Dominik Lukes

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Thursday, May 6 2010

  • 3:15pm

    Inspired by the IRC discussion on 3 May, here are some notes on criteria by which we could judge the success of a curriculum design project. Sorry, it's all very sketchy and provisional but perhaps can serve as some sort of contribution to the discussion.

    A useful/good curriculum will have the following properties (sort of a unit test for the curriculum):

    • make it easy to identify how real skills, abilities, experiences successful individuals have relate to individual curriculum items
    • make it easy to design training programs, as well as individual lessons and tutorials (independent of instructional design)
    • make it easy to create learning materials and learning experiences that relate to individual competencies
    • make it easy to assess learners'/candidates' skill level both as achievement (part of a course of study) and competence (independent of a course of study)
    • help learners/candidates to assess their progress, set learning goals, evaluate the suitability of training programs, etc.
    • make it easy for potential end-users: i.e. employers and job candidates to communicate skills needed and skills available (and/or need for additional training)
    • make it possible for co-opeting training providers to offer training experiences and materials with comparable outcomes

    This may seem rather obvious but in my experience these considerations are very often neglected.

    What could then be some of the specific characteristics of the Drupal curriculum?

    • open and community-maintained
    • competency-based, focusing on outcomes measurable through a combination of portfolio evaluation and testing
    • inclusive of 'soft' skills - such as navigating the community, using the Drupal support system, etc.

    The big questions to solve:

    • how would such a curriculum be maintained - centrally or as a collection of branches?
    • what would be the format of the curriculum - database/RDF ontologies?
    • how can communication of basic concepts and principles be maintained given that many people have different intuitive understanding of the terms being used (curriculum, syllabus, training, skills, competencies, etc.) - perhaps focusing on 'competencies' as the least controversial term might help
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