b adapted.

  • Including diverse content, materials and ideas in the lectures and classroom discussions especially incorporating various examples, socio-cultural contexts and images (Lacey, 2001).
  • Selecting topics and materials that enhances the group work which helps in building active cooperation and communication in the classroom (Brooks et al, 2010).
  • Modelling openness in classroom discussion is also important. It is also helpful in broadening the knowledge of the teacher.
  • Encourage students to question and motivate them in order to broaden their domain of knowledge.
  • Establishing a learning environment that is inclusive and full of collaboration.


Reflection of my practice

As far as my teaching practice is concerned, in my practice active use and employment of multimedia resources in the classroom activity has increased my possibility to capture the attention of the students. Along with that, I have also emphasized on the outdoor learning process which has widened the scope for including natural environment as one of the best learning resources. 


Based on the reaction of the students and their feedbacks i have identified my strengths and weakness in developing and using learning resources which has been illustrated in the following table.

strengths
Weakness
-Identifying useful resources
-Evaluating the validity of information based on the   origin of the resource
-Understanding the application of a particular resource   design
-Identifying the learning needs of the students and   employing resources accordingly
-Interacting effortlessly with the students
-Using current technology in employing multimedia   resources in the classroom.


Conclusion

In the light of the above report various learning designs that have been used in the teaching process have been evaluated which has helped in the understanding of my own strengths and weakness as a teacher.



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