Cover Image
close this bookOral Rehydration Therapy and the Control of Diarrheal Diseases (Peace Corps, 1985, 566 pages)
close this folderModule Six: Community health education
close this folderSession 17 - Selecting and using visual aids to promote CDD
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentHandout 17A: Ways visual aids help people learn and remember
View the documentHandout 17B: Why pictures fail to convey ideas
View the documentHandout 17C: Design considerations
View the documentHandout 17D: Using pictures to communicate effectively
View the documentTrainer Attachment 17A: Why use visual aids?
View the documentTrainer Attachment 17B: Villagers teaching us to teach them
View the documentTrainer Attachment 17C: Examples of a teaching situations

Handout 17A: Ways visual aids help people learn and remember

Figures 1-5

1. Visual aids can make something small look larger. A large picture of the inner ear can help students study the small parts. A drawing or poster of an egg and sperm help learners understand what these things look like. Because the pictures are much larger than real life. learners can study thee carefully.

2. Visual aids help us compare the similarities and differences between two things. Show your earners pictures of two similar objects side by side, and they can loot at the pictures and identify which things are the same and which are different.

The illustration here shows the drawings one nursing school instructor uses to teach her students about the differences in appearance of children with kwashiorkor and children with marasmus. She uses the pictures to help them learn the basic information, and then takes them to the clinic to see real children with these conditions.

3. Visual aids are an excellent wag to show the steps to follow in doing a task. Mr. Kamwengu, a nurse tutor, uses a series of pictures like the ones here to teach his students how to take temperatures.

4. Pictures can show how something changes or grows. One picture can show all the changes which take place. These kinds of pictures are good for showing how something happens. The example here shows how blood flukes spread schistosomiasis.

5. Visual aids can help learning by providing a basis for discussion. Most of the time, you want to be sure that everyone who looks at your visual aid will understand the same message. But sometimes it is valuable to use a visual aid which can be interpreted in more than one way.

You could use this picture as the bests for a discussion by asking, "What do you think this picture is about?". Often this is the only question you will need to ask. To keep the discussion going, you might ask other questions such as the ones below.

- Who are these peoples
- What is happening in the picture?
- How do the people feel about it?

You can use other pictures like this one to start discussions in which the learners explore their own needs, feelings, attitudes, and expectations. For learners who will be doing any counseling, this knowledge and discussion of their prejudices and feelings is very important.

Pictures like this are also useful in community health word. A group discussion helps you learn quickly how the villagers feel about many things, and what problems need to be solved in the community.

Discussing their interpretations of pictures encourages people to observe, think and question carefully and critically.

Figure 6

6. You can also use visual aids to review or test your learners to see if they really understand. After instruction, you can ask learners to identify or explain parts of a picture or other visual aid.

Flannel boards are very good for this kind of review, and learners seem to enjoy the activity. The community health worker in the picture here uses a folded blanket wrapped around a piece of wood as a flannel board. She has been teaching the village women about nutrition, using the flannel board as she talked about food groups. Afterward, she asks her learners to come up and place each food in its proper group on the board.

Figure 7

7. Visual aids can provide information when the trainer cannot be present. You cannot a ways be present when someone needs to ask you about something. Sometimes you have other work you must do or you must be somewhere else.

For example, Mrs. Macalou directs a community health clinic. She has one nurse's aid working for her full time. Mrs. Macalou needed to make time to see more clients at the clinic.

Mrs. Macalou made a poster to put over the table where clients check into the clinic. The poster shows the steps her aide should go through in taking a client's history and recording the person's complaint.

Now when her aide comes to work, she can help Mrs. Macalou by seeing all of the clients first. If Mrs. Macalou must be out of the clinic, the aide can still record the client's history and complaint.

Mrs. Macalou can come back to the clinic look at the histories, and decide quickly which patients need to be seen first.

Figure 8

8. Visual aids can show people something they can't see in real life. The section on how visual Aids can make small things look larger mentioned that visual aids help learners see things such as cells, which are impossible to see unless you use a microscope because they are too small.

Sometimes it is impossible to see things in real life for other reasons as well.

Sometimes a visual aid is useful to show something that cannot be seen because it is inside the body.

Mrs. Hasan is a community health worker. She uses diagrams like the ones here to teach traditional birth attendants about the different positions the baby can have in the womb.

She discusses the pictures with the traditional birth attendants. Then she shows them how to feel the womb of a pregnant woman for the baby's head and buttocks.

You can also use visual aids to show your learners things which are impossible to visit in real life. You can show them pictures of an activity- in a village which is too far away for them to visit. The nurse in the picture here has used drawings to make a display which she can use in clinic presentations.


Some other examples of how visual Aids can show us things that are impossible to see in real life are:

- a nursing instructor uses a series of pictures when explaining the growth of the fetus
- a nurse/midlife uses a paper cut-out held against her body to show mothers what the womb looks like and where it is located in the body.

Figure 9

9. Making their own visual Aids is very useful in helping learners discover solutions to problems. When learners make their own Aids and Discover the answers for themselves, learning becomes an adventure. When people are having fun learning, they remember what they learn.

Mothers and children can learn about diarrhea and dehydration by making their own "baby". from clay, tin cans, plastic bottles, or gourds. They can experiment with the principle of rehydration by pouring water into the "baby" and mending the different holes with "food."

Figure 10

10. Visual Aids can make a difficult idea easier to understand. they do this by showing familiar people and things which illustrate the idea.

For example, suppose a nurse is counselling a family about the benefits of child spacing. She tells the family how child spacing means better health for the mother and for the children. But this is a new idea to the family. It is difficult to understand, because they do not know any other families who use child-spacing.

So the nurse shows the family some pictures which compare child spacing to the spacing of crops. Then the family begins to understand, They know from their experience that crops grow better if they are not planted too close together.

(From: Teaching and Learning With Visual Aids. pp.29-41)