This article looks at the way in which people perceive learning and the impact of these perceptions on teaching methods within the context of learning development in distance education. The context could, in fact, be any type of teaching and learning environment. The point is to balance approaches to teaching and learning depending on student profiles, the purpose of the learning, the resources available, etc. Teaching needs to be informed by research into learning as well as into the disciplinary area: both types of research lead to more scholarly teaching. Learning development is of primary interest to lecturers in higher education but also to teams that work on course development including instructional designers in distance education or multimedia designers. It is also of interest to managers who need to plan resources and environments that support optimal student learning. The Institute for Curriculum and Learning Development at the University of South Africa is particularly concerned with learning theories and how they impact on instructional design and learning development within a team approach. A model needs to show the phases of the curriculum and learning development cycle and the quality assurance measures that infuse it.