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Distance Learning Tutoring Diploma

The Distance Learning Tutoring Diploma aims to provide knowledge on what is required in the role of a Distance Learning Tutor. Distance learning can be described as a formalised teaching and learning system which is specifically designed to be carried out remotely by using various media other than face to face.

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Level 3 / ABC Awards / ODL58

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over 12 months and £ deposit

over 12 months and £ deposit


Course summary


Course support

12 months access to course


24 hour access

Unlimited Submissions



Fully accredited course


Awarding body

ABC Awards

Course introduction

Distance learning is less expensive to support and is not constrained by geographic considerations, therefore it offers opportunities in situations where traditional education has difficulty operating, and students and tutors can access the process at convenient times which enables other commitments to be fulfilled and also means that a wide diverse student cohort can be catered for. <p >This Level 3 Diploma course is delivered over ten modules and is suitable for those who wish to enter distance learning as tutors and learner supporters. There is an assumed basic knowledge of education delivery and specialist subject knowledge.

Distance learning is becoming a growing area of education delivery, particularly with the availability of various information technologies which can be adapted, harnessed and utilised to enhance student experiences. This course seeks to highlight these technical advances and provide explicit guidance on their use within this specialised learning environment.

Each module is followed by activities which you are encouraged to complete, together with keeping a reflective journal as part of the course. This journal can be used towards continued professional development.

The course culminates with a formal online examination.

This completes the brief overview of the course content. The course is designed to be informative, enjoyable and motivating. Once you have completed the course and been successful in the online examination, you should have a sound grounding and underpinning knowledge of what is required within a distance learning tutor role and be equipped to expand your knowledge and acquire practical experience.

Required knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.


Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis.

The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade.

We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

Awarding organisation

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. 

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

 The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

Course units

Module 1: Introduction to distance learning
In this module we will look at the history of distance learning and how it continues to evolve.
Discussions will also cover definitions of distance learning and the concepts and models which have been used to theorise the approaches, requirements and methods of delivery.

Module 2: Education, theories and practices
Distance learning tutors have to be aware of underpinning educational theories and legislation, for example those that refer to lifelong learning, quality assurance and professional practices of course delivery.

In this module we will look at underpinning and relevant theories of education, discussing how they apply to distance learning. The course material will also present various models of learning and how these need to be adapted to suit distance learning, paying particular attention to issues of differentiation and skills development.

Module 3: Supporting students
Building from the content of module 2 we look at student requirements and categorization of learning skills:

- How do we learn?
- What do students expect from distance learning?
- How do we bridge the gap between traditional learning environments and the virtual learning environment?
- What is the common ground and how can we use this to the students' advantage?

The course will also cover areas about proactive support, blended learning and helping student to overcome specific issues in distance learning such as activity scheduling, isolation and motivation.
We also look at the different problems of supporting students such as time and funding inputs, boundaries and responsibilities, and dealing with various problems that might arise.

Module 4: Media used in distance learning
There are many computations of delivery methods in distance learning, and tutors need to be equipped to use a variety of mixed media. the module will cover the following:

- Correspondence tuition
- E-mail tuition
- Face to face supplementation
- Telephone tuition
- Podcasts

In addition it will also discuss blended learning which is a mix of some or all of the above

Module 5: Skills development
This module looks at how the distance learning student can continue to develop their learning skills and how these can be appropriately assessed and supported within the remote environment. The module looks at the ways in which tutors can facilitate positive student experiences and help students to work towards achieving positive outcomes.

In this module we will also look at how the tutor can use student experiences in order to develop their own skills.

Module 6: Marking and feedback in detail
This module explores the different strategies in marking student's work and also addresses the psychological issues surrounding remote learning. The module will present various key ways to mark which are efficient and versatile but it will also present the pros and cons of marking approaches.

The feedback we give to students is critical to their learning experience and therefore we will explore how to convey positive feedback even when the overall achievement is poor. There will also be discussion on how distance learning tutors can help students to improve their skills in weak areas and maintain motivation, even within the virtual or e-leaning environments.

In this module you will draw on your journal to help build up personal marking strategies and guidelines which will help you in both time management and consistency (further explored in module 9)

Module 7: Access and differentiation issues in distance learning
In this module we look at access to courses, student entry points and how tutors manage these flexible parameters. In addition we will discuss the limitations of distance learning support, together with student responsibilities and expectations

Distance learning students often go missing' or leave the course. Tutors are not always party to personal information regarding students or administrations issues which would be informative. Therefore in this module will examine retention of students, strategies for improving retention and the theories which underpin these strategies; and what the tutor can do to maximise retention in their own courses

Module 8: Structures and quality in distance learning
There are various key aspects in delivery of positive and successful distance learning courses; these will be examined in detail:

- Organizational
- Appraisal and assessment
- Standards
- Continued professional development
- Quality, experience and reflexivity
- Professional bodies and ethics
- CRB checks and relevance of tutoring the under 18's

Module 9: Getting into distance learning as a tutor
This module will cover the normal requirements and experience necessary in a variety of posts such as GCSE. A level, Diploma and Degree. It will also cover the following fundamental processes:

- CV writing and how to express your experience in a positive way
- Looking at expectations
- How to assess your own experience and address shortfalls
- Look at professional and practical knowledge

Module 10: Keeping track
Normally the distance learning tutor will amass a huge amount of documentation, course materials and books, particularly if they tutor several awards or courses, This module looks at how you can minimise and handle this stuff'.

In addition, with multiple entry points, courses and awards, keeping track of students and key dates can be overwhelming; this module discusses these issues in depth and presents some frameworks which will helps to organise and record appropriately and efficiently. We will also cover the following:

- Issues of contact
- Boundaries of your position
- Responsibilities
- Getting information as a distance learning tutor
- Helpful resources and websites

Module 11: Expanding your role
Once you have some experience of distance learning tutoring you may wish to branch out into course writing or become an examiner. This module looks at some of the ways you can diversify and also discusses what is needed in order to fulfil the different roles:

- Becoming an examiner or marker
- Becoming a moderator
- Course writing
- Proof reading
- Branching out into RQF assessing or work-based assessing
- Special needs
- One to one tutoring

Learner support

This course offers 12 months student support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.


What is distance learning?

Distance learning is the most flexible and convenient approach to studying. There is no need for you to attend college and, therefore, you can study anytime, any place, anywhere that fits in with your lifestyle. Distance learning programmes are ideal for people who may have a full-time job, or other commitments, that won’t allow them time off to study.

What do I need to do to get started on a course?

You need to be able to commit your time to the course. To help you understand the commitment needed, each of the course descriptions estimates the amount of time it will take you to complete the course. This is based on an average study period of approximately 10 hours per week.

It is best to choose a course you think will interest you, and help you to achieve your ambitions. If you would like some advice, or further information, please call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

To purchase a course, simply click on the ‘Buy Now’ option against your chosen course and follow the on screen instructions. Alternatively if you would prefer to purchase the course over the phone or by post, call our helpline free on 0333 3445 690.

How does the distance learning/home study method work?

The course operates through a study pack and access to your own personal tutor. Once you have chosen your course we will send you your study pack, which you will be required to work through before completing the course.

Depending on the course you have chosen, you will either be required to complete assignments and submit these for marking as the course progresses and/or be required to sit an end exam. The end exam could be in the form of multiple choice questions, or be an invigilated exam at a registered test centre.

Your completed assignments will need to be sent to your tutor for marking/assessment, you will then receive written feedback and guidance. It may be possible to submit your assignments by email, however you will need to check this with your tutor. Please be aware that your assignments will be maintained by NCCHL for moderation and audit purposes.

These requirements will always be listed on the course description page, so please refer to this for details of what is required for each individual course.

How long should it take to complete a course?

Depending on the course you have chosen, and the amount of time you can commit, it could take from six weeks to nine months to complete your course.

The duration of the course is largely down to you though. The beauty of home learning is that it allows you complete flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle and other commitments. You can dedicate as much, or as little, time as you want to your studies - no one will be chasing you for your work or asking why you haven’t submitted an assignment.

We do strongly recommend, though, that before you purchase a course you assess your ability to commit the necessary time to completing the course in a timeframe that will not leave you losing your motivation.

How quickly will I receive my course material?

We guarantee that you will receive your course materials within 5 days of purchase, but for many courses we would anticipate that you will have to wait no more than 48 hours.

The course materials are always sent to you via a tracked courier service, to ensure that you receive your study pack within our stated period.

How much will it cost?

The cost is largely dependent on the size of the course. The longer the course is the higher the cost will be, due to the size of the study pack and the nature of the qualification.

All prices are clearly stated on the course description page and will always be displayed prior to you committing to purchase a course.

Please note that postage and packaging is charged in addition to the course price.

What support will I receive?

You will be allocated your own personal tutor who can be contacted via e-mail, telephone, fax or post for help and advice on any aspect of the course.

Many courses require that you submit work to your tutor during the period of study and your tutor will assess your work and pass comments back to you. Your tutor is available to you as much as you need them.

Please be aware that officially the tutor support provided with the course is for a period of 12 months, although if you need longer let us know and we’ll endeavour to extend that.

Will I have to sit an examination?

All of our courses are accredited, so you need to show that you have acquired the knowledge to pass the course – this may involve sitting an examination, but it depends on the course you have chosen.

Some courses require you to be continually assessed throughout the course, while others may require an end of course exam or assignment (which may be completed at home) to be submitted to your tutor.

Certain types of qualifications, A-levels and GCSEs for example, do require you to sit an invigilated exam at a registered test centre. You will need to organise the examination yourself, however full details of what you need to do will be included in your study pack.

The details of what sort of exam/assignment (if any) is required for a course will be stated on the course description page, so please check these for full details.

Can I study from outside the UK?

Yes, there are no geographical limits to where you can study.

You just need to be aware that all tutors are based in the UK and work may need to be submitted to them via post, although in most cases e-mail can be used.

Where the course requires that you sit an invigilated exam at a test centre, there are many exam centres outside of the UK. However, we would advise that you check with us before purchasing one of these courses if you want to study from abroad.

Will I receive a qualification when I complete the course?

All of our courses are accredited and you will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about this please see the section of the website that details how awarding bodies work and what the different types of qualifications are.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

Yes, you can take as many courses as your time allows. But we would recommend that you clearly evaluate how much time you can commit to your courses of study.

The good news is though that if your circumstances change you can always take a break and come back to your studies.

Additionally, discounts are available if you buy more than one course at the same time.

How long will it take for my work to be marked by my tutor?

Your work will be marked and feedback returned to you within 12 working days after submission. This is because our tutors are required to provide detailed, considered feedback to our learners that may take a while to formulate. We find that by working this way, our learners actually complete their course in less time, as they rarely need to submit an assignment more than twice.

Whilst it is possible to submit multiple assignments at the same time, we advise that our learners submit only one at a time. We want our learners to develop as they progress through their course, and find this is best achieved when a student embarks on a new module having taken into account tutor feedback from the previous submission.

Do I need any additional books or equipment to do my course?

No, we provide everything you need to pass your course.

How do I enrol?

Once you have chosen your course, you can either purchase the course online which will enrol you, or you can call our helpline on 0333 3445 690 who will sign you up for the course and arrange to have all your learning materials sent to you.

What if I’ve chosen the wrong course?

If, after receiving the course, you decide it isn’t the right course for you, you can simply return the goods within 14 days and we will send your money back in full for the majority of courses (excluding postage and packaging) or you can choose another course that you feel would suit your needs and ambitions better.

What is the difference between the online and paper versions of courses?

Our online courses are completed through our online learning system after receiving login and access instructions. You will not receive any course materials through the post. The paper based version is posted out in a binder to your home or place of work and requires completion of a portfolio of work that is submitted to your tutor for marking.

Where can I find your Equality and Diversity Policy?

All NCC policies and procedures can be provided on request from NCC directly by emailing or calling 0333 3445 690.

Can reasonable adjustments be made to help reduce the effects of a disability or difficulty that may place me at a disadvantage?

A reasonable adjustment is any action that helps to reduce the effect of a disability or difficulty that places the candidate at a substantial disadvantage in the assessment situation. Reasonable adjustments must not affect the integrity of what needs to be assessed, but may involve:

Changing standard assessment arrangements, for example allowing candidates extra time to complete the assessment activity Adapting assessment materials, such as providing materials in Braille Providing access facilitators during assessment, such as a sign language interpreter or a reader Re-organising the assessment room, such as removing visual stimuli for an autistic candidate.

Reasonable adjustments are approved or set in place before the assessment activity takes place; they constitute an arrangement to give the candidate access to the assessment activity. The use of a reasonable adjustment will not be taken into consideration during the assessment of a candidate’s work.

Awarding organisations and centres are only required by law to do what is ‘reasonable’ in terms of giving access. What is reasonable will depend on the individual circumstances, cost implications and the practicality and effectiveness of the adjustment. Other factors, such as the need to maintain competence standards and health and safety, will also be taken into consideration.

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