Developing Curriculums

The heart of training activities is the destination - the Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, Attitudes and Behaviours (KSAs) that the learners and their organisations need to achieve to move forward.

Trainers invariably have a fair grasp of the main themes that will address these learning objectives and will develop a set of core curriculums which address the KSAs and will assist the learning of the participants and their organisations.

However, curriculums do and should change. Course content designed today is likely to be out of date within a year or two or, at the very least, needing to be checked that it still meets the needs of the learners.

For that reason we recommend that every time material is delivered the standard evaluation questions should be asked and that a more formal review of material is undertaken at least every three years.

Kirkpatrick's four levels of evaluation can provide a useful framework - especially at the higher 'levels'. They offer questions we can ask about the curriculum we have been delivering. What results does the learner or their sponsoring organisation want to achieve? What has been achieved in previous delivery of the curriculum under review? What behaviours need to change in the organisation to achieve those results and how has the behaviour of previous participants been affected? What learning needs to be achieved? What is the best way of enabling the learning?

Bloom, B.S. (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the Classification of Educational Goals - Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: McKay
Dyer, S. (1994) 'Kirkpatrick's Mirror'. Journal of European Industrial Training 18, pp31-32
Kirkpatrick, D & Kirkpatrick, J (2006) Evaluating training programs : the four levels (3rd ed) San Francisco, Berrett-Koehler

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