Textbooks, videos, audio samples, computer games, presentations, worksheets and laboratory equipment are all examples of instructional materials. Any resource used to convey knowledge and understanding can be considered an instructional material.
Organizations responsible for educating others typically adopt a standard curriculum that includes educational materials such as textbooks or workbooks. These materials are supplemented by the educator to meet the needs of the learners. Instructional materials are chosen based on their alignment with the accepted curriculum, their effectiveness at increasing student interest and adherence to organization policy in regard to racial or language bias. Instructional materials covering controversial issues should represent multiple viewpoints and be free of historical omissions or prejudice. Media should comply with all organizational standards in relation to age-appropriateness.
In addition, instructional materials should be accessible to the diverse student body in terms of learning styles and special needs. Laboratory equipment and similar learning materials should be developmentally appropriate for the learners' skills and operate in safe working order. In some instances, students should be given direct instruction on how to use instructional materials appropriately. For example, students using graphing calculators to support their math education may need instruction on how to use the materials prior to application.