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How to Do Curriculum Design in South Africa

What is Curriculum Design?

Curriculum design is the process of creating a structured educational program or plan of study. Specifically identify learning goals, objectives, and outcomes for a curriculum. Then the different components of the curriculum are organized and integrated. For example, this includes structuring the content, assessments, instructional methods, and resources, into a cohesive and effective program.

The Curriculum Design Purpose is Visionary

Curriculum design aligns learning programs to educational goals and standards. This process therefore plans the knowledge, skills, and experiences learners need to succeed in their future careers and lives.

Curriculum design involves different stages, for example, needs assessment, content selection and organization, learning activities and assessments, and evaluation and revision. The curriculum designer also considers the diverse needs and abilities of the students to meet learning objectives within a specific time frame. Therefore the curriculum must be culturally responsive, inclusive, and accessible.

The curriculum design process is an ongoing one because educational goals, standards, and technologies change over time. Therefore there are constant curriculum updates and revisions to reflect these changes.

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Starting The Curriculum Design Process

Make Learning Programs Engaging and Empowering

Curriculum design can begin with brainstorming sessions that include as many stakeholders as possible. When you get a professional to coordinate the session you can help ensure that it is effective. #JustSaying 😉

When developing a curriculum for a South African Quality Assurance qualification, start with these 5 simple steps.

curriculum design in south africa by leonie hall
Curriculum Design for a SAQA Qualification
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Designing Specific Outcome Aligned Activities

NQF training programs align with unit standards and are QCTO and SETA accredited.

Curriculum Design Process Flow Example

Below is a table illustrating a process explaining how to create aligned activities for a learning program.

Curriculum ComponentsDetails
Examples of Activities: Discussions, presentations, case studies, interviews, research, reports, relevant practical job-related tasks, etc.Activities can be individual, paired, group, or for a class.
Establishing Prior Learning Activity

This activity unpacks what learners already know about a new section/topic/outcome. It is placed at the beginning of a section / new concept/beginning of training.

– A set of discussion or reflection questions for learners to evaluate what they already know
– Use Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

Specific Outcomes Activity: This is an activity specifically designed to reinforce competency. One activity can fulfill a range of SOs. You know an activity is aligned when the assessment criteria fit seamlessly.

Design activities to meet the assessment criteria for each specific outcome.

Reflection Task I call this ‘Stop and Think.’ It follows a section or an important concept. Make it provocative.

Here is an example of a unit standard reflection template to better understand the process.
 Self-Assessment Activity:
Allow learners to evaluate themselves.

Create a rubric or checklist. The learner will perform a self-assessment.

Learners score their progress and identify if there are any areas for improvement or further learning.
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Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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