THE MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION CURRICULUM PROCESS


Tool 1a: Ideal Make-Up of a Curriculum Development Design Team

The design team coordinator is responsible for guiding an overall curriculum development project, including all the items listed on the Job Description: Curriculum Development Design Team. The design team should include experts in the knowledge base for your curriculum content, representatives of your audience or potential users, people who are skilled in translating the knowledge and research base into user-friendly activities and instructions for use by the target audience and the staff or volunteers who will lead them in the learning experience, and an MSUE Curriculum Development Coordinator. You might choose team members who embody one or more of these areas of expertise, or you might choose to include more than one person for each area of expertise (for example, two representatives from the potential audience). The important point is to make sure your team brings all these areas of knowledge together to create high-quality curricula!

Knowledge Base Expertise

This person represents the project or skill knowledge that drives the content for your curriculum - whether it’s nutrition education, animal science, workforce preparation, clothing construction or communications. This person should help the team make sure the target audience is learning appropriate processes, procedures, knowledge and skills to become versed in the specific subject matter that is the focus of the curriculum.

Target Audience Expertise

This person helps ensure that the curriculum supports the most appropriate developmental needs for the target audience the curriculum is designed for and that it includes learning activities that build assets and life skills and that reflect the guiding principles of MSU Extension.

Audience and/or Potential Users

Any good curriculum development process involves early input from people who represent the potential audience - and this can take place through a well-crafted needs assessment and through a comprehensive piloting process. A design team can also benefit from the ongoing perspective of a potential audience member. For example, consider including on your team an adult participant of your programs, a youth member of a state 4-H programming committee, or a county MSUE staff member who has a good knowledge of your curriculum’s content area in action locally.

Expertise in Translating the Knowledge and Research Base Into User Friendly Activities

This expertise might be found within the skills of several design team members, including, for example, a MSUE program staff member, a writer, an MSUE county staff member, a content specialist or a specialist in the particular medium you plan to use (for example, video). It’s important to identify at least one team member who has strong skills in combining the need for target audience-focused, research-based education into fun, easy-to-understand activities for use by groups in a variety of settings.

MSUE Curriculum Development Coordinator

The MSUE curriculum development coordinator’s role is to help keep the curriculum development process on track and to help the design team understand and carry out the Curriculum Development Process. See Job Description: Curriculum Coordinator for more information.

Others . . .

You may want to include several other people on your design team who may play a critical role in the development of your curriculum. For example, if your project will involve video curriculum, you will want to include a video curriculum specialist on your team (see Working With a Video Producer for more information). If your project will include software or Web applications, you’ll want to include an educational software specialist on your team (see Working With a Programmer or Digital Curriculum Specialist for more information). Nearly all curriculum projects require some level of editing and design, so you’ll want to involve an editor and graphic designer at some point (see Working With an Editor and Working With a Designer for more information). The MSUE Curriculum Coordinator can help you decide who to involve early on in your project and can help you identify the best sources for these skills.

Last Updated: July 29, 2009; Last Reviewed: April, 2009
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