Monday, October 08, 2012

Building a Curriculum: Top 10 Things to Consider

Are you inspired to create a presentation?  Do you want to speak on a topic that you are passionate about but don't know where to begin?  This is the first of several basic tutorials on curriculum development adapted from the Birthsource Lamaze Childbirth Education Seminars that I teach.  

First, read through the Top 10 Things to Consider below.  If you would like a practice worksheet for this, please email me at  


In maternity care, there may be many opportunities to create courses for continuing education.  How does one begin to put together a curriculum and what are the first common steps?

Decide on Basic Topic ~ this may not take a lot of brainwork especially if you are passionate about something to begin with!

Name the Presentation ~ you may have to brainstorm on this one to get a catchy, trendy title!  Avoid sarcasm, off color remarks or inappropriate jabs at individuals/organizations.

Include speakers and their CVs/resumes ~ if more than one person is speaking, you will need to include copies of the curriculum vitae or resume.  Need more info?  Click here.

General time allotment for presentation ~ basically, how long do you have for this presentation?  Minutes? Hours? Days?

Topic list in logical order of presentation ~ first write down all of the topics you want to include in this course and then put them into a logical order.  “Logical” order may be chronological, alphabetical, or in order of appearance (as when each one builds on the previous ones).

List of teaching strategies ~ what types of strategies will be employed to get your point across to the various types of learners in your course? Make a general list.  Read about adult learners!

Define basic objectives ~ what are the basics outcomes that you would like to see students achieve?  Need more help?  Click here.

Will the students do any pre-attendance work? Any advanced reading or forms to fill out?

Required or recommended reading lists? Will there be books, magazines, or web-based information that will enhance their attendance at the course?

List of references used in creating the course.  Be sure to write these references in the proper format.  The proper professional format is the American Psychological Association Style.  Purdue University has a wonderful APA Formatting and Style Guide at

Once you have completed the above, you are ready for the next step -
 that will be writing the curriculum!  That will be our next blog installment!

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