Thomas & Katrin Hitzner
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Curriculum Development

In this chapter you will see some examples of my work for curriculum development. Most of the documents made by me and my team. Successful training programs require a careful planning. In my work we considered following steps:

  1. Definition of training goals (requirements), in my case often in cooperation with the Industry. These documents  are so called Occupational Standards (OS).
  2. Selection of major topics (courses) and determination of the order. This documents can be called a study plan or a course catalogue.
  3. Specification of each course, development of teaching methods and training content.  These documents are the course plans or sometimes called unit plans. (There is often a misinterpretation between "modules", "courses", "units" or "lessons") 
  4. Planning of assessments and exams. Evaluation must refer to training goals or OS.

1. Occupational Standards (OS)

DACUM workshops are a excellent way to develop the OS. DACUM is a process for the analysis of a job performed by workers (experts) from the industry. Expert workers can describe and define their job more accurately than anyone else. The final product of a DACUM workshop is a "Research Chart" document that is made up of:

  • Job title
  • Duties performed by the job (a cluster of related tasks)
  • Tasks for each duty (Specific meaningful units of work)
  • Steps (Specific activities required to perform a task)
  • List of General Knowledge for the job
  • List of pre-requisite skills
  • List of behavior attributes expected of the job holder

Examples for Occupational Standards:

2. Study Plan, Course Catalogue

If the OS is ready and approved, the development of the subjects comprising the study in a school or college can start. These documents contain the selection of the major topics (courses/units) and determinate the order to teach.  


3. Course plans

The 3rd step is to develop training content and teaching methods for each course (unit). The content should be consistent with the Occupational standards (training goals). Examples:

4. Evidence Guide, Assessment Tools

Evaluating training effectiveness is important. Often this mechanism is in short supply. Organizations are often unwilling to spend their time and recourses for a real evaluation or assessment. But that will not work, it will not make the training effective. Assessment means the process of collecting evidence to confirm that the trainee/student can perform to the OS required, as specified in the curriculum. Following you will see example assessment tools: