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How tutors can help students learn more effectively with the right visual materials

Adding more relevant visual materials (in a variety of forms) helped students with studying and memorizing new information.

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What makes up a tutor who tries their best? It’s difficult to answer, right? On the one hand, good communication skills and a sense of humor can help you relieve tensity in classroom situations and establish a tight bond with your students. On the other hand, communication skills alone don’t work without understanding various tutoring strategies and having the ability to apply them to appropriate contexts. 

Hence, in tutoring, just like in life, success lies in choosing the right approach and sticking to it. 

By the way, did you know that 65% or students are visual learners? They learn, memorize, and perform better when teachers incorporate the elements of visual learning into their practice. Today we’ll explain how you can help students learn more effectively with the right visual materials. Below find the 5 handy guidelines that will set you on the road to success as a tutor. 

1. Experiment with presentation 

Words never say enough. There is a significant difference between the way verbal and visual explanations work in tutoring. Visual scenarios map thoughts better than wordy sentences. In addition, they serve as a basis for inference, which clearly shows relations between numbers, objects, chronology, etc. For this reason, you should experiment with the use of different presentation scenarios.

Instead of reading a boring story from a history book, turn it into an informative ebook, presentation, poster or graph. This will stimulate your students to comprehend the material better. Don't know where to find enough interesting and authentic visuals? Check popular websites with stock photos to find the illustrations for topics you want to cover. For instance, we had a great discussion oh how money is being represented on photos modern media and what stereotypes are being seen through wedding photography. The ones with regularly updates content usually provide paid services, but often give packages to schools, non-profits and media for free. 

2.   Keep up with the animation trends

Using pictures is good, but that’s no longer enough for satisfying an average millennial learner. This tech-savvy generation tends to rely on less traditional learning methods, which include animation, podcasting, and video.

Needless to say, turning stories into animations is quite a challenge for an average tutor. But with the tools listed below, you can save a lot of time and hassle:

  • Powtoons/Tellagami for animation

It’s time to add a pinch of novelty to your PowerPoint slides. Powtoons is a great tool for creating cartoonish characters, while Tellagami is more suitable for making animated avatars more life-like. Choose what suits you and your students best.

  • Mobile Podcaster/Audacity for podcasting

Want to record your lectures and turn them into mp3 format? It’s easy with Mobile Podcaster. Just press a record on your mobile - and the app will instantly publish it where needed with a range of sharing options available. If you are using PC or Mac, try out Audacity. This is a free software that allows you to record audio files, compress their size, turn them into mp3 files, and share them easily through iTunes.

  • WeVideo/iMovie for video production

WeVideo is an easy-to-use tool for video editing and sharing. Important to mention, its web version is available anywhere on the Internet, not depending on your device. If you are a Mac user, then iMovie is also a good option to consider. This handy tool includes a bunch of video templates which you can edit literally on the fly.

3. Make complex things simple

If you need to explain a complex piece of information in a clear and quick manner, you should turn it into an infographic or chart. It’s no secret that a good infographic if designed properly can transform your story into a message to remember. Translating large volumes of technical, historical or mathematical data into visual aids can seriously boost the efficiency of the learning process, especially at the very beginning.

Don’t worry - there’s no need for hiring a freelance graphic designer to get your engaging infographics done. Many tools out there can help you visualize information for a variety of educational purposes. 

Some services offer a wide range of ready-made infographic templates, using which you can design beautiful-looking reports, timelines, and processes descriptions on the fly. On Udemy and Coursera, you can even pass the crash course in design to become an infographics PRO if you want. 

Now let’s return to the question we asked at the very beginning. What makes up a tutor who tries their best? Knowledge, skills, creativeness or all of them?

Tutors often seem to be in a rush, as they have a lot of things to do not having enough time to get them done. Instead of running from one tutoring strategy to another, think of yourself as a coach. Don’t get caught up in demonstrating your knowledge - focus on passing it to your students. 

Good teachers don’t show off their knowledge. They don’t play the game for students. Instead of telling and explaining too much, they help students to develop skills they essentially need to play the game on their own.

Over to you

Now you know what visual elements in learning are designed for. Using them, you can make things understandable without explaining too much. 

Hopefully, the list of handy tools presented above will help you succeed as a tutor. Good luck!

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