Brooks Blog

Thursday • May 23, 2019

3 Tips for Building Curriculum

Posted by: Keith Willis

Trainers are aware of the request to bring up-to-date curriculum to ensure advancement in skills of a sales team or the importance of developing curriculums from scratch.  Of late, I have been getting such requests from clients. This can be challenging as almost everybody wants it done within a short time, with the business requirements sometimes challenging. Since most have in mind what they want their curriculum to be, demands can be much on the training team.

Follow a procedure: An easy way to achieve this is through the Addie Model – an instructional design concept that ensures consistency in completion of training projects. The model was created to facilitate effective training with consistency for the military.  There are several variations of the models, nonetheless they all will produce identical results.  The five stages are: Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. Each process requires some time.

My mantra in curriculum development is to use data which requires rich analysis.  There are a range of methods that can be used to conduct analysis.  A survey with the sales team and management can be simple and effective.  More dynamic approaches include benchmarking, formal needs analysis and others which can consist of Front-End Analysis (FEA), Media Analysis, Learner Analysis, Run-time Analysis – and nowadays, Gamification Analysis and Mobile Analysis. From experience, I would recommend using a vendor to perform them. Most of the time, the client thinks they know what would work for them, but their relationship with the learners and other variables can affect the analysis of the research.

Benchmarking allows insight from your customer base and a comparison with your competitors.  This tool is linked with either organizational competencies and behaviors to provide rich and valuable data. A formal needs analysis allows key stakeholders to be interviewed to determine organizational gaps.    

Identify the key stakeholders: Ordinarily, this should include sales leadership, operations, and marketing along with the end user.  Even though I focus mostly on pharma, you need to identify them in your field of expertise. Stakeholders are very significant if you want the best result. 

There is need to determine the scope of influence of each stakeholder. Also, there should be a communication strategy which can include normal touchpoints as a part of the project plan.

Measure the training:  Measuring training can help quantify the impact of workshops, curriculum or courses. To ensure a good outcome, develop a strategy for measurement while conducting your analysis. The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning by Wick Jefferson, and Pollock describes in detail how to determine measurement in the initial periods of training development.  Using Kirkpatrick’s Evaluation model can help determine the best measurement approach.  I recommend going beyond level one and level two measurements. Agree on the outcome of the training and measure.  

Another measurement model is The Success Case Methodology, created by Robert Brinkerhoff. Interviews are done with participants based on their degree of success using the program.  This enables the training crew to dig into the information about success or non-success.

My focus in this post was the use of the Addie Model to develop a curriculum, the significance of vital stakeholders and creating a measurement approach. There are certainly other elements of curriculum development.

Here at The Brooks Group we have the expertise to develop a curriculum for your customer facing teams.

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