I. Printed book materials
Printed books and booklets have certain distinctive qualities which give them a position of pre-eminence among basic literacy and neo-literacy materials. They are as follows:
a) Books can actively help in self-education. Most other educational materials need help of other agents or educational aids. The learners use books and booklets at their own time, place and convenience, even repeatedly if necessary. They can become a part of the reader's life.
A booklet designed for neo-literates is made of approx. 12-32 pages, depending primarily upon literacy level of target readers and contents of booklet. Booklets should feature:
(a) a well-ordered, easily understood series of explanations, or
Guidelines for Booklet Writing
Functions and Objectives
Make a decision as to what the functions of the booklet will be to achieve the set objectives. This will serve as a guide in the selection of content, learning activities, teaching strategies and evaluation techniques.
(1) Select content that will achieve the objectives.
(1) Address the booklet to the learner.
(2) Make use Of talented artists and writers (attractive illustrations, lead paragraph, etc.) to motivate the learner and provide an overview of what he will learn.
(3) Use different methods to make it interesting. A combination of discovery technique (including laboratory method, problem-solving) and expository method (including demonstration method) seems to provide better results than the utilization of one technique.
(4) Sequence the materials according to:
a) learner's literacy level and manner of learning
(5) Provide for maximum transfer of learning
a) developing subordinate concepts/processes/skills before higher order concepts/processes/skills
(6) Develop learning sequences. From the content on real life situations as basis, it should follow a sequence to more abstract concepts, etc.
(7) Provide reinforcement exercises leading to feelings of reward and satisfaction, mastery, retention and added insights in attacking a problem.
(8) Provide for the development of critical thinking through repeated exposures to problem-solving situations.
(9) Use visual materials as much as possible to reinforce concepts and/or processes.
(10) Provide activities and references for extended reading and wider research.
(11) Consider the readability level of the materials. The vocabulary and sentence length should be suited to the literacy level of the learners.
(1) Use illustrations and captions that appeal to the learners.
(1) Prepare instruments for evaluations of the materials based on the objectives of each unit/chapter.
Practical Process of Developing Booklets
1. Development of Theme/Content
The theme of the booklet requires skillful handling. After having identified the problem and the suggested solutions it has to be woven in such a way that the reader is not at the receiving end but can identify herself/himself with the characters of the booklets.
(a) Logically ordered explanation makes content easy to understand. (Even complex content can be made understandable through logical theme development.)
i) "How-to" booklets-handicrafts, live-stock raising, etc.
(b) Presenting the information in an interest-generating story is effective. (Difficult information can be conveyed in a pleasant, captivating manner.)
(c) Based on contents' decide upon one of the following two types of booklets:
i) primarily illustrations, with text playing a complementary role (mainly for beginners)
2. Content Arrangement
(1) List items comprising content of selected theme.
3. Script Preparation
(1) Begin writing text (or have designated writer begin) from the outline.
a) Sentences should be as short as possible.
(2) At this stage, decide upon the length of the booklet.
(3) It is useful to prepare a "dummy" of the booklet in smaller size with actual number of pages.
(4) In script writing, try to get co-operations of able writers who can write imaginative and interesting stories. Too simple or too technical stories cannot attract the interests of the learners.
(5) Script preparation and illustration should proceed together.
(1 ) Choose type of illustrations to fit the topic of the booklet.
e.g. humourous illustrations
(2) Illustration progression based on outline drawn up by script preparation staff.
(3) The effectiveness of literacy materials is said to be determined by the quality of their illustrations.
Characteristics of illustrations for use with literacy materials are as follows. (applicable to all formats)
High quality illustration should be used for best possible visual effect. Furthermore, full cooperation on subject matter and issue(s) addressed in the materials from illustrator(s) fully aware of subject matter and the issue(s) addressed is crucial.
The following points should be kept in mind when illustrating materials for neo-literates:
a) Illustrations should be attractive, interesting, enjoyable.
Materials production staff(s), author of text, and illustrator(s) should maintain close contact, consulting each other as the job progresses. This allows the content of the booklet to be presented most effectively as a coordinated production of text and illustration.
Photographs can also be effectively used in literacy materials.
5. Arrangement and Editing
(1) Make copies (photocopy, if possible) of illustrations and try writing the text on those pages.
- Are there no contradictions?
(4) Check each page for coordination between text and illustrations.
a) Ensure that not too many sentences are related to any single item.
a) Revise or delete any incongruous or incomprehensible elements in illustrations.
(5) Prepare front and rear cover of booklet. The front cover should make one want to read the booklet at first glance, and accurately represent content of the booklet.
Make the cover attractive enough for the readers to make them open the pages.
6. Finalization of Title and Captions
Decide on booklet title, subtitle(s), and captions for all scenes. These should be attractive and relate subject matter to readers, and be as brief as possible in representing content.
7. Preparing for Field-testing
(1) Using paper size and number of pages corresponding to final product, prepare a model booklet in the same form.
a) This is to get an idea of the image and effect of the complete booklet.
(2) Prepare an Instructor's Manual The following should be considered in an instructor's manual:
a) target group
(3) Make contact with prospective instructors for the field-test.
(4) Produce as many model booklets as there are target readers.
In order to produce learning materials for target learners in the most effective manner, with the least number of drawbacks and being the most highly motivated materials, it is suggested that field testing be prepared beforehand in the following steps:
1) Study thoroughly about village data collected for field test as well as details of leaders and participants as samples and be sure to make appointments of time and places in advance.
Sample of Evaluation Form for Booklet
Two methods of field-testing of booklet are:
a) Assemble all readers in one place (e.g. village meeting place or elementary school) and have each person read there.
With booklets of the "How-to" type, try to investigate whether or not readers have actually learned "how to".
As sufficient time for each target reader to leisurely read the model booklet is necessary, allow ample time for field-test.
9. Revisions to Draft Materials
(1) Analyze and interpret survey results.
Sample of Collating Results of Survey
(4) Request writer and illustrator to carry out necessary revisions.
10. Completion (on to printing)
This effective format for neo-literate materials tells a story through a series of photographs arranged in sequence as a booklet. The photo novella is well-suited to visually and realistically convey the content in an impressive manner. It can be employed in presenting desired scenes in cases where an illustrator is not available.
The production process progresses, basically, as is outlined in "Steps in developing materials for neo-literates." Paying attention to the following points when producing photo novella, however, can result in increased effectiveness:
(1) Items (scenes, etc.) of importance in the development of the story should be clearly depicted in photographs. Too many objectives or overly complex situations should not be introduced in any one scene, and each scene should maintain clear continuity in the story.
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