For effective reading and good teaching

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Better designing of every page in a textbook can help students greatly

The plethora of problems facing higher education is well known. I wish to discuss in this piece how to facilitate every student to experience success in his/her studies.

It is possible to make every student experience and understand any subject by printing the text materials in the right, ideal format:

There is an ever-increasing need for good teachers too. With the advent of concepts and methodologies of Distance Learning, it is now possible to bring in the effects of a good teacher in every page of a textbook.

Here is a way to achieve this (see chart). This way, the effects of a good teacher pops up in every page.

Place for tips

It is essentially a four-column a page write-up of text material; with the principle text in a column of 9 cm width. The left side margin in each column should be 3.5 cm. It is to be used to place important tips such as facts of material, already taught in previous section or year.

On the right hand side column, of about 3.5 cm width, we may highlight cross-references whereto applies a particular text material.

It can also be used to give multiple-choice questions based on the text discussed as a half-page.

Foot-note space

The fourth column at the bottom is often referred to as the foot-note space, to be used to highlight all important and new (first time appearance of) words, phrases. The space can also be used to provide answers to the MCQs raised in this page.

All these can be done at no additional cost.

There are many other tips (see regional centre website

In an open learning system, the learners in general may not have much time to study, perhaps a maximum of four to six hours a day. Hence the tips presented on our website will be very useful.

One among them is Sudhindra’s Rule of Three to understand any subject. They are:

Rule 1: Get familiar with sight words and phrases in the area

Rule 2: Peculiar symbols and units in the area

Rule 3: The grammar rules.

Remember, in academics, familiarity breeds confidence.

(The writer is Regional Director, IGNOU Regional Centre, Bangalore-70. E-mail :



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