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Exploring the Instructional Use of Bulletin Boards and Exhibits

Jacqueline Williamson graduated with a BBA in Personnel Admin., an MPA in HR Management and an MS in Education.

If the bulletin board is innovative then it not only catches the attention of the students but holds it as well.

If the bulletin board is innovative then it not only catches the attention of the students but holds it as well.


Instructional displays provide a distinctive and often very operational method to student learning. Such dramatic and attractive visual exhibitions of ideas can influence most students, each in a personal way. Some students learn and retain information from a display more readily and longer than they can from other instructional approaches.

You can use instructional displays to attract student attention to new ideas and motivate students to learn. A well-planned display can impart information, explain concepts in a forceful manner, and even summarize units of instruction. Through displays, you can help students reach important instructional objectives.

This module is designed to provide you with that knowledge and with practice in preparing bulletin boards and exhibits for the classroom.

Bulletin boards can make learning new material fun.

Bulletin boards can make learning new material fun.

The Instructional Use of Bulletin Boards and Exhibits

Instructional displays may be placed on the wall, in the corridor, in the laboratory or shop, or perhaps in outdoor work and learning areas. Materials may include photographs, printed clippings, charts, graphs, diagrams, specimens, models or shop products. Instructional displays may be prepared by the teacher, the students, or as a cooperative effort. Colorful and fresh displays create interest and involvement and suggest a vital and active learning situation.

Though there are many kinds of instructional displays, it is convenient to discuss them in terms of their basic materials. If they are composed of basically two-dimensional visual materials, they can be categorized as bulletin board displays. Those involving three-dimensional objects are exhibits.

If the instructional display is to promote student learning; it should have some clearly defined learning objective. The objective of the display should be directly related to a specific performance objective in the educational program.

Displays can serve three primary purposes as follows:

  • To motivate and stimulate student interest.
  • To enrich instruction and transmit information.
  • To summarize the key ideas of an instructional unit.

Let us examine each of the three primary purposes of displays as learning tools in assisting students.

The parts of a flower.

The parts of a flower.

To Motivate and Stimulate Interest

The first is to motivate and stimulate student interest. Although displays will be extremely useful to the Visual Learner; all students can benefit from having a display that proves both interesting as well as informative. Also, when a concept is shown visually; then the mind will remember and relate what is seen with what will be learned.

For example, describing the parts of a flower. It’s easy to describe some of the parts of a flower:
1. Peduncle: The stalk of a flower.
2. Receptacle: The part of a flower stalk where the parts of the flower are attached.
3. Sepal: The outer parts of the flower (often green and leaf-like) that enclose a developing bud.
4. Petal: The parts of a flower that are often conspicuously colored.
5. Stamen: The pollen producing part of a flower, usually with a slender filament supporting the anther.
6. Anther: The part of the stamen where pollen is produced.
7. Pistil: The ovule producing part of a flower. The ovary often supports a long style, topped by a stigma. The mature ovary is a fruit, and the mature ovule is a seed.
8. Stigma: The part of the pistil where pollen germinates.
9. Ovary: The enlarged basal portion of the pistil where ovules are produced.

When you add illustrations and photographs of many types of flowers and show that even though they look different they still possess basic characteristics, this gives students a better understanding of floral plant life.

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Student participation is crucial.

Student participation is crucial.

To Enrich Instruction and Transmit Information

Using the same example of the flower display, students can also be encouraged to submit their own interpretation of the flower along with its various parts. Having students creating their own illustrations reinforces their understanding of the subject and shows that they can replicate the various parts.

Many instructors use bulletin boards as a means of not only showcasing their students’ artistic talents, but their comprehension as well.

Bulletin Boards bring concepts to life!

Bulletin Boards bring concepts to life!

To Summarize the Key Ideas of an Instructional Unit

The third primary purpose of Bulletin Boards or Exhibits is to summarize. As in the case of an exhibit, displaying the many uses of an item or showing how one item is distinctly different from another can be useful in reinforcing a student’s comprehension of a lesson.

Again, using the flower illustration, the students can understand the process of photosynthesis. Diagrams along with dialog will enhance the learning experience and strengthen concepts.

Make reading time an adventure with "play on words"

Make reading time an adventure with "play on words"

Let's Plan the Study Display

When planning the Study Display; the following steps should be taken:

  1. Decide on the purpose of the display
  2. Collect the needed content materials
  3. Select the content of the display
  4. Make a display plan
  5. Assemble the required supplies
  6. Carry out the plan
  7. Evaluate the result

By evaluating the results of each instructional display, you can identify strengths and weaknesses and use this information to improve your future efforts. Teachers should always explore many different methods of enhancing the learning experience.

The Use of Instructional Bulletin Boards and Exhibits

© 2014 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS


Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on March 24, 2017:

If you are planning an educational outing, why not collect information regarding your visit and display it on a bulletin board or exhibit. This will definitely induce further interest in the planned event.

Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on June 04, 2014:

Try creating a Bulletin Board of various occupations. Then use that information to plan your next Occupational Field Trip. Not only does this encourage student participation but it stimulates interest in future careers!

Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on March 04, 2014:

Bulletin Boards are not just a method of showing off pretty pictures ... they are visual examples of stimulating the minds of children!

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