Whether writing your own materials, using existing ones, or adapting
resources for your own purposes, the following checklist is intended to help you
ensure that the quality of learning from flexible learning materials is as good
as possible. Not all flexible learning materials will live up to all the issues
raised in the thirty questions which make up this checklist, but identifying the
shortfalls means that steps can be taken to compensate for them (for example
through tutor support, or traditional teaching). The thirty questions are
clustered under sub- headings reflecting the principle features of flexible
Are there plenty of activities for learners? (Remember that flexible
learning - like any other form of learning - is largely dependent on learning by
Are the tasks set by the activities and self-assessment questions clear?
Are the tasks inviting? Is it clear to learners that it's valuable for
them to have a go at each task rather than skip?
Is boxed white space used to help tempt learners to write their answers?
Is the space used for each task or activity appropriate? (A big space for a
simple short answer is as upsetting as a tiny box for a big answer).
Collectively, do the self-assessment questions and activities develop
learners' abilities to master all of the objectives, and to demonstrate their
achievement of the intended learning outcomes?
Is the text relevant? For example, does it keep to the objectives and
intended outcomes, and avoid going off at tangents?
Is the style involving where possible? (For example, do learners feel
actively engaged in the materials, by being referred to as 'you' rather than
'students', and does the author come across in a friendly way as 'I'?).