Preface and Introduction
This work-book is designed for new writers of distance learning materials. I have been conducting a large number of workshops on the development of self-learning materials for use in distance education institutions across India for the past 10 years. We have a large number of materials for this purpose. These are quite detailed, and require more time to go through. I have realized that the participants at these workshops are often senior professors and readers in various disciplines who have little time and interest to undergo through a detailed and huge book to write self-learning materials. They are more interested in a ‘quick-fix’ type ‘basic tips’ that would enable them to write reasonably good self-learning materials. With this in mind, I have prepared this work-book that can be utilized in training programmes, and also to some extent can be used by university and college teachers for self-learning. There are basic explanations, how-to type tips, and guidelines based on research findings. This is just a beginner’s guide to writing self-learning materials. Readers will find more useful materials on the topic in the list of references and further readings. If you are a trainer, this Workbook can be utilized for conducting a 3-day programme on how to write self-learning materials. As it is released under a ‘Creative Commons’ licence, you are free to download and print out multiple copies for your programme participants. You will find that there are 10 sessions in total. The sections/ chapters in the Workbook are entitled “Sessions” to synchronize with 10 possible sessions in a 3-day workshop (after deleting the inaugural and valedictory sessions). Thus, you will have 4 sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, every day. Your presentation on the topic should range from 20-30 minutes and in each session the participants should be allowed to work on different activities listed in the Workbook. It would be useful to allow for participant presentations and peer commenting on the writing efforts of the participants. Preferably the participants should work in groups to provide them an opportunity to work in a small team, which has been an essential design characteristic of course writing in distance education.
If you find it useful or otherwise, please do write to me and share your views. I shall attempt to revise this based on your feedback and suggestions for improvement. And your efforts shall definitely be given credit in the next edition.