Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) is an instructional approach which is based on the use of interactive lessons delivered through either radio broadcast or audiocassette. An "audio" teacher directs the lessons while classroom teachers serve as facilitators. IRI has been used in developing countries worldwide to improve the quality of education across a range of school subjects and to serve as a form of teacher development. The approach is “interactive” because the radio “teacher” speaks to students and students respond to radio prompts. In this dual-audience, direct-instruction approach, the teacher is not “live” but prerecorded. Once the in-class teachers turn on the radio, the radio “teacher” delivers content and orally directs the in-class teachers to apply a variety of interactive instructional approaches within their classrooms.
Being partner institution under BLTeae project, one of the components is preparation of modules for blended learners in the area of Teacher Education. The module on “Interactive Radio Instruction” was assigned to Department of Education, International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan. This module includes various topics based on related content and teaching learning resources. Topics covered in this module include Introduction to IRI, Resources needed for IRI, IRI Demonstration Scripts and Effectiveness of IRI. More specifically, these topics are supported by open access video lectures, reading materials, quizzes and assignment for better understanding of prospective teachers. Learning outcomes of module includes (a) define the concept of Interactive Radio Instruction, (b) describe various characteristics of Interactive Radio Instruction (c) explain different resources needed for IRI (d) describe the characteristics of a good IRI script and (e) prepare IRI demonstration script for different subjects.
20 Prospective teachers of BS Education program were provided training through module practice so that they can use this pedagogical approach in forthcoming semester during Teaching Practice/ Long Term Internship. This training was scheduled for one week based on one hour session daily. Significant aspects of these interactive sessions included watching videos and notes-taking, reading related material/articles about using radio lessons in various school subjects especially English and Urdu language teaching focusing four skills i.e. Reading, Speaking, Listening & Writing, solving quizzes and preparing IRI demonstration scripts as assignment tasks. Feedback of prospective teachers provided baseline to modify and refine module content, reset time slots in each activity for better time management on the part of prospective teachers.
As Pakistan is a developing country with majority of masses residing in rural areas where electricity breakout is prevailing and also modern technological gadgets/ devices are not available in schools thus, implementing IRI in such areas would be more economical and beneficial in improving quality education. In this line of thinking, Department of Education, IIUI intends to execute IRI at rural area schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi through prospective teachers in upcoming semester Spring 2019.
This module has been developed under the dynamic supervision of Prof. Dr. Nabi Bux Jumani (Team Leader BLTeae- IIUI, Director, Directorate of Distance Education/Former Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, IIUI), and team members included Prof. Dr. Samina Malik (Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences/Additional Director, Directorate of Distance Education, IIUI), Ms. Humaira Akram (Teaching/ Research Associate, PhD Scholar, Department of Education, IIUI) and Ms. Sehrish Javed (Research Fellow, Department of Education, IIUI).