Curriculum development

Exactly what goes into each educational/training curriculum and how it is organized will vary depending on the subject matter, how in-depth the program will be, and how the results of the educational/ training program will be used by the students.  It is important that the curriculum will adequately prepare the students for the intended vocation or use of the program, not just to achieve a passing grade.  A typical curriculum will cover most or all of these components.

  1. Introduction (goals)
  2. Audience definition (a brief description of the intended learners,  the skill or knowledge pre-requisites)
  3. Outcome criteria (performance indicators or learning objectives, method of measurement)
  4. Content framework (progressive sequence and ranking of the      program)
  5. Lesson plans and schedule (Unit plans)
  6. Verification of learning (a formal, individual assessment demonstrating  that a student can perform the actions stated in the learning objectives)
  7. Delivery methodologies (teaching strategies, venue requirements,  props, etc.)
  8. Resources and references (primary and alternative text books and other reference material)
  9. Means for modification (planned updates based the performance of the target audience)

My goals for a typical curriculum are that it will:

  • be easy to use
  • align with all relevant standards
  • be specific enough for organized learning
  • allow for instructor creativity and independence
  • be appropriate for the learners’ skill & knowledge levels
  • contain materials to measure achievement of objectives

In addition to more than one hundred educational and training presentations at national, regional, and local venues, I designed and implemented numerous in-house training programs through my career as an Installer.  Later, I was responsible for the Conservation Services Group curriculum development work for the MassGREEN Initiative training program which was established in July, 2009, to develop and deliver clean energy workforce training programs under the Massachusetts State’s Energy Efficiency and Building Science Initiative.

Funded primarily by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in Boston, MassGREEN works with its 15 community college partners to help ensure that Massachusetts has the quality and quantity of “green” workers needed to achieve the state’s energy efficiency goals.

By collaborating with industry, employers, nonprofits, and government agencies, MassGREEN develops and delivers clean energy training programs at community colleges across the state to a full spectrum of trainees. These comprehensive training programs not only maximize the potential for graduates to find work in the green job sector, but also support the state’s vision for a clean energy future.