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close this bookAPPEAL - Training Materials for Continuing Education Personnel (ATLP-CE) - Volume 2: Post-Literacy Programmes (APEID - UNESCO, 1993, 112 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentINTRODUCTION
View the documentChapter 1: Post-Literacy - Principles and Rationale
View the documentChapter 2: Post-Literacy as Part of Continuing Education
View the documentChapter 3: Curriculum Framework
View the documentChapter 4: Design and Development of Materials
View the documentChapter 5: Validation - A Case Study of Post-Literacy Curriculum Development
View the documentChapter 6: An Infrastructure for Post-Literacy
View the documentChapter 7: Implementation and Delivery
View the documentChapter 8: Training of Personnel for Post-Literacy
View the documentChapter 9: Evaluation and Feedback
View the documentAnnex: List of Participants
View the documentBack Cover

Chapter 4: Design and Development of Materials


The design of materials for a structured curriculum with defined standards of competency as described in the exemplar presented in Chapter Three must follow the parameters set by such a curriculum. To be effective therefore, learning materials for post-literacy must have the following features:

a) They must focus on the intended outcomes of the curriculum. In the case of the exemplar curriculum given in Chapter 3 they must reflect the skills of autonomous learning and contribute to the development of an autonomous person.

b) They must cover the content areas of the curriculum.

c) They must be carefully graded to correspond to the competency levels at the standards defined by the curriculum. That is there should be, in the case of the exemplar, a set of materials for each of competency levels (a), (b) and (c) and each product should be written to that agreed standard.


As well as closely fitting the parameters of the post-literacy curriculum, learning materials must be educationally sound, interesting, attractive, comprehensive and useful for the learners.

a) Educationally Sound. The materials should be activity oriented and be soundly based in theories of adult learning. The systems model for materials design has been shown to be effective involving teaming steps presented as cycles of INPUT-PROCESS OUTPUT (See ATLP Volumes 1 and 2), but whether or not such an approach is used, the materials should draw on what is known about promoting the most optimal conditions for teaming.

b) Attractively Produced. Post-literacy programmes are frequently criticised as being uninteresting, unattractive and hence ineffective. Packaging is important. The materials should look and feel welcoming and encouraging. Poorly printed or packaged materials suggest to learners that there is something «second rate» about the programme.

c) Varied ill Format At present, attractive mass media affect every aspect of people’s life. Radio, T.V., cinema are everywhere. We can also fold attractive and interesting varieties of folk media. Therefore, it is necessary to combine effectively reading materials and audio-visual materials. In contrast to such all pervasive audio-visual media, if we promote post-literacy education through only traditional methods such as «chalk and talk», the programme could well fail. The exemplar curriculum framework outline in Chapter 3 assumes that each «cell» of the curriculum grid will contain not only a wide range of titles, each developed to the content and competency standards specified by that cell, but also a wide range of formats. Some may be just books for reading, but other could be presented as audio programmes, videos, movie films, educational games, posters, wall newspapers and so on.

d) Oriented to the Genuine Needs of Learners. In designing any post-literacy curriculum the needs of the learners should be paramount. Disadvantaged groups should be especially well catered for. Groups needing special attention include women in rural areas, slum dwellers and ethnic and cultural minorities. In designing materials for women, for example, the following procedures should be followed:

i) collect information and data on needs and problems from women, so as to gain insight into women’s perspectives;

ii) study and identify how women figure within the context of the entire community;

iii) utilize a variety of survey methods based on the psychology of women who face many difficulties. These methods could include

- observation
- discussion
- interviews, field visits and document analysis.

In the above context, we should encourage women’s involvement and participation in the material design from National Level to Local Level. Otherwise most of the materials for post-literacy will be mainly designed from the point of view of men’s psychological biases and values. Similarly we should involve other disadvantaged groups such as street children and slum dwellers. Based on the most urgent needs and problems raised by their participation and involvement, we should develop carefully targeted learning materials.


The following diagram (figure 4.1) sets out the general steps to be followed in the production of materials for educational programmes, including post-literacy programmes.

Figure 4.1: Steps in the production of learning materials for an educational programme such as a post-literacy programme

At all stages in development the broad areas of content and the competency standards as specified in the curriculum framework must be carefully adhered DO. Separate blocks of materials should be developed for each «cell» of the curriculum grid. Wherever possible, many titles should be produced for each cell and while there should always be a core of purely reading materials other formats should be included if at all possible.


The overall framework for any educational programme should be based on an analysis of the genuine needs of the clientele. This is particularly the case in the area of post-literacy where motivation is a central problem. The overall aims, objectives and outcomes should be determined by the needs, as should the broad areas of subject matter and the standards to be achieved at each level of competency.

This principle should also filter down to the development of the specific learning materials for each «cell» of the curriculum. Each learning resource should be developed with the needs of the learners in mind and these needs should be satisfied wherever possible. No matter how expensive the learner resources may be, and no matter how superficially attractive the packaging and the format, they remain relatively useless if they are not directly relevant to the needs of the people in the target community.

Surveys of needs, therefore, are vitally important for both broad curriculum design and for the production of effective learning resources. Needs surveys may be either formal or informal and some comment on each is provided below.

a) Formal Needs Survey.

This can be done through general observation and interview. In making the observation the planner or designer will have to visit the target community to observe community profiles and living condition. These include, for example, day-to-day living and occupation, women’s roles, children’s problems, and so on. Collecting data may involve taking notes, taking photographs and making video recordings.

Interviews, may be conducted by questioning the people who are the direct tar gets or those who are indirectly involved with the target group. The target people should be given the opportunity to offer appropriate answers to open-ended questions prepared by the interviewer.

A simple questionnaire for use in such a survey is given below:

Example of questionnaire

1. What kind of information do you need to improve your everyday life?

2. What is the most attractive, interesting and effective learning for mat or media for you?

3. Which of the following formats interest you?

a) Booklets
b) Audio-visual
c) Any other?

4. After finishing post-literacy classes what is your future plan for life? Have you any suggestions or ideas?

5. Would you like to say anything else about how an education Or trai ning programme could help you?

b) Informal Needs Survey

Needs survey can be done informally through ordinary conversation during which the target people may not know that they are being interviewed. The same basic questions as in the formal questionnaire can be used. This kind of informal survey may be done through group meetings and discussion. Besides, the planners or designers may spend time living in the community in order to collect the needed data.

In conducting field surveys of needs, either formally or informally, renewal methods should be used in order to test the reliability of the data obtained. Also it is necessary to do two further things (i) to prioritize needs in order of their significance and (ii) to determine which of the needs can be met through a programme of post-literacy.

One useful procedure, the New Participation (NP). Method, is outlined below.


The following procedure has been found to be useful in determining the needs of target groups under both the ATLP and ATLP-CE programmes. It is termed the New Participation (NP) Method because it focuses on active participation by the target clientele. The steps of the procedure are set out in the following table (Table 4.1):

Table 4.1: The New Participation (NP) Method of Needs Analysis


This is an effective method for the analysis and identification of needs for materials production in post-literacy. Through this method, we can easily, quickly and practically analyse the needs with active participation of participants.

For the success of this method we should include a variety of participants from different agencies as much as possible.


The procedure is briefly explained as follows:

1. Participants are divided into groups of about 10 people in each group.

2. All participants in the group discuss the needs for a post-literacy programme covering any relevant topics freely for about 30 minutes. All participants thus gain some idea of the issues to be considered and the order of importance of the issues.

3. After the discussion, each member in the group writes most crucial needs on small pieces of paper. Each person writes down about ten different items, one item on one piece of paper. About 30 minutes is given for writing. Each item should be written carefully according to the following guidelines:

- simple language and short sentences should be used;
- the content should be clear and practical;
- the content should be easily understood by everybody.

4. After all participants in their group have finished their writing, the pieces of paper are collected and sorted by grouping them according to their content similarity. These pieces of paper are then pasted on a big sheet of paper h content clusters.

5. Headings for each category of need are written down to summarize the points in each cluster. Based on this data map summarized by all participants, we can then arrange the clusters in order of priority.

6. After the identification of needs, the participants could be asked to do a similar exercise to suggest solutions (about 10 items by each person). Through this method it is possible to identify needs and solutions easily and practically and to relate them to actuality.

The NP method is a useful way of assembling, consolidating and evaluating data obtained from a needs survey. Its effectiveness, however, depends very much on the quality of the input, that is, on the scope, reliability and validity of the field data. There is no substitute for solid painstaking research when it comes to the investigation of the genuine needs of a community or a particular social group.

Needs analysis, as has been mentioned before, is especially important in the design of effective post-literacy programmes. Since post-literacy training is not only work-related but also contains, or should contain, both recreational and general educational elements, motivation is a key issue. Unless participants perceive that the training meets their needs they will drop-out.

Learning resources produced for post-literacy programmes, therefore, must be developed in such a way that participants see clearly that they are gaining something to help them in their day-to-day living. Even recreational elements such as fiction can perhaps be slanted towards meeting overt needs.

Less overt needs such as building vocabulary, developing critical thinking, enhancing the skills of problem-solving, must also be addressed, but should be developed in association with meeting the needs of daily life.


There is a wide range of print and non-print media available in education. The following table lists the most frequently used of these in post-literacy programmes in Asia and the Pacific (Table 4.2).

The format (medium) chosen for post-literacy should be that which is most appropriate and effective for the content and for the type of learner. The following general criteria should be considered when selecting the most suitable format:

a) Needs and literacy levels of clientele

As neo-literates seldom have enough time to study in a school or special literacy class, it is necessary when selecting a format to be aware of what type of format the target learners would like to use, even in a limited time frame. When producing posters and audio-visual materials to be presented to a group of people, it is particularly important that the literacy level of the overall group as well as that of individual members be known in order to employ an effective format for group use.

Since literacy levels within a post-literacy programme are defined in terms of competencies, the materials must be carefully designed at the appropriate level of competency in terms of reading, writing, numeracy and general mental skill.

Table 4.2: Frequently Used Media for Post-Literacy Programmes in Asia and the Pacific



1. Printed Book


2. Printed non-book

Leaflet (flyer)
Wall newspaper
News periodical and journal
Picture story-telling hardboard set
Card set (flash cards, picture cards)

3. Audio-visual media

Puppet play, picture-story telling.
Move, video, slide set, audio tape, radio programme and T.V. programme

4. Games and others

1. Ordinary conventional game, card game, jigsaw puzzle, “future” game, game of finance (e.g. “Real Estate”), board games such as sugoroku (“Parcheesi”) snakes and ladders, etc.
2. Simulation game
3. Others (puppet show, shadow play, folk dance, songs)

b) Location and conditions where the materials are to be used

It is necessary to know the type of setting (environmental conditions) where the materials are to be used, and in what manner they are to be applied. Materials such as posters should be displayed prominently, preferably on a large wall, over a long period of time, in locations where people assemble. Audio-visual materials normally require facilities and equipment such as electricity and slide projectors. The producers of such materials should be well aware of the locally available resources and the background of the target learners in tends of their culture, customs and preferences.

c) How the materials are to be used?

In producing materials for post-literacy such AS games and comparatively thick books, care should be taken that they do not require excessively detailed guidelines for their application by instructors. The format must be carefully considered so that the materials can be easily accepted and understood by the instructors from the outset. A format which involves complications or problems in application or does not clearly and simply convey the intended message should be avoided.

Materials for post-literacy should be «activity»-oriented, stimulating learners to participate in educational games, simulations, creative production, active drill and other forms of interaction. Media should be chosen to ensure that learners and not presenters take the responsibility for the learning.

d) Means of production and their cost

Cost of materials production varies greatly, depending on the format. It is therefore important to select the best possible medium within the limits of the budget. It is sometimes possible to find cheaper alternatives without too great a sacrifice of educational standards. For example, a well-produced set of picture cards may be cheaper to produce and use than a set of colour slides.

Another aspect of materials production for post-literacy concerns the quality of illustrations.

Good quality illustrations should be used in almost all educational formats. For example key words and sentences to be introduced at each level of competency should be appropriately illustrated with drawings, diagrams, photographs and other types of graphics. Illustrations are evaluated strictly through vision and should therefore always be of a high quality. It is important that illustrators are fully knowledgeable about the subject matter and the educational approach. In addition the following points should be kept in mind when preparing illustrations for post-literacy materials.

· Illustrations should be attractive, interesting and enjoyable.

· Accuracy is important. Use simple, clear and accurate representations of the subject to be illustrated.

· All sketches, photographs, abstractions and cartoons should be recognisable by target readers.

· Features such as, human figures, clothing, scenery, structures, tools and so on should be shown conforming to the situation found in the community of the clientele concerned.

· Illustrations of cultural aspects, leisure activities, medical practice, work practice, scientific activity and so on should be appropriate for the field or discipline involved.


Each of the various types of media and formats for post-literacy materials has its specific characteristics. These characteristics need to be understood if there is to be an effective match between the needs of the clientele, the subject matter, the educational approach and the content.

a) Printed Book

Booklets and books for post-literacy should contain the number of pages determined by the standards set for each level of competency. In the case of the exemplar curriculum described in Chapter 3 they are, as follows:

Competency level (a) = 16-20 pages
Competency level(b) = 20-30 pages
Competency level (c) = 30 pages and above

There is no upper limit, of course, because as participants reach the stage of autonomous learning they may go on to pursue further studies at quite advanced levels.

Within a post-literacy programme, a book or booklet is, basically, something to be kept by the individual and read at leisure whenever desired. Themes suitable for booklets should (a) consist of well-ordered, easily understood series of explanation, or (b) have an easily understood story-like progression.

b) Printed Non-book

While there are several formats possible here, the most common printed non-book is a poster. The basic function of a poster is to clearly present visually and directly a message to many people at once. While the poster is an effective means of conveying a lasting impression in a short time, communicating detailed information is not feasible by this medium.

Posters can be categorised as either (a) campaign-types designed to strongly project a single message; or (ii) instruction-oriented, illustrating and explaining through a single scene or series of scenes (which may be somewhat complicated) some relevant information.

Posters can be applied in a variety of ways, especially as instructional aids for various levels of post-literacy. Usually they are associated with some other resource such as a learners work-book, a text or audio-visual material.

c) Audio-visual Media

While there is an extensive range of these media the most commonly used within post-literacy programmes include the following:

(i) Slide Kits. A slide kit is one of the simplest forms of audio-visual media. Such a kit consists of a sequenced set of illustrations which may be viewed with a hand-held viewer or projected electronically. Slide sets may be accompanied by printed notes or by cassette recording which provide explanations, background music and sound effects. Slide-tape sets of the latter type are especially effective because of the simultaneous inputs through eye and ear.

Topics can be effectively presented to large or small groups by the use of slide-tape kits and the medium is highly motivational as it is interesting and entertaining. If used with follow-up supplementary materials and discussion, maximum instructional capability can be realised.

As slide-tape kits require use of electricity, a slide projector and a cassette tape layer, and because they require a darkened room, places and situations where they can be used may be limited. However, hand-held viewers and printed notes can be used effectively in the simplest learning environment, even out-of-doors.

(ii) Educational Games. Games can be divided into two categories, there are (i) ordinary conventional games, and (ii) simulation games. Ordinary conventional games, include numerous traditional games of each country together with many new variations designed for children with necessary modification to suit adult neo-literates. Simulation games present an issue or problem and suggest its solution through role play. This provides an effective means of involving the learners directly in an activity that requires little or no preparation of materials, and is relatively risk free.

(iii) Folk Media. Folk media are perhaps the most interesting and attractive audio-visual devices to use in the absence of electricity. This, however, is not always fully recognised by the clientele or by materials developers. Direct two-way communication can occur between learners and presenter and so the medium is highly personal. The medium is especially rich culturally and reflects the traditions and values of each community. The challenge for the materials designer in post-literacy programmes is to devise and create new and appropriate folk media as alternative resources withal each cell of the curriculum grill.

(iv) Radio Programme. Radio broadcasting has much to offer within post literacy programmes and is clearly not a poor second to the more immediately attractive television. Some rural communities are so isolated that transportation and communication are difficult. They are isolated not only physically, but culturally, which can be tar more damaging to person’s state of self-being, than mere physical isolation. Geographically remote places, however, may be within range of radio broadcasts. As a means of reaching the vast majority of rural people, radio is therefore a most suitable medium.

Small transistorised radio receivers are now readily available at low cost. Many people can be contacted by this medium with the added advantage that listeners need not be always in the one location - they can move freely from place to place and still receive the messages. With the small transistorised radio more people can be reached, and listeners need not be fixed in one place in order to receive the information. It is not uncommon in both rural and urban areas to see men and women walking along, listening to a portable radio carried in a shirt pocket, or to see people working with a transistor radio close by.

(v) Photonovella. This effective format for neo-literate materials tells a story through a series of photographs arranged in sequence as in a booklet. The photonovella is well-suited for visually and realistically conveying content in an impressive manner. It can be employed easily in presenting desired scenes in cases where an artist is not available to produce drawings.

(vi) Video Programmes. the video medium, either broadcast or packaged as video cassette tape, is a powerful learning medium. It can have the following characteristics.

· Now universally recognized and effective for everybody
· Fosters concrete understanding of ideas, concepts, principles and procedures
· Highly motivational
· Usable in a wide variety of situations
· Can be readily combined with other media

Low cost production is now possible because of the ready availability of inexpensive video cameras. Steps in the production of a video programme are summarised below (see box).

Steps in the Production of a Video Programme



· Deciding on what problem or what field to take up.


Deciding on the theme

· Deciding on the contents, the title, and the sites proposed for the location.


Searching for the place of location

· Confirming whether or not there are materials suitable for the purpose of the production.
· Checking on the possibility of unforeseen problems.
· Researching about the people and places. Requesting cooperation in taking pictures.


Framing the construction of the programme

· Recognizing problems.
· Determining the story.
· Determining the type of problem and how it should be presented.
· Finalizing the location schedule.



· Filming
· Recording the sound effects
· Gathering materials for the narration.


Editing the sound effects

· Framing the chart of contents
· Primary editing.


Narration Effects

· Final editing
· Finalizing the content of the narration.
· Finalizing the sound effects and music.
· Finalizing the written materials in the video.

Television programmes can be used in a variety of teaching-learning situations. The following procedures should be followed, however, in almost all situations.

· Before watching the programme: Draw the audience’s attention to the screen.
· During the programme: Check on the audience reaction.
· After the programme: Set up a discussion period if necessary, also drawing on related printed materials for follow-up.

In concluding Section G of this Chapter on the characteristics of educational media, it is important to again stress that post-literacy materials should involve as wide a variety of media as possible. Each cell of the curriculum grid should include a range of materials in a variety of formats.


Since post-literacy programmes are a key element within continuing education to develop the skills of autonomous learning, they are critically important in the emergence of a learning society. It is important therefore, that as many agencies as possible, both government and non-government, be involved in their development and presentation. In particular the wide variety of materials needed for post-literacy should be produced cooperatively by numerous instrumentalities.

A particularly important aspect of the most effective post-literacy programmes are that they should be closely linked to the work-place and have a strong work-related focus. Materials produced in association with employers are therefore very significant.

Resource materials derived from a number of sources, however, need to be carefully screened and modified to match the competency standards defined by the curriculum. In addition, motivation elements, appropriate instructional methods and interesting and innovative approaches should be included in all resources.

An important consideration is the optimal combination of resources within any one cell of the curriculum grid to fully complement and strengthen the overall content to be covered that part of the programme. Different formats can be brought together for this purpose. Instructional posters and booklets could be developed as a single integrated resource as could games and booklets and audio-visual materials and printed work-books. Because of the special characteristics and advantages of various formats appropriate combinations strengthen and enhance learning.

Also in post-literacy programmes, as al the case of basic literacy, existing resources can be adopted or adapted to suit the parameters of the curriculum and to meet local needs. The well-known AJP materials developed by the Asian Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) in Tokyo, Japan, are excellent examples of materials which could be used in this way. These materials were prepared with the cooperation of UNESCO PROAP during a series of national and regional workshops organized to prepare appropriate materials for neo-literates.

Thirty-four prototype ACCU packages in English have been produced on subjects closely related to daily life in rural areas. New guidebooks for the development and production of literacy materials have also been developed. The format of these materials and their titles are as follows: (Table 4.3).









1. Health-1

- Sanitation
- Everyone’s Water
- Charcoal Water Filter
- Let’s Wipe out Worms
- Let’s Make the Home Clean

- Pit Latrines for a clean village (picture story-telling)


2. Health-2

- Baby’s Food
- Man & the Festival
- Let’s Eat Vegetable

- A balanced diet (rotating piegraph)
- Nutrition (card game)


3. Primary

- Grow Mushroom
- Raising Chickens
- Bamboo Handicraft
- More Income by Tree Planting

- Home Gardening
- Tree Planting

- Let’s Plant Trees (step by step game)

- Poultry for Additional Income (slide kit)


4. Science

- Use of Gas from daily wastes
- Fish Need a lot of oxygen

- Do you know Numbers?
- Let’s Safely Use Electricity
- How to improve the Well System


5. Culture

- Around Asia and the Pacific (Sugoroku)
- Animal Sugoroku
- Proverb Card Game


6. Social and General

- The Life of Water
- Cooperative for better live
- Useful & simple knowledge for everyday living
- Why literacy for women

- Let’s Read
- The River and Us
- Public Pollution inside bus

- Building up a Happy Community (Sugoroku game)
- Let’s repair our village road (endless strip)
- Good use of water (jigsaw)
- Women literacy (box puzzle)

- Water in everyday life (slide kit)
- Let’s Form a cooperative (cassette drama/radio programme)
- Water in everyday life (video)
- Save the village (puppet)









In the countries in Asia and the Pacific, organizers and teachers of post-literacy programmes should design, write and produce specifically targeted post-literacy materials on the basis of surveys of target needs and their previous language background.

Frequently, however, post-literacy organizers and teachers have to use and adapt materials for neo-literates already produced by various government and non-government agencies. This is more difficult for post-literacy than for basic literacy since the indicators for the various literacy standards are more complex involving not only standards for advanced levels or reading, writing and numeracy, but also for the development of a range of relevant mental skills. Nevertheless some guidelines can be given to assist programme organisers and teachers he the selection of appropriate materials. In most cases, however, some adaptation would be needed to ensure an «exact» fit with the parameters of the curriculum. The following steps are suggested as broad guidelines.

Step 1: Establish the objective for which you want to find materials.

Step 2: Study the content areas for which you need materials (e.g. to teach about health, agriculture, etc.)

Step 3: Be specific about what type of materials you are looking for, such as:

a) printed book-materials
b) printed non-book materials
c) games and plays
d) other media materials.

Step 4: Decide whether you want to use the materials for:

a) motivating the learners.
b) instructing them on certain content areas.
c) using as follow-up materials (to be used by the learners as self-study materials etc.).
d) group use (the plays and games are group materials).
e) using through electronic media, the radio. T.V., etc.

Step 5: Choose appropriate formats for the materials

Step 6: Check, that the resource is at the appropriate standard or competency level and that it satisfies the indicators of that standard. If necessary modify the materials to make a more precise match.