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Open and distance learning (ODL) thrives on students' utilisation of learning materials that designed in ways that allow them to learn on their own in the absence of a lecturer or tutor. This paper discusses what self-directed learning is and highlights the principles of writing self-learning materials for ODL learners. Various self-material materials utilised in open and distance learning are explored. In the paper, the writers further explore the nature, characteristics and importance ofdoi:10.24940/ijird/2019/v8/i6/jun19076 fatcat:kz243fg2bzfgzjhtffwd2g3lte