Curriculum development

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” — Socrates

“Only awareness is educable.” — Caleb Gattegno

“Anything a learner can do and should do themselves and that we do for them is taking away an opportunity to learn responsibly.” — Gene Bedley

How can I help with curriculum development?

  • Learning and teaching approaches: Aligning appropriate learning and teaching approaches with learning objectives and learners’ needs, as well as with teachers’ and curriculum developers’ own knowledge, experience, and preferences for online environments.
  • Integrating new knowledge: Evaluating the levels of complexity of the concepts in learning objectives (unistructural, multistructural, relational, and extended abstract) and how they can be integrated into learners’ existing knowledge and concepts.
  • Learning activities and resources: Identifying appropriate types of online learning activities and resources for particular learning objectives.
  • Assessment: Identifying appropriate types of online assessment that support learning objectives and reflect learners’ abilities, skills, and knowledge for action in the real world.
  • Alignment: Aligning the types and approaches to learning objectives, curricula, and assessment so that they work together, not against each other.
  • Feedback: Developing appropriate frameworks and rubrics for effective, timely feedback to learners, curriculum developers, and subject matter experts.
  • Help and support: Identifying appropriate help and support for learners, teachers, and admins on online learning programmes, and making it timely, succinct, and effective.
  • Integration: Integrating online resources and activities with face to face sessions and programmes; so called “blended learning” and “flipped classrooms”.

Face-to-face vs. online curriculum development

Although online learning and teaching is similar to face-to-face learning and teaching, there are some striking differences. Simply converting existing face-to-face courses and course materials to electronic formats and deploying them on a learning management system (LMS) does not usually result in effective learning or teaching, and such courses often suffer from extraordinarily high rates of learner attrition (drop out) or disengagement/apathy (learners doing the bare minimum). In many cases, it’s necessary to rethink how we approach learning and teaching, and the roles and responsibilities of learners and teachers. If developed and implemented appropriately, online courses can be effective, engaging, enjoyable, and rewarding for both learners and teachers.

For anyone involved in developing and implementing online courses, a sound background knowledge of evidence based learning and teaching theories and hands-on experience, both online and face-to-face, are indispensable.

Past projects

Cambridge ESOL test preparation courses.

Teacher and learner elearning technical support courses.

Project-based Language Learning curricula for a UK based summer school company.