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Photo: Darlene Redmond, Vietnam. Curriculum Development. 5 Steps to a Competency- Based Curriculum. By Darlene Redmond. Darlene Redmond, B.Tech, M.Ed(IT). Curriculum Development Advisor Vietnam Association of Community Colleges Vietnam Faculty Member

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Photo darlene redmond vietnam

Photo: Darlene Redmond, Vietnam

Curriculum development

Curriculum Development

5 Steps to a Competency-Based Curriculum

By Darlene Redmond

Darlene redmond b tech m ed it

Darlene Redmond, B.Tech, M.Ed(IT)

Curriculum Development Advisor

Vietnam Association of Community Colleges


Faculty Member

Information Technology Systems Management

Nova Scotia Community College


Uniterra/WUSC Volunteer

Workshop objectives

Workshop Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define competency-based curriculum development

  • „Describe the five-step approach to curriculum development

  • „Develop a program or course curriculum using the five-step approach

What is curriculum

What is Curriculum?

Needs - WHY you teach

Content - WHAT you teach

Organization- HOW you teach

Evaluation- HOW you test

Curriculum development1

Curriculum Development






Needs identify required competencies

Topic 1

Needs: Identify Required Competencies

Task analysis of an occupation

Task Analysis of an Occupation

Expert workers and employers are the best source for task analysis (Your Program Advisory Committee)

Any occupation can be described in terms of tasks

All tasks imply knowledge, skills and attitudes

Example safety and health coordinator

Example: Safety and Health Coordinator

What tasks are involved?

What does the graduate need to know? What does the graduate need to be able to do to complete occupational tasks?

“The Safety and Health Coordinator recognizes, evaluates, and controls workplace hazards through employee education and engineering practices to ensure a safe and healthy work environment.”

Determine competencies

Determine Competencies

Job tasks...


  • Writing safety reports

  • Identifying unsafe acts or conditions

  • Developing safety program

  • Educating employees

  • Investigating accidents…

Determine competencies1

Determine Competencies


Health and Safety standards:

Investigation techniques:

Training tools: Word-processing, presentations

Determine competencies2

Determine Competencies


Analysis:Find and compare information from various sources and identify issues and relationships.

Planning and organising:Develop plans of action to reach a particular goal.

Written communication:Able to express ideas in writing appropriately and accurately.

Questioning:Asks questions effectively and appropriately to obtain information.

Determine competencies3

Determine Competencies


Judgement: Come to conclusions based on logical evaluation of information and determine the best course of action.

Attention to detail:Pays attention to even small issues to ensure that tasks are accomplished thoroughly.

Decisiveness: Able to weigh possibilities and make decisions.

Develop a graduate profile

Develop a Graduate Profile

A competent graduate can



What combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes?

Develop a graduate profile1

Develop a Graduate Profile

The exit point for the training program should match the entrance point for the job

Your turn

Your Turn

Exercise #1

Content set learning outcomes and objectives

Topic 2

Content: Set Learning Outcomes and objectives

Outcomes and objectives

Outcomes and Objectives

ProgramLearning Outcomes

(based on the identified needs)

CourseLearning Outcomes

Course Learning Objectives

(program goals organized into courses)

LessonLearning Objectives

(course goals organized into lessons)

ActivityLearning Objectives

(lesson goals organized into learning activities)

Learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes are broad statements that specify the competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitudes) required to successfully complete a program or course.

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Writing Learning Outcomes

  • Think of what you want your learners to do “in the real world” with the knowledge and skills they will acquire during instruction.

  • Write briefgeneralstatements that describe this real-world performance. State the outcomes in terms of learner competencies.

Example from kien giang community college

Example from KienGiang Community College

Program: Electronics and Electrical Engineering Technology


Students who graduate from this program will have good skills in electrical technology, especially in the field of Electrical Engineering for agriculture industrialization, have the ability of self-studying to enhance their own knowledge, have the capability to adapt to the development of their local community.

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Checklist for Learning Outcomes

  • Describes overall curriculum outcomes

  • Stated in terms of learner competencies

  • Realistically attainable during the curriculum

  • Stated in terms of learner knowledge, behavior and attitudes

  • Describes real world behaviors to be used by the learner

Outcomes and objectives1

Outcomes and Objectives

ProgramLearning Outcomes

(based on the identified needs)

CourseLearning Outcomes

Course Learning Objectives

(program goals organized into courses)

LessonLearning Objectives

(course goals organized into lessons)

ActivityLearning Objectives

(lesson goals organized into learning activities)

Outcomes vs objectives

Outcomes vs. Objectives

Learning Outcomes are broad and answer the question, “Why should a student take this program/course?”

Each learning outcome mustbe supported and defined by one or more SMART Learning Objectives.

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Relevant

  • Time-bound

Outcomes vs objectives1

Outcomes vs. Objectives

"The outcome is where we want to be. The objectivesare the steps needed to get there."

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

On completion on the course/lesson/activity the student will be able to…

_____ Action (use an measureable action verb!)

_____ Content(knowledge, skill, attitude)

And if you need to be more specific about the level of knowledge, skills, attitude…

_____ Measurement (specific criteria for success)

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Action Verbs

Verbs to avoid:

learn - know- understand

Appropriate verbs:

apply – install – describe

diagnose – explain

Workshop learning objectives

Workshop Learning Objectives

  • Explain competency-based curriculum development

  • „Describethe five-step approach to curriculum development

  • „Developa program or course curriculum using the five-step approach

Checklist for learning objectives

Checklist for Learning Objectives

  • Related to a learning outcome

  • Answers the question, “What will learners be able to do at the end of the curriculum?”

  • Stated in precise, observable, measurable terms

  • Realistically attainable during the curriculum

Your turn1

Your Turn

Exercise #2

Organization design learning experiences

Topic 3

Organization: Design Learning experiences

Lesson planning

Lesson Planning

ProgramLearning Outcomes

(based on the identified needs)

CourseLearning Outcomes

Course Learning Objectives

(program goals organized into courses)

Lesson Learning Objectives

(course goals organized into lessons)

ActivityLearning Objectives

(lesson goals organized into learning activities)





Lesson learning objective

Lesson Learning Objective

Note: Material in this section was presented earlier this year by Uniterra volunteers Sabastian Fafard and Min Wu as part of a Teaching Methodologies workshop.

States the specific learning goal of the lesson

Is related to the learning outcomes or objectives of the course

States what the student should be able to achieve at the end of the lesson

Indicates how learning will be measured

Enabling objectives

Enabling Objectives

Specific learning of a class activity

The performance students are expected to demonstrate at the end of a specified step or portion of the learning

Sub-divisions of the lesson learning objective(s) into smaller, more manageable parts

Teaching points

Teaching Points

The competencies (knowledge, skill, or attitudes) that are the focus of a lesson

What participants need to learn to reach the objective



How will the content be taught?

  • Lecture/Discussion

  • Demonstration/Performance

  • Case Studies

  • Role Play/Simulation

  • E-Learning

Learning activities

Learning Activities

If you tell me I will forgetIf you show me I might rememberBut if you involve me, I will learn. 

-Chinese Proverb

Learning activities1

Learning Activities

The average adult can sit and listen for about 10 minutes

Build active learning techniques to improve and retain attention

Vary your activities

Use different modalities to meet the learning style needs of students (visual, audible, kinesthetic)

Your turn2

Your Turn

Exercise #3

Evaluation integrate assessments

Topic 4

Evaluation: Integrate assessments

Formative assessment

Formative Assessment

  • Takes place on an ongoing basis as instruction is proceeding

  • Rates the student in terms of functional ability to communicate, using criteria that the student has helped to identify

  • Helps students recognize ways of improving their learning

Summative assessment

Summative Assessment

  • Takes place at the end of a predetermined period of instruction (for example, mid-term, final)

  • Rates the student in relation to an external standard of correctness (how many right answers are given)

Examples of formative assessments

Examples of Formative Assessments




5 minute paper

Muddiest point

Peer/Self Assessment


Examples of summative assessments

Examples of Summative Assessments






Your turn3

Your Turn

Exercise #4

Check your answers

Check Your Answers

Evaluate and adjust the curriculum

Topic 5

Evaluate and adjust the curriculum

Quality assurance

Quality Assurance

Evaluating the curriculum

Evaluating the Curriculum

  • Does the curriculum meet the intended learning outcomes?

  • Does the curriculum integrate employability and life skills?

  • Does the content incorporate appropriately validated skills, tasks, and/or competencies?

Evaluating the curriculum1

Evaluating the Curriculum

Is the content sequenced from basic to more complex concepts in coherent clusters?

Is the content presented in an interesting and appealing manner geared towards the diversity of learners?

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Thank you!



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