2.3.1: Development of Self-Learning Material (SLM) in Print

Development of Self-Learning Material in print


The success and effectiveness of distance education systems largely depends on the Self-Learning Material. Writing the content / instructions for distance education is a more challenging task and quite different from face-to-face teaching compared to writing for a book or a journal. Self-learning materials depend on exploiting the various means and ways of communication to suit the needs of learners.

SLM can perform the functions of a live teacher and thereby how a distance learner may have all the learning experiences which a student may have in a classroom situation. SLM includes all the material prepared to stimulate independent study/learning. The learners in distance education have less contact with either the institution or the tutor" and depend heavily on these specially prepared teaching materials.

Revision of SLM is as important as the development of the materials for the first time because of two reasons. Every distance teaching course needs to be updated from time to time to incorporate the developments in the field of study or discipline. The other reason is to review the performance of the courses in the light of the feedback that you get from the students, tutors, counsellors, experts and others in order to make the course more relevant" learner friendly and academically rich.

Nowadays, Open and Distance Learning has been a boon to the learners who are unable to access traditional classroom learning. Distance learning is different from the conventional mode of teaching in the sense that there is limited physical presence of the instructor, Self-Learning Materials become an important aspect of it so much so that at times they serve the role of the instructors to the learners. The success and effectiveness of distance education systems largely depends on the quality of the Self Learning Material (SLM).

The Self-Learning Materials should not only impart knowledge to the learners but they should be capable enough to stimulate and motivate them to learn. The potential impact of distance learning on all education lies in the very use of instructional materials complemented by visual, auditory, audio-visual and multimedia content. 

The structure of Self-Learning Materials, therefore, requires careful design and implementation. Continual skill upgrading, implementing and retraining the technological advances and safe use of print and web-based materials, have been the need of the hour for the effective implementation of this fastest growing area of knowledge.

SLM exploits different means of communication to address learners' needs in a given subject area. As the learners in distance education depend heavily on these specially prepared teaching materials, it is therefore important to ensure academic standard while preparing the course material. A good SLM should perform the functions of a live teacher who may provide different learning experiences that a learner(s) may have in a conventional face-to-face situation. Besides preparing a quality SLM, its revision from time to time is also equally important. This is necessary to incorporate the developments in the field of study and to make the content more relevant, learner friendly and academically rich. The revision requires evaluation of programmes and courses on the basis  of feedback from the learners, tutors, counselors,  subject experts and others in order to update the content,

The SLMs must have the following Characteristics 

  1. Self-motivating

  2. Promote Self-learning

  3. Self-explanatory

  4. Self-contained

  5. Self directed

  6. Self evaluative 

In order to prepare quality SLM the University involves different subject experts, technology experts, distance education experts from the course design stage itself. Once the statutory bodies approve the curricula, experts are identified for the development of the SLMs. The experts are expected to do  research on a subject  with  a  capacity  for  logical  analysis and be able to prepare the suitably illustrated content so as to aid in  comprehension  of teaching points. Therefore, the experts are given due training for the purpose.  Once the SLM is developed, it is reviewed and edited by another subject expert and is vetted by the faculty before its printing. 

The University is practicing different learner centric methods to enhance their learning ability, these include: Practicals, Seminars, Workshops, Projects, Internships, Paper and Poster Presentations, etc.

The university receives suggestions for improvement of the material from various stakeholders, once the material is distributed to the Learners / Experts / Counsellors and different other stakeholders. Based upon this feedback from stakeholders, the process of updating in concerned content and Self-Learning Material starts from the School/Department level. It includes revision, addition, improvement, corrections, updating and removal of obsolete content as well as the printing errors if any.

University also takes care of translation of material in required language, for this purpose, the translators and agencies providing services of translations are engaged  for translation of the material from one language into another.


The University has its own OER policy and the faculties of different departments and schools take help from the material available under OERs. The university also strives to provide back to the society, hence the university has provided materials of various programmes and courses under OER.
Thus, the University has a proper and well-defined policy for development of SLM and it is divided into various stages to ensure the error-free systematic development of SLM for the learners. Further, in this process extensive use of technology is made because the University has a very strong system of ICT in place and the teachers are also comfortable in preparing a ready-to-print copy of the material on their own computer systems.

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