A paper presented @ ISD Workshop
Centre for Open Distance and e-Learning (CODeL)
THE STUDY GUIDETHE STUDY GUIDE
Dr. Gambari, A. I.
What is Study Guide?
Purpose of the Study Guide
Types of Study Guide
Principles in Developing ODL Study Guide
Study Guide Toolkits
Potential Contents of a Study Guide
Writing Study Guide
Learners often need guidance and support
during the learning process. This assist them in
the process of understanding the course
content and developing the skills and
competencies relevant to the course.
Explain the meaning of Study Guide
State the Purpose of the Study Guide
Distinguish between the types of Study Guides
Identify the principles in developing Study Guide
Highlight some potential contents of a Study Guide
Develop a Study Guide in your area of discipline
A study guide is a tool that promotes independent
learning, learner interactivity and deep learning.
A student guide is a resource that provides academic
and administrative learner support throughout the
It generally includes information about the topics or
areas being covered in a course, self-study activities,
examples and exercises that promote independent
learning and assist the learner in further
understanding of course materials.
It assist learners in interactive, self-directed &
It helps learners navigate their way through the
It provides answers to the large majority of queries
It teaches them the invaluable skill of how to learn
It helps them to develop a unique set of technical,
research and critical thinking skills
It supplements the role of a tutor who often not
available in a distance learning programme
Study guides are necessary for
promoting self-directed learning!
In ODL we can prepare student guides in an
electronic or print format. Below is some useful
information about the use of electronic and print
Advantages of Print Material:
Instructional Possibilities of the Internet:
This is a guide used to support the learning
process directly, this include:
This type of guide includes information related
to the general principles and policies of the
institution, it includes:
Testing and examination regulations
How to obtain technical assistance
Means of obtaining financial assistance
Policies related to assignments
Policies related to absenteeism/dropout
Write materials in a way that nurtures learning
Use the active voice
Write in a reader-friendly style
(a) Use a ‘tutor’s voice’ rather than a ‘lecturer’s
voice’ – be friendly and conversational.
(b) Find a tone that is inclusive and personal,
without losing academic rigour.
(c) Ask questions and create a sense of
interaction between you and your learners.
Write simple rather than complex sentences.
Consider your language
Write in a way that is gender-balanced and
Make use of access devices in order to direct
learners to additional information.
Remember, ODL materials have a fairly
complex structure and access devices help
learners find their way around the materials!
Remember, learners should ENJOY reading
and using the course materials!
For the Course as a Whole
An overview of the course
The aims of the course
A statement of any pre-requisite knowledge and skills
that the course assumes
A list of contents
An explanation of the structure of the course (e.g. how
it is divided into units)
A list of the various components (eg. Workbooks,
cassettes, web pages) and some explanation of what
they are for
A course schedule with dates of key events such as
Details of the support system and who to contact about
different types of problems
An explanation of the assignments to be submitted and
the system for submitting them
How and when the course will be assessed
How to use the course (e.g. how to use activities, self
assessment and objectives)
Study skills advice (e.g. how to plan your time, make
notes, learn from the web).
For Each Course Unit
Unit number and title
Statement of pre-requisite knowledge (or a pre-test)
Learning objectives for the unit
List of any equipment needed for studying the unit
Other resources needed for the unit (e.g. a textbook)
• Time required for the unit
• Examples explanatory text
• Activities with feedback
• Diagrams and illustrations
• Topic summaries
• Unit summary
• Self-test based on the unit learning objectives
• Link forward to the next unit
Study Guide Should:
Be prepared for both the web and the print versions.
Electronic form should be searchable.
A reference manual rather than a teaching text.
1. Start with the Course Information
A. General Information:
Students in this course should read this study guide carefully at the start of
It contains important information about the course.
B. Course Code & Course Name:
C. Credit points:
F. About the Course
This course introduces students to a range of knowledge, skills, and
perspectives suitable for …….
G. Lecturer Information:
Name, Email etc.
Consultation: This will need to be over the phone, by email, or by blogging.
2. Give Introduction
Welcome the students to the course.
Help the students understand what the course will help them learn,
State the importance of the course
State how the course is going to help them in future.
3. State the Aim
State the aim of the course
This course will seek to……
develop students’ generic skills in a range of areas.
develop their abilities in the following:
Critical analysis skills
Creative thinking skills
4. Develop Course Learning Objectives
This can be done in 3 steps.
1. Create a stem e.g.
After completing the lesson, the student will be able to….
At the conclusion of the course/unit/study, the student will…
2. Add a verb (e.g. analyze, recognize, compare, provide, list)
3. Determine the actual outcome
Define basic literary terms and apply them to….
Explain the meaning of the word(s):
Draw parallels between….
5. Explain Symbols and Acronyms
Let students know what the symbols and acronyms mean
before they see them in print.
Place a bulleted list of the terms that students will need to
This will serve as a quick reference later.
Symbols and Acronyms do not have to be defined here;
there will be a glossary at the end of the study guide for that.
Π - Pi = 3.14
6. About taking the Course
Give students step-by-step instructions on the process of the
1. Read the following study material
2. Review the PowerPoint presentation online
3. Take the practice test
4. Review the material
5. Take the exam
Set aside information that is particularly important.
NOTE: You must score at least a 70% to pass the exam.
TIP: Taking the practice test improves your chances of success.
7. Preparing for the examination
Use this section to explain what study materials will be needed in
order to prepare for the exam.
Use a bulleted list to show any other materials or other exam
preparation materials needed.
1. This study guide will provide you with the in-depth knowledge
you will need in order to complete the exam.
2. A PowerPoint presentation has been included in this study
3. The sample questions and practice test at the end of this study
guide will help you asses your knowledge before you take the
4. The book “________________” is not required to pass the
examination; however, it will provide excellent additional
information concerning this course if you choose to read it.
8. Write out any prerequisites
All students must have taken Eco 101 before qualifying to take
Students should have a basic knowledge of all mathematical
functions before sitting for this examination for they will not be
taught in this course.
9. State the forms of Assessments
A. Collaboration with you and other students on your blog site
D. Exam arrangements
10. Give Special Warning
Penalties on Plagiarism may include
1. Deduction of marks
2. Failure in the course
3. Referral to the Open Distance Learning Disciplinary