Course Writing and Development

Course CodeBWR107
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Get taken seriously. Work for yourself or secure your dream job in education.

    Develop your own skills in writing courses for distance education.
    Suitable for educators and teachers working in the distance learning environment.
    If you are a freelance writer, you can add this to your skills and your CV.
    Improve your own writing skills and learn how to write a course to meet curriculum guidelines.

You can study in your own time and work with industry experts to learn more about writing for the distance learning and correspondence education market.

"Anyone working in education absolutely needs to understand all aspects of curriculum building, program and qualification development, the importance of resources, the purposes and types of assessment and more - learning is not about simply reading a set of notes, it requires deep cognition and higher order thinking. To enable someone to learn, is like sharing a precious gift"
Jade Sciascia, Online Course Developer and Tutor.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Basis for Education
    • Approaches to Education
    • Teacher Centred Learning
    • Student Centred Learning: PBL, Experiential, Montessori, Self paced learning
    • Specialist or Generalist Education
    • Competency Based Training; CBT
    • Homework
    • Delivery Modes
    • Issues For Learning; Lifelong learning, Foundation skill development, Reinforcement
    • Problem Based Learning; characteristics of PBL,Why PBL, Benefits of PBL, PBL Problems, PBL project stages
    • Education Contextualisation
    • Trends, Ethics, Equity
    • Establishing Course Aims
  2. Course Writing Methodologies
    • Developing Courses
    • Course Outlines
    • Curriculum Documentation
    • Study Notes
    • Continuous or Periodic Course Review and Development
    • Identifying Needs; student perspective, educators perspective, family perspective, community and industry perspective
    • Identifying Resources; student and teacher
    • Writing Aims, Competencies and Assessment Criteria
    • Writing Course Notes
    • Writing Practicals
    • Writing for Clarity and Understanding; principles of good writing, structuring the course
    • Coding Courses
    • Flexible Delivery
    • Applying Strategies for Flexible Delivery
    • Course Components; Assignments, Exercises, Brainstorming, Buzz Groups, Demonstration, Discussion, Case Study, Guest Speakers, Laboratory Work, Lecture, Mutual Lectures, Practical Workshop, Project, Tutorials
  3. Level of Study
    • Determining Appropriate Level of Study; Quantitative and Qualitative Factors
    • Descriptors
    • Duration
    • Assessment
    • Levels of Training; eg. varying certificate levels between UK and Australia
    • Lessons and lesson plans
    • Determining level required
    • Identifying student needs
    • Allowing for different modes of study
    • Structuring a lesson
    • Timing a lesson
    • Evaluating and improving a lesson
    • Levels and kinds of Language
    • Language of learning, and Professional language
    • Determining level of Training
    • Skills and Training Objectives; Competence
  4. Curriculum Documentation
    • Scope and Nature
    • Examples
    • Structure and Layout
  5. Course Materials
    • Introduction
    • Teaching Resources
    • Learning Resources
    • PBL Project; Develop a new course with minimum use of limited resources: financial and other.
  6. Course Material Creation
    • Developing knowledge
    • Applying Knowledge
    • Reflection and Review
    • Developing Skills
    • Innovation and Flexibility
    • Types of Support Materials; documentation, visual elements and illustration, technical aids
    • Factors to Consider when Writing Support Materials
    • Writing for Distance Education; Problems and Solutions
    • Writing a Question
    • Dealing with Practical Aspects of Education
    • Clarity and Consciousness
    • Improving Clarity
    • Understanding Causes of Confusion
    • Ways to Write Concisely
    • Differentiating between Guidelines, Instructions and Procedures
    • Correspondence Course Structure
    • Writing PBL Documentation
    • Handouts
    • Visual Materials; Illustration, Charts
    • Audio Materials, Recorded Presentations
    • Digital Technology; Educational Applications for Digital Technologies
    • Multimedia
    • The Internet
  7. Reviewing and Updating Courses
    • Change and Inertia in Education
    • Policies and Procedures to Support Change
    • How to Review a Course
    • Procedure for Changing an Established Course
    • Procedure for Maintaining Currency
  8. Recognition and Accreditation
    • Who can Provide Education
    • Universal Recognition; Is it Possible
    • Scope of Endorsement Systems
    • Recognition and Qualifications
    • What is Accreditation
    • The Value of Accreditation
    • Accreditation Myths
    • Recognition and Accreditation Systems
    • Trends
    • Who accredits or recognises what
    • Secondary, Vocational, University Education
    • Industry Training Boards
    • Accreditation Authorities
    • Other Forms of Recognition
  9. Application and Implementation
    • Delivering Classroom Based Courses
    • Session Organisation
    • Delivering Practical Courses Outside a Classroom
    • Delivering Distance Education Courses
    • Customising Distance Education
    • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Purpose of Assessment
    • Formative, Cumulative and Summative Assessment
    • Assessment Policies and Procedures
    • Marking Guidelines for Assignments


  • Determine an appropriate basis for developing a course to suit a given need.
  • Write course documentation and materials methodically and with clarity.
  • Explain differences between levels of study, particularly in post secondary education.
  • Write curriculum documentation for a course.
  • Identify and evaluate sources for course materials and support services for a course.
  • Plan and create a variety of course materials to support learning
  • Establish procedures for reviewing and updating established course materials.
  • Compare relative values of formal course endorsement systems.
  • Plan the implementation of a developed course

Determine the Context, then Develop the Course

The nature of any course should be determined by the context in which it is used. There are many factors that may affect what can or should be taught and how it should be taught. These can include such things as religious and cultural attitudes, economic and climatic conditions.


Context is also in a constant state of change, so what is appropriate today might not be appropriate tomorrow. Demand and need are two very important contextual factors; which are sometimes, but not always the same.

Researching Trends in Education

Education research investigates many things including the effectiveness of different ways of developing and delivering education, and their relative effectiveness.

Research can be enlightening, but it can also be subject to easy misinterpretation in a world that changes as fast as ours now does. When the content changes (as it constantly does), the validity of research undertaken when context was different, may come into question.

Researching Trends and Priorities in Employment

Employers will often complain that training courses for apprentices, or other staff, are ineffective; but to be of any value, you must understand the criteria which they use to make statements. Often employers are involved in an advisory capacity (e.g. on Industry Advisory Committees). There is an inherent problem with such committees though: employers who are relatively financially secure, or politically powerful are often most likely to be on committees. Employers who work hard, understand the industry well, but have little free time, are often less likely to be on committees.Often employer surveys are used to gauge employer attitudes. The difficulty with surveys is that they are more likely to be filled out and returned by people who are not busy, or are seeking to have a greater political influence. They may not be representative of true opinion.

Equity and ethical issues

These issues vary from place to place. In conservative or very religious societies, the content of a course may need to be a certain way. In many developed countries, religion may not affect course content as much; but legislation may be in place to ensure equity in education; and there may be legal obligations that affect the content, delivery and even assessment of courses.


The concept of establishing course aims pre-supposes that it is important for each student to have achieved the same thing at the end of a course. While this is almost always the intention when a course is developed, we should consider maybe it shouldn’t always be the intention.

Establishing your place in education

The role of a course developer should be to produce a “guide map” and any other support materials, for use in delivering education effectively and within well-defined boundaries.

Mission and philosophy of the school/educator

Education systems, schools and teaching staff have varying goals, and irrespective of the way a course is developed, there will be pressures from those who deliver it to influence what is delivered to the student.

Decide what is the Rationale for a course

Every course should have a “sensible rationale”. Before developing a course, you need to identify and understand that rationale.



Why Study the Course? The Answer ... Fantastic Career Opportunities! 

Education industry jobs rank in the top 5 growth areas for employment opportunities! Now's the time to get involved!

Education needs to be everyone's top priority. We know education can enhance skills too, such as: 

Improve your ability to communicate with others confidently

Develop problem solving skills relevant to this discipline 

Expand awareness and develop creativity

Facilitate networking and make new contacts

Develop attributes that set you apart from others in your industry

Motivate you, build confidence, and more!


Get started today and make a difference. Simply click on the enrol now icon at the top of this page.

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We're excited to help you on your journey!

Meet some Of our academics

John Mason

John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

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