Curriculum Evaluation ACED 7030 Curriculum Issues and Trends in Adult and Career Education
If the student hasn’t learned, the instructor hasn’t taught! What do you think about this statement? Do you think that other factors could come into play? Go to the discussion board and share your thoughts on these questions.
Of course,we know that sometimes we can have good instructors and good students, but without a valid curriculum, necessary skills to be successful in the workplace may not be learned. For this reason, curriculum evaluation or assessment is necessary.
Crunkilton and Finch (1999) define “assessment” as… “The determination of the merit or worth of a curriculum (or portion of that curriculum). It includes gathering information for use in judging the merit of the curriculum, program, or curriculum materials.”
This evaluation process should include factors associated with… • The learner • The curriculum • The instructor(s) • The availability of necessary facilities • Other aspects of the program that affect the delivery of the curriculum
Curriculum evaluation should include… • The overall program (list of courses, prerequisites, etc.) • Scope and sequence of content within each course • Curricular materials Recall the various definitions of “curriculum” from earlier in the course. Curriculum evaluation should be inclusive of all components.
The text suggests that… In order to conduct a meaningful assessment that is inclusive of information from a variety of interested personnel (administrators, deans, division chairpersons, instructors, etc.) that an assessment framework should be established. This will provide a comprehensive plan that is systematic in nature. This framework may include the following elements—Context, Input, Process, and Product.
These elements include… • Context-whether or not to offer the curriculum—focus, goals, and objectives. • Input-what resources and strategies are used. • Process-what effect does the curriculum have on the students. • Product-what effect has the curriculum had on former students. Each of these elements are explained in detail in the text beginning on page 272.
Now that a framework for what is being assessed has been established and agreed upon, a plan for the assessment is necessary. This plan should include… • Overview-needs statement, benefits, objectives of the assessment, etc. • Curriculum Description-content objectives, procedures, overview of content, students, setting. • Assessment Design-description of assessment procedures, instruments, timelines, budget, etc. • Assessment Report-brief description of final report and dissemination plan. • Appendix-examples of questionnaires and other materials used to gather and analyze information. These items are fully explained in the text beginning on page 283.
An important part of curriculum assessment is looking at curricular materials used in the delivery of the program. Crunkilton and Finch give a good description of assessing these materials beginning on page 294. They include looking at items such as effectiveness, efficiency, acceptability, practicality, and generalizability. Several sample assessment instruments are give in the appendix of Chapter 12. By carefully assessing curriculum materials prior to purchase, instructors and other personnel can avoid being stuck with undesirable materials until “the next time their time comes around to get new materials.” Have you ever been stuck with poor quality materials because you or someone else didn’t take the time to evaluate the materials prior to purchase? Go to the discussion board and tell us about it. What effect did it have on your instruction?
Finally… It is most important that the results of a curriculum assessment are used to improve the curriculum! This includes building on the strengths of the curriculum and improving or eliminating the weaknesses. An assessment that is placed on a shelf to gather dust is major waste of time and money that could be used elsewhere. Be sure to visit the website for your assignment related to this lesson.