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What is S.L.M. ?

SLMs include 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

Simply reading the study material does not guarantee learning. The material has to be such that the learners can interact with it more and learn   better.  This characteristic of SLMs is known as learning activeness.  

Self-learning Materials (SLMs) differ from a chapter of a textbook or an article of a journal.  The chapters of a text book usually present information in a very compact form.  They are closer to reference material than to learning materials.  The main characteristics of SLMs are discussed as follows:


Self-contained : The written text is self-contained so that a learner does not immediately need additional sources. All information required by the learner is included. This does not mean that additional reading will not be required. What is essential is that the material received is complete in itself and the learner later can build on it with additional material if required.


Self-directed : Self study material are written in such a way that the student receives guidance, hints and suggestions at each stage of learning. Clear objectives, simple explanations, sequential development, apt illustrations, and appropriate learning activities are utilized. The material performs the role of a teacher.


Self-motivating : The study materials is highly motivational for the learners and make the entire learning relevant to the learner’s real life context.


Self-evaluating : In order to know whether the learners are proceeding on the right track. Self-evaluation in the form of self check questions, exercises, etc. will assist in making this possible.


These are now available both in computer managed as well as traditional print forms. Some instructors find such material useful even though they are available for teaching in the classroom.

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