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                             Dr. S.K.Das'
                    NIMS UNIVERSITY, JAIPUR, Rajasthan

Brief outline of the Manual Alike ours, dual mode universities often brush up knowledge and skills of academic staff and faculty on various aspects of the university. One of the potent aspects is the distance education which is at the core of educational entrepreneurial activities. Distance education promotes lifelong and continuing education and demands for a set of unique skills and competencies among academia. Such competencies range from course designing to material development, counselling to promotion. Course material is found to be central to all support services rendered by Open and Distance Learning Institutions. Developing course material on the self-learning format is the mission of this manual which is expected to serve its very purpose in generating basic understanding among the academia involved in distance education.

CONTENTS 1. Introduction to Self Learning Material Development 2. Learning Outcomes 3. Significance of Self-Learning Material in ODLIs 3. Steps in Course Material Development 4. Thumb rules on Course Material Development 5. Course Development Team

1. Introduction to Self-Learning Material Development Assumptions are often made about educators on dual mode universities that they possess pre-requisite knowledge and skills relating to the open and distance education. With the back ground of these assumptions, attempt has been made to generate certain scientific understanding on the significance of course material development in Open and Distance Learning Institutions (ODLIs). Course materials serve the basis for the foundation of instructional processes in distance education programmes. Distance learners have limited sources for learning in open and distance education. Despite of their presence away from ODL institutions, learners approach with high level of self-confidence and self-determination to pursue desired programmes or courses with the support of study material (provided by the ODLIs). The trend analysis (Das, 2012) on the status of course delivery at ODLIs revealed that course materials (print media based) in standardised format continues to be at the core of academic support services offered by open and distance education system. Print based course material serves as the primary and fundamental academic support provided by the institutions. 2. Learning Outcomes This manual will enable educators and prospective distance educators to • explain significance of course material development in open and distance education; • follow various steps in order to develop course materials for D.E. programmes; • abide by the rules of material development; and • develop and format course material on a specified unit relating to any discipline of their own interest. 3. Significance Course material development activities signify its relevance and essence at the core of all academic support services rendered by ODLIs. Significance may be discussed in terms of various issues. The foremost issue is the connotations used for distance. Distance education, by its unique in-built structure, attracts the attention of experienced potential adult learners who are self-motivated to pursue the programme at a distance. If attempt is made to define distance education in absolute terms then distance signifies geographical distance just beyond the boundary walls of ODLIs to any corner of the universe. The second issue is pertaining to the potential and unique profile of distance learners. It is well noticed that most of NIMS distance learners pursue certain courses/programmes while they are engaged with some form of vocations. The profile indicates that distance learners are either adults or young adults. Such heterogeneity in terms of age, experiences, localities and learning styles among distance learners brings number of challenges to the present discourse on instructional pedagogical strategies. Instructional pedagogical strategies are derived from theories of learning and instructions which essentially becomes the basis on which instructional designs are selected and applied to course contents while writing and formatting the course materials. Following underlying assumptions may be useful in understanding the significance of CMD (Course Material Development). 4. Steps in Course Material Development Course material development in any conventional and non-conventional modes of education is the sole responsibilities of the academic staff either directly or indirectly involved in the academic delivery process. Course material development (exclusively in conventional mode) includes a number of steps that are to be followed upon. 1. Deciding the courses/subjects within a programme and drawing the outline of the each course. 2. Formulating Instructional Objectives (I.Os) in behavioural terms on each of the course based upon the course outlines. I.Os serves the basis for which Expected Learning Outcomes (E.L.Os) are assessed. 3. Drawing the structure of the write ups or outlining the write ups relating to course contents. 4. Conventional form of writing course contents includes introduction, explanations and definitions of major concepts, brief discussion on minor concepts, summary and references. 5. Preparing the first draft of course content writings. 6. Editing the write ups in terms of sequence, coherence between paragraphs, level of language, length and breadth of the discussions/explanations, and style of content presentation. 7. The edited version of first draft is submitted for content editing. 8. Language editing 9. Submitting content edited form for printing and publishing.

It is universally acknowledged that course material in self-learning format is essentially “the text based teaching or teacher in print.” It means that the entire deliberations and activities carried out by the teachers (in a face-to-face mode) in a particular unit or sub-unit of a course are to be presented in such a way that learners are able to attain the expected learning outcomes (E.L.Os). Self-learning materials are defined as the text based materials that are instructionally designed (in agreement with the principles of teaching – learning and application of instructional strategies) to facilitate the process of learning acquisition among learners and ensure the attainment of mastery learning (Das, 2012). SLMs are found in a variety of forms, but all of them, in principle, are designed with a set of learning theories and instructional strategies. SLMs are prepared and branded by the ODLIs at their institutional level depending upon the academic policies and regulations. The universally accepted models of the UKOU and IGNOU are the bench marking models on SLMs. Since SLMs are based upon the instructional designs, it has its own structure and style of formatting. The formats* (unit based) used by the UKOU and the IGNOU are given below as exemplary.

_________________________________________________________________________________ SLM format of the IGNOU _________________________________________________________________________________

                                 UNIT 2  UNIT DESIGN
                                  2.0 Objectives
                                  2.1 Introduction
                                  2.2 Key Terms Used in a Distance Education Text
                                      2.2.1 Aims and objectives
                                      2.2.2 Units
                                      2.2.3 Assessment Questions
                                      2.2.4 Essential and Recommended  Texts/further readings
                                  2.3 Key feature of a unit
                                      2.3.1 Beginning a unit
                                      2.3.2 The Body of a unit
                                      2.3.3 Ending a unit
                                 2.4 Different Kinds of self-learning Texts
                                     2.4.1 Teach-yourself books
                                     2.4.2 Manuals and handbooks
                                     2.4.3 Programmed Instruction
                                     2.4.4 Open learning materials
                                     2.4.5 Correspondence units
                                     2.4.6 Study guides/Wrap-up materials
                                     2.4.7 Distance education units
                                2.5 Let Us Sum Up


Source: PGDDE, ES-312, Block 2, UNIT 2, IGNOU, New Delhi.

_____________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________

                                    SLM format of the UKOU


                                         Unit 15
                                         The mechanics of an electric lift
                                         Aims                                                  4
                                         Introduction                                      5
                                         1. Electric lifts                                   6
                                         2. Lift Kinematics                              7
                                         3. Lift structure                                  13
                                         4. Buffer dynamics                             19
                                         5. Haulage dynamics                          22
                                         6. Conclusion                                      28
                                            References                                       28 
                                            Date sheet                                       29

____________________________________________________ (Courtesy: PM752A, OU Course, Block 9, Unit 15) _____________________________________________________

  • Source: P.R.Ramanujam ( 2003) STRIDE (Revised) Handbook 6 “ Editing in Distance Education” New Delhi: IGNOU.(p.31)

__________________________________________________________________________________ At NIMS, in pursuance with the academic guidelines for distance programmes, the development of course material in the form of SLMs include following steps: 1. The course writers are expected to follow the steps of conventional style of writing till they prepare the first draft. 2. Structuring the first draft (as per specified format given in page 10) 3. Customizing with relevant instructional design(s) 4. Editing of the customized first draft by instructional designer or educational technologist 5. Content editing by the expert 6. Language editing 7. Printing and Publication

                               4.1 Activities on Outlining the Course

Activity-4.1.1: Read and Compare the Course outlines narrated below.

Course Outline : Example-1 You have read earlier that education being a discipline has its origin in five major branches of knowledge. We have already generated understanding on three branches, i.e., philosophy, sociology, and economy. The fourth one is the technology which has salutary effects on teaching and learning. Since communication is at the core of all educational endeavour, technology in education, and technology of education is essential for the prospective teachers at the higher education stage. The present course is therefore titled as ICT in Higher Education. [84 words]

Course Outline: Example-2 The present course is known as ICT in Higher Education. Various forms of communication and information processing technologies have been significantly influencing the entire education system right from elementary to tertiary level of education. And because of technological influence and interventions learning and education has become the cup of everybody. It is desired that teachers at higher education level should have basic insights on technology of education and technology in education. [71words]

Course Outline: Example-3 The present course demands the utmost application of relevant and adequate information and communication technologies in teaching and learning at higher education institutions. Emerging technologies in education and technology of education are major aspects of current discourse on ICT in Higher Education. [42 words]

Activity-4.1.2: Which one you find suitable and why?

                                    4.2 Activities on Formulating Instructional Objectives

Activity-4.2.1: Prepare a list of all types of behaviour that can be modified through training and instruction.


Activity-4.2.2: Identify those behaviours which can be measured in any standardised manner.

1------------------------------ 2-------------------------- 3---------------------------------- 4-------------------------------------

Activity-4.2.3: Examine the taxonomy (Bloom’s taxonomy of Educational Objectives ) given below.


Cognitive---------Thought Processes(Knowledge, Understanding,Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation)

Affective---------Feeling and attitude

Psycho motor------Actions

Following terminologies* are to be used while writing objectives: 1. Declarative or descriptive verbs—define, describe, explain, write, name, list, state 2. Discriminative verbs—compare, differentiate, identify, distinguish, summarise, outline 3. Motor performance verbs—drive, type, draw, measure, name, outline ________________________________________________

  • Source: STRIDE Handbook-5(2008), IGNOU


Activity-4.2.4: Decide the relative importance or weight of each of above cited three domains.

For example, in the course titled “ICT in Higher Education” is re-written depending upon their relative weight. Cognitive (Weight=30%) Affective (Weight=30%) Psycho motor (Weight=40%) Activity-4.2.5: Study the both sets of objectives written below. Set-I: Students will be able to— 1. state the meaning of ICT in Higher Education; 2. understand the meaning of technology in education; 3. feel the difference between “technology in education” and “technology of education”; and 4. utilize the gained knowledge in teaching.


Students will be able to— 1. define ICT in Higher Education; 2. appreciate the role and significance of ICT in teaching and learning; 3. differentiate between “technology in education” and “technology of education”; and 4. apply various types of technologies regularly in classroom teaching

Activity-4.2.6: Which one is the appropriate set of objectives and why?

_______________________________________________ Check your views across following tips on Objectives: _______________________________________________ 1. Is the behaviour focussed in each objective (mentioned above) being mentioned in measurable term? Can the behaviour be measured objectively through any standard techniques? 2. Are objectives achievable in the context of teaching-learning hours? 3. Do they cover entire course contents? 4. Are they meaningfully and lucidly written? 5. Do they serve the purpose for which they are being formulated?

                                       4.3 Activities on Writing Structure of Unit*
                               Introduction to Distance Education & Evolution of Open and Distance Learning
                                                 1.0 Outline of the Course
                                                 1.1 Instructional Objectives
                                                 1.2 Introduction
                                                 1.3 Education and Human Development
                                                 1.4 Challenges before Education System
                                                 1.5 Typology of Education
                                                 1.6 Various forms of Non-conventional Education
                                                     1.6.1 Home schooling
                                                     1.6.2 De-schooling 
                                                     1.6.3 Correspondence Education
                                                     1.6.4 Distance Education
                                                     1.6.5 Open and Distance Education
                                                 1.7 Current trends and Futurology of Distance Education
                                                     1.7.1 Global trends
                                                     1.7.2 Regional trends
                                                     1.7.3 Futurology
                                                 1.8 Summary
                                                 1.9 Checklist on Learning Outcomes
                                                 1.10 References and Suggested Readings 


  • Source: Das, S. K. (2012) Handbook on ODE for Educators. Japiur: NIMS University


                                                   4.4 Activities on Writing Introduction

Activity 4.4.1: Read the introduction portion of any text of your choice and respond to the below given checklist S. No. Features of Introduction Response Very Significantly Significantly Undecided 1. Does introduction establish a linkage or kinship between

       to-be-learned and already learned concepts?			

2. Does introduction is written on the principles of interest

       arousal and learning activeness?			

3. Does guidance support mechanisms are in-built in introduction? 4. Does introduction self-contained? 5. Does introduction lead leaner towards progressive learning?

                                                   4.5 Activities on Content Organisation 

Content organisation refers to the process of organising the presentations on the written contents of the course. Content organisation plays significant role in the activities relating to writing the course outline and introduction to the course and as well as in instructional design.

Activity 4.5.1: Why do you think that linkages between to-be-learned and already learned concepts are to be established while doing the activities on course outline and introduction?

Activity 4.5.2: Why do you think that contents of a unit are to be presented in structure form?

Activity 4.5.3: Do you find following seven considerations* are relevant and important in content organisation? If yes, why do you assume so? Cosideration-1: Small steps Cosideration-2: Logical arrangements (continuity and consistency) Cosideration-3: Ordering the content

                            3.1: known to unknown
                            3.2: simple to complex 
                            3.3: concrete to abstract
                            3.4: particular to general
                            3.5: actual to representative   

Cosideration-4: Personalized style (Addressing the learner within text) Cosideration-5: Language (Lucidity and at par level of students) Cosideration-6: Illustrations (attractive, meaningful, contained) Cosideration-7: Assessment (self-directed and application oriented) ______________________________________________

  • Source: STRIDE Handbook-5(2008), IGNOU


Activity 4.5.4: Why do you find pictures, graphs, diagrams are important in presenting the content?

Activity 4.5.5: How do you recommend improving content organisation?

______________________________________________________________ 5. Thumb rules on Course Material Development ______________________________________________________________ • Writing involves articulation, presentation and explanation of ideas and concepts depending upon the level of creativity and imagination of the course writer. No C-C-P (cut-copy-paste) work and no plagiarism. It should be the original and genuine writing of the author. • Do acknowledge all the documents either referred or cross referred • Type and size of fonts are to be used as per given specifications. • Uniformity is to be maintained across all units in a block and all blocks in a programme. • Knowledge on formulating behavioural objectives (especially Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives) is essential for the course writer. • Implications of various learning theories on instruction are essential competencies of the course writer. • Understanding instructional designs and selecting appropriately is a must for all course writers. • Make the writing interactive( address the learner within text) • No one way is recommended for course writing and formatting. • Each of the sub units of a unit is to be ended with self-engaged activities. • Length of the unit write- ups depends upon the quantum of hours in approximation is required for learner (termed at NIMS as Engaged Learning Hours) for achieving mastery learning. • It is not a book rather course material where attempt is be made on the prior experience of learners. • Small and sizeable sentences are to be written. • More use of active voices than passive ones. • Writing should be clear, comprehensible and holistic. ___________________________________________________________ 6. Team responsible for Course Development ____________________________________________________________ Course development team comprises of following expert members who are drawn from various branches of knowledge. 1. Course Team Chairperson 2. Course Writers/authors 3. Instructional Designers (Educational Technologists)

4. Media person

5. Editors (content and language) 6. Graphic Expert 7. DTP Operators ______________________________________________________________ References: ______________________________________________________________ 1. Ramanujam, P.R.(2003). Editing in Distance Education [STRIDE Handbook-6], New Delhi: IGNOU. 2. STRIDE Handbook-5(2008), New Delhi: IGNOU 3. 4. 5. Das, S.K.(2012) 6. Das, S.K.(2012) 7. Das, S.K.(2012) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The author is currently the Director, Directorate of Distance Education, NIMS University, Jaipur, Rajasthan. All rights reserved with the author. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________ Brief outline of the DDE ________________________________

Directorate of Distance Education was established in 2009 to fulfill the national goal of Education for All (EFA) and international mission of Millennium Development Goals on education. Being recognised by the joint committee of DEC-UGC-AICTE, the DDE has its networking in almost all states and Union Territories and catering to the needs of more than 15000 distance learners (gross). The Directorate offers 43 programmes in two major areas—paramedical and non-paramedical. _________________________________ Publications of DDE _________________________________ 1. Das, S.K (2012) Open and Distance Education- A Handbook, NIMS University. 2. Das, S.K (2012) Emerging ICT in Higher Education,NIMS University. 3. Das, S.K.( 2013)Designing Instructions in Higher Education,NIMS University. 4. Das, S.K.(2013) Distance Education and Educational Entrepreneurship,NIMS University.

Prof. Sanjaya (talk)19:50, 6 March 2012