Students and teachers need the right material to be working effectively towards their goals. More often than not, students and teachers usually use the same materials for studying and teaching respectively. This makes sure that the students and teachers are on the same page. However, this brings up an important question - how do you choose your study material, and more importantly, what makes a piece of study material the right one?
Here are a few indications you can use to make that decision:
Make Sure it Covers Your Syllabus
The study material you use should have all the information contained in the syllabus. Before selecting a particular textbook or PDF to study, go through your curriculum. Cross-check if every topic in the syllabus has been covered by the study material you have selected. This is not a necessity, but it would be easier for you as a teacher as well as a student to use a single source. This makes it easier, but sometimes the syllabus is too vast to have it in one place. However, that being said, most textbooks at school and college levels have all the information you need in one place, so it won’t be very difficult.
Language plays a very important role in teaching and learning. The study material you choose must be such that it is easy to understand. You might have already seen this phenomenon in the public domain - a lot of people generally prefer using a textbook written by an Indian author rather than a foreign author. This is because the Indian author will have an idea about how Indians think and act collectively and therefore use simple down-to-earth language that connects with people easier.
If you are looking for study material, chances are you are looking for it to crack an exam or clear your formal education. Therefore, try to find study material that has just the right amount of content for that purpose. This might seem counterintuitive at first - why would you want to lessen the amount of content you study if it is a competitive exam? However, on the contrary, this actually helps because it makes sure that you don’t waste your time studying topics that are out of the syllabus and instead focus on just what is required.
Try to use study material that has a lot of pictorial representation of what you are studying or teaching. For example, if the subject is biology, there are a lot of things that need to be visualized like the internal organs, animals, plants, microscope samples, etc. It not only helps the viewer understand the concept better but also helps remember the same better too.
Every textbook that is in constant circulation will release newer updated versions of them. This change is prompted by the change in the syllabus from time to time. Before choosing your study material, make sure that you are following the study material that is up to date with the latest syllabus and has all of the information you need.
Accuracy of Information
The study material you choose should have the most accurate data on the subject you are studying or teaching. Teachers can delineate the difference as they have more experience in their respective fields and therefore can make the right choice. However, all students as well as some newly appointed teachers would need some help in determining which material would be best for their teaching and learning experience.
People remember what they learn better when they first have an outline of what they have to study before they begin. Content optimization is paramount when it comes to choosing study material because it helps the students and teachers get a clearcut picture of how to go about learning or teaching the content. The study material needs to therefore be optimized in such a way that the content is split into logical divisions understandable by the reader so that the concept is easily understood.
Choosing the right study material can be quite taxing, both for students as well as for teachers. However, it is absolutely vital to a mutually beneficial learning-teaching experience. Above all, the most effective way to find the best study material is to ask your peers or seniors. This would be easiest because they are still in the system and updating themselves about it, so asking them would logically be the best way to know what the right study material would be to study or learn.