Course Writing And Development

External Studies course that teaches you how to write a course that engineers effective learning. Approaches to education are variable, and development of any course should maintain focus on both aims and delivery method.

Course Code: BGN107
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Course Writing is a Skill that is always in Demand


Writing a course is not the same as writing a book or an article. It involves communicating a learning pathway. Course documentation is a guide to learning. This guide may be intended for use by a student; by a teacher; or perhaps both.
 

ACS Staff have experience with writing more than 1,000 courses, and have delivered courses to over 100,000 people mostly by distance education; but also in face to face situations. This is the experience we bring to help you develop your skills in course writing.

Study course writing here and learn from our experience. 

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Bases 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
    • Formulative, Cumulative and Sumative Assessment
    • Assessment Policies and Procedures
    • Marking Guidelines for Assignments

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • 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

HOW ARE COURSES DEVELOPED?

Courses can be developed in different ways, but commonly courses use written documents that define, describe, outline and detail the direction and contents of that course.
Three types of documents that are commonly used to develop a course are course outlines, curriculum documentation and study notes:

a) Course Outlines (or Descriptions)

 

These describe the course either as a whole, or by breaking it into its components (i.e. modules and/or lessons).

These documents are mostly used in the pre-enrolment phase e.g. for course selection or marketing. For less formal courses e.g. Adult education, hobby classes, the outline may provide a guide for teaching staff to follow as they deliver the course.

A course outline may be seen by both the student and the teaching staff.

b) Curriculum Documentation

These documents define what a course is, in every respect. Their purpose might be:

  • As a reference point to be used by anyone writing course notes, study guides, or even delivering lectures or practical sessions.
  • As a document to be submitted for accreditation purposes.

They are generally seen and used only by the staff of the school (teachers and administrators).

Curriculum Documentation can be costly to write, and even more costly to maintain up to date. In large education systems (eg. government accreditation systems) they are commonly written before anything else, and their development involves seeking and applying input from designated experts. For example, a curriculum advisory committee commonly sets the framework for writing this documentation then meets periodically with course writers to review their progress.

Curriculum documents are not always necessary, and if they are not required for accreditation, you should seriously consider the cost benefit to be had before deciding to allocate financial or manpower resources to this type of documentation.

c) Study Notes

These are documents such as text books, handouts, accompanying notes, study guides, work sheets or anything else which serves one or another of two purposes:

  • To provide a source of information or
  • To provide a guide or pathway for the student to follow.

Continuous or Periodic Course Development

The relationship between course development and time has almost always been assumed to have only one option, that being to develop a course, finish development and then deliver it.

Changes to the course have almost always been viewed as something to be done every so many years; the only variable being how often a major review would be undertaken.

There are, in fact, two options:

Periodic Review

Here curriculum documentation (or course outline if there is no curriculum document) is revised using a similar procedure to that used for its original development. Commonly it is reviewed by a committee and a curriculum writer who then makes alterations. The committee is then required to make any adjustments and approve the alterations. The time interval between such reviews is commonly (across the world) every five years.

Continuous Review

This involves seeking input routinely and continuously from teaching staff and/or students (and/or perhaps industry). The course might never undergo a major change at any one point in time, but it could feasibly be altered daily, weekly or monthly; irregularly and as the need is detected.

This approach would have been difficult to manage prior to the widespread use of computers, but in today’s world, it is relatively easy to change curriculum documents, course outlines or study notes, as and when desired.

IDENTIFYING NEEDS

Student Perspective

Students do not always know their needs. To know what is needed in a particular discipline, one first needs to understand that discipline. If a student does not understand the discipline, their understanding of their needs in a course will necessarily be limited. If they do understand the discipline, there may well be little reason for them to undertake a course.

Students will inevitably have wants and expectations that relate to a course they undertake. Every student is likely to have a different set of priorities and expectations, and those expectations are likely to change as they progress through the course.

What will have changed when a student comes to the end of a course?

Their Perceptions

The course should have enlightened them and, with greater understanding and awareness, they may appreciate needs they didn’t see when they started.

The World

The community, industry and the value of knowledge and skills can be very different at the conclusion of a course, compared with what it was at the beginning.

Educator’s Perspective

An effective educator needs to be empathetic, that is, they must have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of the student, not just while the student is studying, but also when they have completed the course.

Family Perspective

Parents and/or families want to see value for education.

Community and Industry Perspective

Community and employers are motivated by their work and profit (or in the case of government or non-profit organisations, achieving more value for the money spent). Some employers will be concerned with-long term benefits from training, but often employers only worry about the short term.
 
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

ACS is an Organisational Member of the Association for Coaching (UK).

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).




Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Jacinda Cole

Former operations manager for highly reputable Landscape firm, The Chelsea Gardener, before starting her own firm. Jacinda has over 20 years of industry experience in Psychology, Landscaping, Publishing, Writing and Education. Jacinda has a B.Sc., Psych.C

Adriana Fraser

Freelance writer, businesswoman, educator and consultant for over 30 years. Adriana has written extensively for magazines including free living publications -Grass Roots and Home Grown; and has authored or co authored many books ranging from a biography

Lyn Quirk

M.Prof.Ed.; Adv.Dip.Compl.Med (Naturopathy); Adv.Dip.Sports Therapy
Over 30 years as Health Club Manager, Fitness Professional, Teacher, Coach and Business manager in health, fitness and leisure industries. As business owner and former department head fo





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt.

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Rajy Xavier

M. Eng., M. Ed.

An Electrical Engineer with 12 years of experience in Engineering and Education. After completing masters in Telecommunication Engineering, she worked as an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering for 5 years. Then she has completed her masters in education with double major from Queensland University of Technology.

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