Seven Good Reasons to Use Flip Charts in Training
Flip charts have been a staple piece of equipment in schools and adult learning classrooms for decades. Even with the advent of continually developing audio-visual technology used to reinforce the information shared in such environments the classic flip chart still provides a valuable and convenient resource.
Here are seven reasons for the staying power of flip charts:
- Convenience. They are easy to set up and move around in the learning environment. Unlike projected visual aids that have to remain stationary and are limited in their location, especially if projection screens are permanently mounted in a room, you can move flip charts at will.
- Cost. Flip Charts are relatively inexpensive once you purchase them. The only standard materials required are pads of paper, markers, and painters/masking tape to position pages on walls.
- No special considerations needed. Since they do not require electricity and you are not at the mercy of where electrical outlets are located to position them. You also do not have to worry whether there is an extension cord available or have to carry one as a backup, and there are no expensive bulbs to replace.
- It can be customized. They can be customized by the user. Depending on your graphic ability, you can draw images, to accent the written message and add visual variety to the pages. This can be done in advance or if you are a talented artist, as you write on the pages.
- Displaying pages continually is simple. By using painters tape (so that you do not damage painted surfaces), you can easily display what is written on walls for later referral and reviews. This is good for your visual learners or for people who missed a key point and need to catch up (e.g. they took a mental side trip as you spoke, are slow note-takers or arrived late). Unlike projected visuals that do not allow previous information to be displayed, this is a helpful alternative.
- Color can be added. By using water-based markers, you can easily add visual emphasis to your pages. Use a variety of colors (maximum of three) to create your written message. Start with one color (black, brown, navy blue, red, or forest green) for your title lines on pages, then pick two additional colors and alternate back and forth for each bulleted point on the page. Follow the same color scheme on all pages for continuity and avoid “shocking” your learner’s brains with each new page displayed. You can even add an additional sensory experience by using scented markers like Mr. Sketch that are fruit-flavored. Additionally, you can bring in pastel coloring to brighten up the page by adding graphics in different colors.
- Spontaneity is possible. Unlike projected counterparts, flip charts allow you to pause and capture ideas, thoughts, concerns, or other information offered by learners or to take an unplanned side trip to share or illustrate related topic points that arise during a session. You can also provide them with small groups to capture information during activities or discussions. They can then share these with all other attendees during a debrief of the activity.
For additional creative ideas for designing, developing, transporting, storing, and using clip charts get a copy of The Big Book of Flip Charts: A Comprehensive Guide for Presenters, Trainers and team Facilitators and The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning. by Robert W. Lucas.