Week Four - Curriculum Development

 

Developing curriculum can seem like a daunting task, however, there are specific techniques that can be used to make it simple yet effective.  The more systematized you make it the easier it becomes.  Before beginning, ask yourself these questions:  What is the focus of the course?  What you expect students to learn?  Who will it benefit?  How will it benefit them?  What do students need to know?

 

From these questions, brainstorm a list of everything you would like the learner to know upon completion of the course.  You can do this with a co-worker or by just challenging yourself.

 

Prioritize your list.  What are the most important topics of your subject?

 

Knowing the amount of time you have to spend on the first topic on your list, develop material you want to use.  What information will you provide in presentation form?  What questions will you ask to get discussion going?  What do you want the learners to write down about their own experiences?  What handouts can you prepare for use in the class?  Do you have any ideas for group activities that will get the learners involved in small group discussion?  How will you close the session?  What will you summarize?

 

Remember FAP,  the curriculum should be focused on the topic, application-driven, and provide participation opportunity for involvement such as discussion, brain-storming, etc. Focus on only 1-2 main points per session. Application-driven should provide knowledge plus a reason.

Participation opportunities will keep people alert (involved), provide opportunities for discussion (learning through sharing experiences), and brain-storming (no right or wrong answer, just possibilities).

 

The curriculum should be simple, realistic, appropriate to your clients, achievable, applicable, conceptual, sequential, and develop basic concepts through objectives and activities.   Pay attention to cultural and ethnic diversity.  Develop from big to small… Concepts,  desired outcomes, objectives, activities, and a plan for evaluation.

 

Planning by instructional objectives gives the framework to prepare the daily plan and the activity plan.  This  allows the instructor to manage the priorities and address the varied needs in the classroom.