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There are a number of general factors that impact on educators and their teaching. These include changes in funding formulas, scarcity of resources, increasing convergence between traditional distance education and traditional campus education, and the influence of technologies. All of these factors play a part in the choices that are made for the planning and delivery of education.

Course and materials design and development is a multi-layered, multi-faceted process. This Guide will help you to think about five questions in relation to a number of key issues – such as planning, content, context, learner support, structure, resources, learning, and assessment – in relation to course and materials design. The answers to the questions at the level of course design influence your answers in relation to materials design, and create a golden thread or a story-line between course and materials design and development. Whether you are designing learning materials for delivery in campus-based courses or fully online off-campus courses, or something in between, the broad design issues are similar.

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