The 5 Parts of Web-Based Curriculum for CTE: How Is It Developed? Blog Feature
Celestial Holmes

By: Celestial Holmes on March 20th, 2014

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The 5 Parts of Web-Based Curriculum for CTE: How Is It Developed?

Blended Learning | Digital Curriculum

Some of you out there in the blogosphere may be wondering, “How does AES develop this amazing web-based curriculum for career and technology education?”

No, I didn’t read your minds. We’ve got some really great folks here at AES that know how to find out the questions you are asking. Today, I’ll share with you how Instructional Designers (ID) like me create the courses that your students complete.

Our Web-Based Curriculum all starts with A.D.D.I.E.

A.D.D.I.E. is a five-phase, design process used by Instructional Designers all around the world. There are many variations of this process and many of them work well; however, A.D.D.I.E. is usually the basis of those other models.

1. Analysis Phase

In the field of secondary education, the investigative part of the job looks a little different. 

Unlike the corporate world, the learning experience is being created because this particular area of study is required for a student to demonstrate they can move to the next grade level. 

Selecting the next course to create for us comes from what teachers and students are asking for and what is missing from our catalog of content.

Here are some of the questions I ask in this phase of web-based curriculum design:

  • Who are the learners and what are their characteristics?
  • What are the NCHSE/NBEA/Common Core standards for this subject?
  • What areas do teachers commonly struggle with when teaching this subject?
  • What areas do student commonly struggle with when learning this subject?
  • What are the pedagogical considerations?

There are many more questions, but we have to keep moving.

I have several ways of discovering the answers to the questions which include: internet research, reading books on the subject, interviewing teachers, looking at past modules, surveys, etc…IDs take their jobs very seriously.

2. Design Phase

The design phase is where the ID creates the learning objectives, content, subject matter analysis (from talking to teachers like you), script, exercises, and assessment instruments for the web-based curriculum.

We also document the instructional, visual, and technical design strategy on what is called a storyboard.

Subject Matter Experts or SMEs are crucial for success here and in education, teachers and people who work in the field are who we turn to for guidance.

This is an iterative process that requires frequent review, changes to the design, and sign-off from SMEs or Managers.

3. Development Phase

This is the phase where either an Instructional Designer (some of us have to do it all) or an Instructional Developer begins to create a prototype.

I’m lucky enough to have an awesome developer who takes all of my crazy ideas and brings them to life on the screen.

While I’ve given her the general idea of the feel that is desired for the learning experience, she often determines the look, selects all media (sound effects, narration, stock photos, characters), creates any necessary animation, creates the learning exercises/activities, and so on and so on.

If there is a Developer, they are tasked with taking the vision of the ID to the next level. The ID, SMEs, and Developer work closely here to overcome challenges and make sure that what is created is focused toward the learning objectives.

Beta testing is also done in the phase to ensure everything in the module is working properly.

Once the module passes beta testing with flying colors, it is moved to the next phase.

4. Implementation Phase

This is where we test-drive the web-based curriculum with the learners.

The module may be offered to a small group or released to the intended audience.

Either way, IDs wait for results with bated breathe. I love to hear from both teachers and students that the course they are using was very helpful in their classroom.

However, I love to hear if some aspect of the learning missed the mark as well. It helps all IDs hone their skills.

5. Evaluation Phase

This is the final phase where IDs, SMEs, Developers, Managers and anyone else who has a stake in the module’s success determine whether or not the web-based curriculum is effective.

Here are some questions that can be asked to help identify effectiveness:

  • Have students demonstrated increased knowledge of the subject?
  • Can students perform specific tasks related to the subject?
  • Are students engaged in the learning (asking questions, coming to conclusions, exercising critical thinking)?

These are just a few of the questions that can be asked here. If the mark was missed, this is the time to discuss how to correct it and implement any final changes that need to be made.

Our Web-Based Curriculum

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About Celestial Holmes

Celestial has been an Instructional Designer for 13 years and because of that, she knows the 'why' behind the way we design our lessons.