More factors for a successful curriculum

January 21, 2015 Martin Davies

When building a new curriculum. It’s clear that proper planning and needs mapping, combined with excellent project management skills make a recipe for success. But beyond this,  here are four more essential ingredients in the curriculum mix. 525409417_294685286_294685288_256224451.jpg

The Content

The logistical challenges of weaving existing, and commissioning new, content into a new curriculum can be overwhelming, but done properly it makes best use of time and resources, without reinventing the wheel. The primary considerations for content should include:

  • Migrating physical content into a digital offering
  • Navigating licensing complications
  • Commissioning new content to bridge gaps identified in the analysis stage

These are all questions that can be solved by appointing the right experts with deep knowledge of the membership community you serve.

Peer review

As well as ensuring the components of the content are up-to-date and meet member requirements, it’s essential to make sure the actual content is accurate, relevant and high-quality. Like other professional content, the best people to review quality are the people who are experts in that field, much like the journal world where reviewers are also authors, readers, and editors within a given subject area. All ideas, designs and plans for curriculum development, as well as the resulting content itself, should be passed through this critical filter to ensure it offers the most value to the eventual users of the content.

Be user-centric

Monitoring user feedback to ensure that course materials are being used, are received positively, and continue to have beneficial impact on the audience is important to the ongoing success of the program. Depending on the results of measurements you are taking, either from analytics tools to capture online behavior, or by surveying actively learning members (and perhaps also your inactive members), small adjustments might be required to the curriculum or the way content is delivered. Options might include:

  • Shifting to new types of media
  • Making the program more interactive
  • Using a technique known as micro-learning, where the learning content is broken down into much smaller chunks to focus attention and improve the learning impact.

Leave room for new information and revisions

Where curricula are aimed at helping society members reach industry accreditations, certifications or other essential professional learning, being up-to-date is essential. It is vital to include in the development process a mechanism where changes, updates and new certification rules are filtered into the content efficiently and with minimum disruption to the curriculum as a whole. This constant review process will ensure that only the most relevant and timely information is included in the program, increasing its overall value to the society members.

So, are you ready for a new curriculum?  Download the Critical Success Factors for Curriculum Development infographic.

Image Credit/Source:Chris Ryan/Caiaimage/Getty Images

About the Author

eLearning Director, Wiley // Working within the Professional Innovations group, I am responsible for the strategic direction and delivery of Global Research's online and mobile e-learning program.

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