Curriculum Planning/Building your Curriculum

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Building your Curriculum[edit | edit source]

What’s next?[edit | edit source]

Building your curriculum

Answering the all-important questions of who, what, and how you will teach is only the beginning of the curriculum developer’s work. Once you have completed this data gathering and analysis stage, it’s time to review the answers you’ve collected and to put this knowledge together into a curriculum product that can be documented, explained, delivered and evaluated.

Curriculum development[edit | edit source]

Curriculum development -- and its closely related practice of Instructional Design -- are evolving disciplines with different definitions, known by different names. There are many different models to guide the curriculum development process and the exploration of them all (or developing yet a new one) is beyond the scope of this planning guide. Some of the more common ones you may encounter include:

  • ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation): probably the design process most scholars of curriculum development learn first. ADDIE involves following a sequence of steps, each one informing the next.
  • Dick and Carey: like ADDIE, this model uses a strongly systematic approach but is perhaps a little more flexible than ADDIE and more geared towards the production of lesson plans.
  • SAM (Successive Approximation Model): this model is newer than ADDIE and supports a faster development process.

Mapping it Out[edit | edit source]

Once you’ve completed an analysis of your learners, content, and learning environment, perhaps the easiest way to start building the curriculum is to simply map it out. The basic steps are these:

  1. Determine how much time is available for training.
  2. Create a calendar indicating the specific days and hours you can use for training.
  3. Block off some time to get started (you usually need more time at the beginning than you think) and some time at the end to wrap things up. Depending on the length of the training period, you may also need some off-time mid-training.
  4. Spread your learning outcomes/objectives over the remaining time available. Keep in mind that some units or topics may take more time.
  5. For each training period (e.g. 1 - 3 hours), list a variety of activities. A typical 3-hour period or lesson might consist of a short review, delivery of some content, an interactive activity, and an assessment of learning (formal or informal).
  6. For each activity, list the resources you’ll need for the trainer and the learners.
  7. Finally, review your curriculum map and ensure that:
    1. every learning objective/outcome is assessed in some way
    2. every assessment corresponds to at least one learning objective/outcome.

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