Institutional engagement in processes of Distributed Learning has grown as a result of an increased interest in decentralised education, the increased availability of technology and the promotion of life long learning. Traditionally, distributed learning has been seen as one way of increasing student numbers in a relatively cost effective manner. However, contemporary funding structures are designed to encourage universities to maintain enrolments and reduce rates of attrition. Though laudable, this emphasis may impact on the academic quality of unit offerings. This paper explores the end result of this process in a School for Indigenous Australian studies. It identifies a disjunctive political and economic discourse that exists as a sub-text to the design process and then describes a pragmatic solution for unit design which is framed within a cohesive Instructional Design paradigm.