The medium

A first decision made by designers is the medium for the resources. Traditionally resources would have been paper-based, more recently frequently supported by digital media such as CD-ROMs and DVDs (for example, see the Standards Unit ‘Improving Learning in Mathematics’ or these resources files designed to support UK teachers in implementing the ICT curriculum). Increasingly, however, publishing the resources online has become a viable option (for example see the MaScIL toolkit.)

Advantages of paper-based published resources include the fact that they are usually subject to rigorous editorial control and that people tend to like having something physical to take away. Further print and paper is well-understood in terms of design (we know what fonts and colours work well and we know how to find our way through books). However, in comparison to on-line alternatives, the print medium tends to be more expensive and the time-frame for production is longer. Once printed, it cannot be changed.

For FaSMEd, the decision about the medium was implicit in the proposal as there is no money in the budget for producing materials printed on paper or CD/DVD. The toolkit will be online.