What is curriculum development ?
Curriculum development is the multi-step process of creating and improving a course taught at a school or university. While the exact process will vary from institution to institution, the broad framework includes stages of analysis, building, implementation, and evaluation. The curriculum development process systematically organizes what will be taught, who will be taught, and how it will be taught. Each component affects and interacts with other components. For example, what will be taught is affected by who is being taught stage of development in age, maturity, and education. Methods of how content is taught are affected by who is being taught, their characteristics, and the setting. In considering the above three essential components, the following are widely held to be essential considerations in experiential education in non-formal settings.
The team makes systematic decisions about the target audience intended out-comes (objectives), content, methods, and evaluation strategies. With input from the curriculum development team, draft curriculum products are developed, tested, evaluated, and redesigned -if necessary. When the final product is produced, volunteer training is conducted. The model shows a circular process where volunteer training provides feedback for new materials or revisions to the existing curriculum. In every step of the curriculum development process, the most important task is to keep the learner in mind and involve them in process. For example, the curriculum team members, who have direct knowledge of the target audience, should be involved in conducting the needs assessment. From the needs assessment process, the problem areas are identified, gaps between what youth know and what they need to know are identified, and the scope of the problem is clarified and defined. The results may prompt decision makers to allocate resources for a curriculum development team to prepare curriculum materials.
A brief description of each of the curriculum development steps is described below. After reviewing these descriptions, you should have a very clear idea of how the steps occur in each of the phases and what each step includes. Evaluating and reporting on the impact of the curriculum: is critical for securing human and financial support from key policy decision makers and for assessing whether the curriculum has achieved the intended outcome. Evaluation is a phase in the curriculum development model as well as a specific step. Two types of evaluation, formative and summative, are used during curriculum development. Formative evaluations are used during the needs assessment, product development, and testing steps. Summative evaluations are undertaken to measure and report on the outcomes of the curriculum. This step reviews evaluation strategies and suggests simple procedures to produce valid and reliable information. A series of questions are posed to guide the summative evaluation process and a sample evaluation format is suggested. Reporting and Securing Resources
The final element in an evaluation strategy is "delivering the pay off (i.e., getting the results into the hands of people who can use them). In this step, suggestions for what and how to report to key shareholders, especially funding and policy decision makers, are provided and a brief discussion on how to secure resources for additional programming.
Curriculum Development Process
(1) Identify Issue/Problem/Need.
(2) Form Curriculum Development Team.
(3) Conduct Needs Assessment and Analysis.
(4) State Intended Outcomes.
(5) Select Content.
(6) Design Experiential Methods.
(7) Produce Curriculum Product.
(8) Test and Revise Curriculum.