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Seb Anthony

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Format of Distance Learning?


Dear All,

Up until now my experience of training design has been designing and delivering face to face sessions.
I have now been tasked with designing a distance learning course. As timescales are short this will be paper based and not e-learning.
A lot of distance learning material I have had in the past has been quite bland.

Do any of you have any tips on how to make this more enjoyable and fun?


Gavin Smith

4 Responses

  1. distance learning
    Hi Gavin,

    You’re right that a lot of distance learning paper based material is very bland and often doesnt suit the learing styles of all.

    However, more and more oganistations are looking for blended solutions as a cost effective way of imparting knowledge.

    It was for that very reason that we started producing our own series of Interactive Personal Development workbooks. They cover the key theory on the subject matter as well as containing a number of interactive exercises and self reflection pointers to help embed the learning.

    They can be used as a stand alone peice of material or in conjunction with a facilitated programme.

    Feedback has been great on them – and we now brand them for larger organisations to have as ‘their own’.

    Drop me a line for further information or take a look for yourself at our Self development library on our website.



  2. Look at the old NEBSM material
    Personally I really liked the old NEBSM (National Examining Board of Supervisory Management) workbooks. I think they have changed their name now – but perhaps you could dig some out and have a look at their material.

    Key things about it were – good layout; two/three colours at the most, easy to read/understand; questions and suggested answers on the next page. Post questions in case study format and applying to your own work environment.

  3. Learning Materials
    Hi Gavin

    To make your materials more effective, I suggest that you first concentrate on the content and on the support that users will receive (even more than the design):

    – Think carefully about your target audience (e.g. where and how they will use the materials.)
    – Build in a review/support process with their line managers.
    – Proof the materials carefully and get user feedback where possible.

    On top of this:

    – Use a bold design that looks light, bright and attractive, ideally with photographs.
    – Be consistent in terms of layout, colour etc.
    – Provide a good index.
    – Try to avoid using clip art where possible (I’m finding that some people now react strongly against this).
    – Put any answers well away from the questions (ideally at the back of the book).
    – Give people plenty of space to make notes.

    If you want to talk further, (I specialise in developing bespoke materials) please e-mail me at



  4. Paper based distance learning training materials
    I design this type of material and have samples of what I have done in the past. It might give you some ideas. Please email me ( I’d be happy to oblige
    Happy Days!
    Bryan Edwards


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