THE MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION CURRICULUM PROCESS


Tool 1: Job Description — Curriculum Development Team

A curriculum development team is responsible for developing educational materials (such as publications, videos, websites, DVDs, online classes, webinars, workshops, and more). A development team, which includes one person who serves as the team coordinator, can be made up of MSU Extension staff at all levels, statewide committee representatives, human development specialists, content resource people, curriculum specialists, and others committed to working together to develop educational materials using the curriculum development process. (See Tool 1a: Ideal Make-Up of a Curriculum Development Team for more information.)

Development Team Coordinator:

Responsible for providing overall project direction and management, for guiding the work of the design team, and for ensuring that curriculum products reflect the philosophy of MSU Extension (that is, that the materials are grounded in content research and reflect the organization’s guiding principles).

Program Staff Team Manager:

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

Meet regularly with the development team coordinator to review curriculum development tasks and progress. Attend curriculum development team meetings (if working with a team) or meet with individual author regularly.

INITIAL RESEARCH RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Carry out a needs assessment to establish the need for material in the content area.
  • Clearly identify the audience (including learners and users of material, if different) and the settings in which the materials will be used.
  • Conduct a search for appropriate existing materials.
  • Establish overall goals, objectives, learning outcomes (including, if appropriate, specific life skills, Developmental Assets, and state education standards), and content to be addressed.
  • Identify initial project parameters:
    • Create a projected project budget.
    • Develop and submit a grant proposal (if curriculum is part of a grant project).
    • Estimate the staff time required for project.
    • Clarify need for MSU HRPP (Human Research Protection Program) or other MSU institutional review board (IRB) involvement.
    • Determine whether permission to reprint or adapt materials developed by third-parties will be needed, and begin the permissions process if necessary.
    • Project the lifespan of the material.
    • Identify any other considerations related to the specific project.
    • Submit Project Request Form and other preliminary worksheets for review.

GETTING STARTED RESPONSIBILITIES (AFTER RECEIVING APPROVAL):

  • Provide samples of model curricula that will inspire teams or authors.
  • Serve as a training resource to teams or authors on how to use and adapt curriculum development tools or processes (such as needs assessments, material searches, review and pilot feedback forms, and evaluation tools).

DRAFT STAGE RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Review curriculum components, outlines, and elements that will require consistency (such as writing style and format of learning activities).
  • Review first draft of each project component.
  • Review prototype samples of various components for use with piloting.
  • Assist with identifying ways in which the material will be connected to the MSU Extension website.
  • Lead the team in reviewing drafts and prototypes to ensure material reflects curriculum development criteria.
  • Review refined project budget and timeline.

REVIEW AND PILOTING RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Provide feedback on design process for getting feedback from reviewers (including the development of any forms needed), and help identify potential reviewers to recruit (such as subject matter experts, target audience experts, youth development experts, volunteer development experts).
  • Help design the piloting process and identify appropriate pilot sites.
  • Help review and incorporate review and piloting process feedback into final draft.

PRODUCTION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Refine budget and timeline.

MARKETING AND TRAINING RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Announce and distribute finished product to appropriate MSU Extension offices.
  • Announce availability of finished product to other audiences.
  • Provide staff and volunteer training on using the materials.
  • Promote materials to other states and organizations through a variety of venues (such as on websites and social media, in newsletters and media releases, and at workshops and national conferences).

LONG-RANGE EVALUATION RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Reconvene curriculum team annually to evaluate the material in terms of usage, trends, content changes needed, technological relevance and other factors.