COL TVSD has been involved in the creation of course materials with many of our partners over the years. Our more recent and popular materials are available through the links below. Most are freely available as open educational resources (OER) for download and adaption, but some may carry restrictive licenses.

For more resources, COL’s wider online institutional repository of publications and resources can be found on  This is an open access repository where publications can be freely downloaded for reuse and adaptation under Creative Commons Licensing.



Basic Trades for Small Island Nations

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Learning about Small Business

The purpose of this package is to encourage the development of small businesses at a local level in island nations. This will help add value to local cultural activities, increase the ability of people to harness their skills in planning successful small businesses.

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Small Scale Business Management

The Botswana College of Distance & Open Learning (BOCODOL) made materials from a certificate programme in Small Scale Business Management available for reuse.

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Technical and Vocational Teacher Training

These materials provide a distance education training programme for technical and vocational teachers, addressing the core pedagogical needs of technical and vocational teachers.

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Dhaka Ahsania Mission Vocational Skills Training Packages

With support from the Commonwealth of Learning, the Center for International Education and Development (CINED) of Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) in Bangladesh developed five vocational skills training packages. These training packages are designed to enhance the existing vocational skills of the rural and urban poor and to create opportunity to gain new vocational skills for improving the quality of lives. Each package contains an easy-to-read illustrated booklet and animation video on the following five skill areas:

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The learning resources not only cover the skills needed in each area but information on how to establish and grow a small business using the skills.


Producing Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks: A Flexible Learning Course

Through the INVEST Africa partnership of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), representatives of four Kenyan institutes, Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Coast Institute of Technology, Masai Technical Training Institute and Mombasa Technical Training Institute, developed a course on brick making for non-formal community training.

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Matuaileoo Environmental Trust Incorporated (METI) in Samoa, with support from COL, has developed an introductory manual on Permaculture. Permaculture is a design system used to provide for human needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture provides a way of thinking which helps us to design highly productive systems where people can live abundantly while caring for the Earth, in harmony with the animals, plants, oceans, rivers and people around us (as well as ourselves). This manual has been prepared as a self-instructional course for community development workers to enable them to teach people in their communities about permaculture.

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This course aims to provide learners with the knowledge and skills needed to plan, build and operate a biogas plant for domestic purposes. It is designed for dairy farmers, masons, prospective biogas plant operators and other stakeholders working with this technology. This course was developed as part of the short-course offering from Thika Technical Training Institute, designed to provide skills training to meet the needs of the local community. Thika Technical Training Institute is a partner in the Commonwealth of Learning INVEST Africa partnership.

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Manicure + Pedicure Short Course

Through the INVEST Africa partnership of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), representatives of three Kenyan institutes, Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, Mombasa Technical Training Institute and Thika Technical Training Institute developed a course on Basic Manicure and Pedicure Skills for non-formal community training.

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Poultry Keeping

Through the INVEST Africa partnership of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), representatives of Thika Technical Training Institute and Rift Valley Technical Training Institute in Kenya developed a course on poultry keeping for non-formal community training. Poultry keeping is one of the most popular forms of business among small-scale farmers.  This is because poultry requires little capital, is easy to rear and easy to manage.  Poultry keeping thus provides farmers with anopportunity to start an income generating activity.

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Certificate in Community Development

The University of the South Pacific (USP) has made the materials for three courses in the Certificate in Community Development (Level 3) programme available as open education resources (OER).

  • Basic Concepts of Community Development
  • Community Development Process
  • Community Project Development

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SRC Kerala CCD

This Certificate Course in Community Development (CCD), developed by the State Resource Centre, Kerala (SRCK) in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), aims at building and strengthening the capabilities of community development workers (CDW).  In-service Preraks (community workers), , Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) Workers, NGO workers, Anganvadi (ICDS centres) workers as well as new aspirants can benefit from this certificate by developing the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills to plan, manage, implement and document developmental activities to facilitate community development in social, economic, cultural and ethical aspects with the objective of improving the quality of life.

The certificate programme is offered in Malayalam and English through print-based distance education in order to make learning accessible through part-time study, outside working hours. The programme can be completed in 6-9 months.  The programme consists of 4 courses containing a total of 8 modules which have been made available as open education resources (OER).

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Mobile Cell Phone Repair and Maintenance

Through the INVEST Africa partnership of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), representatives of four Kenyan institutes, namely Masai Technical Training Institute, Coast Institute of Technology, Thika Technical Training Institute and Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, developed a course on the repair and maintenance of mobile cell phones.

Mobile technology has become one of the fastest growing technologies in the world.  Today people use mobile phones to stay in touch with friends and family, to share stories and photographs in social media, and to carry out financial transactions.

This widespread ownership and use of mobile phones has created a need for professionals who can repair and service mobile phones.  This course has been developed to address that need.  The course targets people who would like to start and run a mobile repair and servicing business.  By the end of this course you should be able to disassemble and assemble a mobile phone, diagnose the problem, service and repair a mobile phone with the help of proper tools and instruments.

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