| Tools for teaching - A visual aids workshop, and instruction manual for health educators |
|Session 1. Introduction to the visual aids workshop|
1) Post the prepared list showing the 12 steps of the design process.
2) Ask each workshop participant to read (in sequence) and explain one step of the design process. Encourage discussion amongst all participants to be sure that everyone understands each step of the process. Clarify each step and explain how it will be handled in the course of the workshop.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
• ANALYZE AND DEFINE THE PROBLEM
What is the problem? What are its causes? What are its symptoms? How is it related to other factors in the environment/lifestyle of the people affected? How does the target audience perceive the problem?
• IDENTIFY THE TARGET AUDIENCE
Whom does the problem affect? Adults? Children? Infants? A particular vocational group? Who has control over the problem? (e.g. Infants are completely dependent on their parents, particularly the mother; a school child has some measure of control over his/her behavior and environment but is still answerable to the parents; employers frequently control the working environment; independent adults are capable of making their own decisions, etc.)
• COMPOSE A SINGLE-ITEM MESSAGE
Too much information all at once is confusing. Decide what it is you want to say, and say it simply and directly. You can always go back to the barrio another day and discuss another-aspect of the problem.
• BRAINSTORM CONCEPTS
The idea here is to generate as many solutions as possible without worrying about feasibility. Be as silly or as outrageous as you want. You can evaluate the idea later. And frequently "far-out" ideas will trigger some very possible solutions. This exercise is best done in a group. Do not spend more than 10 minutes on it.
• EVALUATE AND SELECT
Now, go back and evaluate your ideas in terms of logistical and economic feasibility, appropriateness, etc. Feel free to modify the ideas as you go along. If you have generated 10 or 12 ideas, you should be able to select one or two that are realistically possible.
• DEVELOP IDEA
Make several small "thumbnail" sketches showing scale, color, copy, etc. Make a rough outline of your proposed presentation. How will you use your visual aid to stimulate maximum audience participation? If you contemplate using more than one visual in your presentation, (e.g. sequence posters, flip chart, flannelboard activity, etc.) or you are planning a performance such as a puppet show or role play, make a "story board" indicating sequence and accompanying narration or dialogue.
• SHARE YOUR IDEA - ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Frequently we become so involved with our ideas that we can no longer see or judge them objectively. We need to get other opinions. An integral part of developing an effective visual aid is continuing evaluation. Show your rough sketches and outline to your friends, your family, your professional colleagues. Explain the problem you are trying to solve and ask how your visual aid and/or presentation strategy can be improved. In this workshop we will present our initial ideas and rough sketches to the group-at-large for evaluative feedback.
• MODIFY DESIGN/CONCEPT
It is often said that the only difference between an amateur and a professional is that the professional is willing to use the wastebasket. Amateurs tend to consider their creative efforts as something precious. Having spent several hours developing their ideas and drawing them up, amateurs are usually reluctant to make changes. Professionals expect to revise their ideas a number of times before coming up with the final solution. Please try to be open-minded about your design. Listen and pay attention to the feedback of your peers. Modify/ refine your design/presentation strategy accordingly. Remember that when someone makes a suggestion regarding your idea, it is not a personal criticism. We all need this kind of objective evaluation in order to develop visual aids and educational strategies that are truly effective. Chances are good that you will have to rework your design and/or presentation strategy at least once more following your community pretest.
• COMPLETE FINISHED ARTWORK/PRESENTATION SCRIPT
Gather all your tools and supplies necessary to complete the project. Work in a clean, well-lighted room.
• TEST WITH SAMPLE AUDIENCE
We will pretest each of our projects in the community with a sample audience. We will explain to them that we are developing visual aids for health education and ask that they assist us by participating in the presentation, and by sharing their responses to the learning materials and teaching strategies with us.
• OBSERVE AUDIENCE RESPONSE - ASK FOR AUDIENCE RESPONSE
One member of the presentation team should act as an observer, making notes with respect to interest shown, level of audience participation, and the facilitator's role. At the end of the presentation, the audience should be asked what they thought about the presentation and why. Ask how the visual material and/or presentation technique could be improved. Be careful about the manner in which you solicit your information. People have a tendency to tell us what they think we want to hear, particularly when they perceive us as being in a position of authority. Avoid questions that can be answered YES or NO. Let the people know that you really need their help and ask open-ended questions that can be answered in terms of opinions, feelings, and explanations.
• MODIFY VISUAL AID AS REQUIRED
Revise your visual aid and/or presentation strategy as indicated by the community pretest.