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ADL Blog | Real Learning Stories

Academy for Distance Learning Blog - Our Blog is a resource for people looking for courses and information about our courses, education news, real learning stories, student sucess, discussion and anything of interest we can muster up!  

We'll be keeping this page updated with news, course information and real life student sucess stories.

Sinister Reptilian


Leopard Seal (Hydruga leptonyx)



Essentially solitary and circumpolar in distribution, usually on outer edges of pack ice, but does range widely to most Subantarctic islands, including South Georgia and the Falklands. Adult females, considerably larger than males, reach a length of some 12ft (4m), males about 10ft (3.5m). Upperparts darkish grey and underparts light grey, with spotting on throat, shoulders and sides- amount of spotting varies. Overall appearance rather reptilian, with a disproportionately large head for its long, slim body line. At close quarters the wide gape and three-...

The principles of having a wildlife garden are pretty clear; you need to maximise as far as possible opportunities for native wildlife in the context of a conventional garden design. But that doesn’t necessarily involve throwing open the doors of abandon and allowing any invasive species or ugly obtrusive shrub to take over. There is room in any wild design for order, symmetry and beauty. The trick is to maximise (and dare I say, occasionally embellish) natural beauty by working with Mother Nature, instead of fruitlessly against her.


So in a wildlife garden, it is not incongruous to see an area of clipped lawn, an arbour, a water...

Sometimes, when you are studying you can find yourself beginning to lose motivation in your subject of choice. If this happens, it is helpful to remind yourself why you started your course at the beginning. Spending time at the outset identifying your reasons for learning will be useful later if you hit a lull in your motivation.

Here’s how…

Why are you studying a subject?

Clearly, you are – or were - interested in the topic of study. So think in depth about the motivation behind your decision to enrol in this course. Perhaps competence in this subject is a stepping stone to what you wish to do next – either in your career or in...

Many of us promise that one day, we shall write that book, and perhaps we already have some ideas for a plot or some characters… but how many of us achieve that dream?


Here is how to prepare yourself for your new writing direction…


1. Read books in the genre in which you want to develop your abilities. By reading and thinking about the area in which you wish to write, you will find it all the easier to express yourself naturally and interestingly in this context.


2. Adopt a strategic approach to your reading. When you are reading an enjoyable book, stop occasionally to check how the words are making you feel....

If your local supermarket closed down, where would you do your food shop? Most of us would say, 'The next supermarket closest to me!' What if supermarkets no longer supplied what you were looking for? What if you went to every supermarket and none of them had what you wanted? This has been the case with many shoppers this year as terrible weather in the south of Spain and Italy, the main suppliers for many of our out-of-season vegetables, drastically reduced the supply of courgettes, lettuce and broccoli.

There seems to be a new crisis for specific crops every now and then. Often, unreliable weather is the cause, other times, simple...

In our Critical Thinking module here at the Academy for Distance Learning, we teach that the only legitimate argument is the appeal to logos (logic and reason). According to the standard view, appeals topathos (emotions) and appeals to ethos (trust) are both illegitimate attempts to manipulate people.


This idea is based on centuries of tradition in critical thinking, but it’s not what Aristotle, the founder of modern critical thinking originally said in his book, Rhetoric, 2,500 years ago. Aristotle’s book is much more practical than that, and confines itself to describing how people can convince each other of ideas, rather than...

Last year I had the good fortune to visit the Falkland Islands. The islands are a remote South Atlantic archipelago with unspoilt cliff-lined coasts exposed to wild winds, and forlorn rugged heathlands strewn with boulders and the remnants of war. Their hundreds of islands and islets are home to sheep farms, and diverse shores with abundant birdlife. It was quite inspiring to be in such open and free terrain and it quite re- ignited my curiosity as an ecologist.


The vast majority of the two- thousand or so population are cosseted in small tin huts in the capital, Stanley. A small minority live in what they call ‘camp’ from the...

E.O.Wilson, retired Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, defines ‘biophilia’ as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. An increasing body of research is showing that humans have a natural desire to connect with nature and the outdoors, and not only find social and health benefits from being outdoors, but that time spent exposed to nature can play a part in curing many illnesses, both physical and mental. It seems, we are programmed to be in nature, despite our increasing urbalisation. And in recent generations, the move away from the countryside has been staggering; the US census in 1990 showed that the farm population in...


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Disclaimer: Every attempt is made to ensure all information from the academy is accurate and that the student has attained the competencies taught in a course, at the point of their assessment. Beyond this point, the graduate is responsible to maintain their acquired competencies, and apply acquired knowledge and skills in a way which is appropriate to the unique characteristics of each application. This will release the academy from any liability, action and claims of whatsoever nature in connection with, or arising from any such information, instruction or advice, given by any student or ex-student, whether directions given during the course are followed or not.