Distance learning study letters


Distance learning study letters

The written, printed materials in distance learning studies are often referred to as study letters or study books. In the early days of distance learning, letters with small learning materials were sent to distance learning students at short intervals. Nowadays, the complete study material is sent all at once. 

Inside the study letters

The study letters are mostly bound booklets or scripts of varying lengths, often around 100 pages. The letters are not just textbooks provided with a cover from the school or university, but didactically prepared learning materials specific for distance learning studies. 

For example, our distance learning study letters include a table of contents which will give the student an overview of the upcoming topics. All the important information within the chapters is highlighted and a summary is written at the end of each chapter. Additionally, our letters are supported with examples, exercises and questions for reflection.

Typical study letter structure

  • Cover sheet with designation, author and, if applicable, edition/status
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction (What can I expect from the study letter? How is it structured? Classification in the learning material, etc.)
  • Structured teaching text with intermediate questions, illustrations, possibly marginalia, summaries, lists, sources, space for notes, etc. 
  • Conclusion, outlook, possibly review of the following issues
  • List of tables and figures as well as a list of references and appendices, if applicable
  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Solutions to the tasks in the booklet
  • Submissions assignment to be sent to the study coach (without solutions)

While it used to be common, and in some cases still is today, to have a large number of study letters printed and stored until they are dispatched, schools are now switching more frequently to printing on demand. This ensures that distance learning students always receive the current study letters and the providers can quickly incorporate corrections. Furthermore, these materials are increasingly being made available in electronic form in formats like PDF and ePUB.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog post on distance learning study letters. Should you choose to start your studies here, take a look at the different distance learning studies we offer. 


At PFH we make sure you receive a high-quality education while fully experiencing being a distance learning student