Continuous Improvement and Flexibility in Curriculum

This is the final blog post in a series that I have created for developing curriculum with an agile mindset.

This tutorial on the curriculum design model is helpful for seeing both the big picture and getting explanations for each stage. Just click the talk bubble button when you see them for more detail, they are available at every page level. Also, within most stages of the tutorial are these handy post-it notes that you can click on in order to get a lot more detail complete with examples.

If you ask me what the number one value of this model is for me, it’s the fact that there is a clear and directed course as a result of each stage with the only difference between stages making it simpler for other experts to facilitate and second nature for you to facilitate.

However, this last stage is very important if you or colleagues facilitate a course frequently, and that is to make the course sustainable and scalable. In other words, cheaper to use, easier to use, and better as a result of continuous improvement that is natural to implement!

Once you work with this model, you’ll see the pattern of course development, the important questions become easy and obvious, and now, developing courses take a few hours, not a weekend march of doom.

Additionally, since the framework is lightweight, you can make adjustments based on immediate needs of your audience. You already know your desired outcomes because that was the first step. Then it’s just a matter of having effective activities available in your toolkit to use based on the learner’s needs. That second stage is important for knowing why you would select an activity and knowing how you would implement the activity.

Frankly, the third stage is really important when you’re delivering the same material in similar or the same fashion. If you are trying to provide extremely unique curriculum though, those first stages are crucial for flexibility and options.

The last major value for any time you create and deliver a course is to obtain feedback. You have been assessing your learners throughout the course already through the activities, whether it was formalized or not. As such, it’s important to know that they may dislike an experience, but if the results are fantastic, you have a difficult balance to consider. These observations are necessary for continuous improvement, as well as getting the learner’s perceptions of their experience. Your changes should never rely completely on their perceptions, but still should weigh in strongly on your approach, at the very least. Effective feedback should be very specific and have a balance of both affective and cognitive questions. You want to be sure that your assessments during the course agree with their sense of quality course content, learning experience, and sense of safety throughout.

This ends the official curriculum design blog series. Your regularly scheduled programming will return. :)

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.

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