Self-learning is an individualized method of learning. The face-to-face teaching is going and distance mode of education is becoming popular. Self-learning modules are designed where the learner is free to choose what to learn, how to learn, when to learn and where to learn. This flexibility is an important characteristic in open learning process. With the advent of information technology for communication, the other modes of instructions are slowly disappearing. The learner is getting accustomed more and more to non-formal mode of education thereby shifting the preference to self-learning methods. Even most of the print materials that come in to the market are meant for self-learning. The learner is at an advantage to use this form of non-formal mode of education using self-paced learning materials. The teaching-learning-evaluation all happens without face-to-face interaction. There is no fixed time or fixed number of classes. To make this learning process effective, it is essential for a trainer to have the conceptual knowledge of self-learning approach and also the design of self-learning modules and materials..
The Self-learning method is also called individualized method of learning. The students who are not in direct contact with the teacher use self-learning modules and hence referred as distance mode of education. It helps students who cannot attend a given location at a given time, student who proceeds at own pace, where large number of student are taught simultaneously and convenience. This approach is mainly useful for student who cannot attend classroom teaching due to work commitments or because of distance of travel. Self-learning modules are designed for both regular students who come in direct contact with teacher and distance students. Which is why, I love Khan Academy, youtube etc. I feel like learning more from them, and have observed that every time I am felling “behind” or what Sal Khan said : “The old school model simply doesn’t fit our changing needs. Its a fundamentally passive way of learning while the world requires more and more active processing of information. The old model is based on pushing students together in age-group batches with on-pace-fits-all curricula and hoping they pick up something along the way. It isn’t clear that this was the best model one hundred years ago; it certainly “
A well designed self-learning material must have these highlights:
a. It should indicate what the leaner should be able to do before he can start with the new unit; provide prerequisites.
b. It should indicate to the learner what he would be able to do after completing the lesson/unit; provide objectives.
c. It should indicate to the learner whether he is making progress on the lesson/unit by providing progressive evaluation of learning; providing self-checks and feedback on the same.
d. It should indicate the learner that he has achieved the objectives of the unit; provide assignments and feedback if necessary.
e. It should make the learner active; provide activities and feedback on same.
f. It should break the unit/lesson into manageable parts for study.
g. It should use simple and direct style of writing.
h. It should have logically embedded content which can be used by students themselves without the help of a teacher.
i. It should unpack difficult concept and relate these to experience of learners.
j. It should converse with students in a lively and interesting style.
k. It should have proper access devices like heading, contents, objectives etc. so that a student can enter into the content at desired location
The self-learning modules are specially written with particular course objectives in mind. Further these are structured in such a way that students can learn from these modules themselves. The modules must provide all functional help which normally a teacher would provide in the conventional situation i.e. guiding, motivating, explaining, provoking, reminding, evaluating progressive learning, discussing answers to questions and enriching students with his experience.
According to the learning theory, the best learning takes place when individuals are actively involved in process of learning. This may require replying to question, choosing a visual sequence to observe, or making other decisions as a person proceeds through a lesson with media. Such activities can be important in group situations and especially for individuals working by themselves. The term interactive learning is use to describe the interplay between a person and media. When the learner moves through a sequential, 5 linear program, responding periodically to questions and receiving feedback on answers, the material provide for reactive learning. Certain types of instructional media can be directly design for interactive learning, while other, more conventional forms could be adapted for reactive learning. Computer based instructions would be direct application, while by modifying an available slide/tape program a reactive lesson can result. It is necessary to examine the ways of planning and design of self-learning modules on computer-based instruction, computer/video tape recording, computer/video disk, and combinations of media (multimedia) that can be developed for interactive learning.
Self-learning materials induce self-learning amongst students. Self-learning modules are completely student centered strategy based. Face-to-face teaching and teachercentered teaching is going and self-learning is the future. The virtual classroom approach is becoming more popular with the advent of revolution in computer software industry. The learner has several options to select the media that is effective and convenient for his learning.