ECT 300 EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY: Can you examine Set Induction and Stimulus Variation as a skill in micro (peer)-teaching?





9d i).Examine Set Induction and Stimulus Variation as a skill in micro (peer)-teaching.


This is a technique used by a teacher to attract the attention of all the learners and arouse their interest… Induction means initiation of knowledge to a beginner through inducement

How set induction is done

  • By drawing pupil’s life experiences
  • By story telling or jokes telling
  • By giving challenging tasks
  • By using unique and unfamiliar demonstrations
  • By giving instant pupil activities

Set induction should be used at the beginning of a lesson if necessary or anytime something new is to be introduced. It prepares the learners for the new material.


Stimulus means something that stimulates or acts as an incentive. Variation means the act of deviating from the norm standard e.g. changing the voice, pitch, volume etc.

Stimulus variation is a technique of teaching and refers to those teacher’s actions which develop and maintain a high level or maximum attention on the part of the pupils during the course of a lesson e.g. mannerisms, voice, personality, media and materials used during instruction.

Rationale of using stimulus variation

  • Most youngsters have a short attention span i.e. they lose interest after a certain period of time
  • Uniformity of the perceived environment tends to lead people into mental inactivity while changes in the perceived environment attract their attention and stimulate mental activity.

Objectives of using stimulus variation

  • Attract and retain pupil’s attention throughout the lesson
  • Encourage a positive pupil’s attitude towards school by introducing a lively and interesting teaching style e.g. new voices, new faces, and new materials.
  • Encourage pupils by involving them in a variety of attractive experiences

Components of stimulus variation

  • Teacher movement. A static teacher bores the learners while an erratic mover can irritate and interrupt them. Measured steps cause attention to the focused on the teacher directly
  • Focusing. In order to direct the pupils’ attention to the topic, the teacher may use verbal statements, specific gestures etc
  • Verbal focusing involves emphasis of particular words of statements e.g. listen to this, look at this diagram
  • Gesture focusing consists of eye movement, facial expressions, and movements of body parts
  • Verbal/gesture focusing. This is a combination of gestural and verbal focusing e.g. when the teacher says “look at this diagram” as he points at the diagram
  • Gestures. These are body movements e.g. nodding the head to give encouragement. These gestures should be natural.
  • Varying speech patterns. This is where the teacher changes speed, volume and pitch of the speech to match various circumstances. Planned silence or pausing can also be effective in capturing attention
  • Pupils verbal participation/Interaction style. The teacher encourages pupils to participate verbally by way of questions, discussions or other stimuli.
  • Teacher-class interaction. This is where the teacher lectures or demonstrates to the whole class, the questions are asked to the class rather than to individual pupils.
  • Teacher-pupil interaction. This is where the teacher asks questions to specific pupils.
  • Pupil-pupil interaction. The teacher redirects a pupil’s question/reaction to their pupils.
  • Using different senses. During a lesson pupils process information by means of the senses. The ability to process information can be significantly increased by appealing to sight and sound alternately. Pictures and models imprint information more permanently than when only verbal stimuli ware used.
  • Pupils’ physical activity. The teacher may introduce drama and then allow pupils to handle apparatus o r make their own notes or diagrams.

Guiding principles to stimulus variation

  • The teacher must be clear in his/her mind about the purpose of the change in the activity he is going to introduce, the changes must relate to the general alm and content of the lesson.
  • The teacher should introduce the variations smoothly so that t h e flow of the lesson is not interrupted.
  • The teacher must carefully plan and organize the lesson particularly if he intends to use audio visual aids.
  • The teacher would need to modify his use of variation in response to the feedback he obtains from the pupils



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