Friday, February 06, 2009

Curriculum Taxonomy, Framework and Design

I have been working quite intently in the area of curriculum taxonomy, tramework and design. Below is a narrative to go with the embedded presentation or you can view the notes at the following link;

Slide 1:
This short presentation is a compilation of a much broader topic. However I thought I would share these simple concepts as I could find very little public information on the internet that spoke to the exact topic of curriculum mapping & learning taxonomy.

This topic resonates most with those who are designing courseware and learning paths in modern LMS systems.

While curriculum is an old term associated with academics, modern corporate LMS system have co-opted the definition. Given the sophisticaiton of LMS systems in 2009 it is possible to develop curriculum that is linked to competency, role, and courseware.

The past 2 years have seen an uptick in 'curriculum design' that mirrors the maturity of LMS systems.

Sound curriculum design is quickly becoming a role of instructional designers, content administrators, trainers and program managers.
Slide 2
This taxonomy is based on the work of Benjamin Blooms Cognitive domain and on the work of David Merrill.

Is this a defacto competency model? No, this is a model that fits the individual organization that I am working with.

This particular model assumes that the participant enters the curriculum with a core competency (base Knowledge & Skills) as defined by the participants role.

If the participants role is sales. Then we assume they have a base level knowledge or sales knowledge (presentation skills, negotiations ....).

If the participants role is programming they have a base level knowledge in that subject.

This type of taxonomy is focused on adult learners and may not work for adolescents.

The diagram is meant to serve as an onion view of the curriculum that allows the designer a map to developing new curricula or a method of developing gaps in content/courseware that already exists.
Slide 3
This is a sample mapping of the curriculum taxonomy to a framework of courseware.

I have removed the names of the offerings to protect my customers.

As a curriculum designer you must be willing to transcend your connection with the courses/offerings.

For an existing set of courseware you will need to ask how it fits with the afore taxonomy. One course may cover all levels or may cover just one or 2.

This map will allow you to see what is available and what is missing.

You may be able to design a curriculum that covers multiple roles in this manner.

This exercise should help you to classify your courses for creating a roster for entering into an LMS.

For example:
Series 100 XXX Fundamentals
Series 200 XXXX Practice
Series 300 XXXX Mastery class

Again, this is just an example you might have more or less levels. I would prompt you however to keep it as simple as possible for both you and the leaner.
Slide 4
Finally I wanted to make a few notes on curriculum frameworks. This work is in line with Josh Bersons.

The point with curriculum frameworks is flexibility.

Program Flow
Some curriculums will be linear like a new hire program start date and end date. Very specific goal at the end of the program. Not saying a new hire can't live on through mentoring but most new hire programs have a target and if the target is not reached the employee is terminated or sent back through the program.

Core & Spoke
Most curriculum(s) are developed in this fashion in that they borrow from other courses and other curriculums outside the core dependant on the needs of the learner or the needs of the program owner. Given the capability of the LMS and the needs of any individual it would be great if most curricula were designed this way!
Slide 5
That is all for now.

I want to make the point that you need to use this information to create your own methods, taxonomies and frameworks.

Feel free to share your thoughts.

Simon Puleo

1 comment:

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