AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 6503 Autumn 2019
Course: Curriculum and Instruction (6503)
Semester: Spring, 2019
Q.1 Describe the categories of curriculum design. What are the critical problems that need to be addressed while designing the curriculum?
Curriculum design is a term used to describe the purposeful, deliberate, and systematic organization of curriculum (instructional blocks) within a class or course. In other words, it is a way for teachers to plan instruction. When teachers design curriculum, they identify what will be done, who will do it, and what schedule to follow.
Purpose of Curriculum Design
Teachers design each curriculum with a specific educational purpose in mind. The ultimate goal is to improve student learning, but there are other reasons to employ curriculum design as well. For example, designing a curriculum for middle school students with both elementary and high school curricula in mind helps to make sure that learning goals are aligned and complement each other from one stage to the next. If a middle school curriculum is designed without taking prior knowledge from elementary school or future learning in high school into account it can create real problems for the students.
Types of Curriculum Design
There are three basic types of curriculum design:
- Subject-centered design
- Learner-centered design
- Problem-centered design
Subject-Centered Curriculum Design
Subject-centered curriculum design revolves around a particular subject matter or discipline. For example, a subject-centered curriculum may focus on math or biology. This type of curriculum design tends to focus on the subject rather than the individual. It is the most common type of curriculum used in K-12 public schools in states and local districts in the United States.
Subject-centered curriculum design describes what needs to be studied and how it should be studied. Core curriculum is an example of a subject-centered design which can be standardized across schools, states, and the country as a whole. In standardized core curricula, teachers are provided a pre-determined list of things that they need to teach their students, along with specific examples of how these things should be taught. You can also find subject-centered designs in large college classes in which teachers focus on a particular subject or discipline.
The primary drawback of subject-centered curriculum design is that it is not student-centered. In particular, this form of curriculum design is constructed without taking into account the specific learning styles of the students. This can cause problems with student engagement and motivation and may even cause students to fall behind in class.
Learner-Centered Curriculum Design
In contrast, learner-centered curriculum design takes each individual’s needs, interests, and goals into consideration. In other words, it acknowledges that students are not uniform and adjusts to those student needs. Learner-centered curriculum design is meant to empower learners and allow them to shape their education through choices.
Instructional plans in a learner-centered curriculum are differentiated, giving students the opportunity to choose assignments, learning experiences or activities. This can motivate students and help them stay engaged in the material that they are learning.
The drawback to this form of curriculum design is that it is labor intensive. Developing differentiated instruction puts pressure on the teacher to create instruction and/or find materials that are conducive to each student’s learning needs. Teachers may not have the time or may lack the experience or skills to create such a plan. Learner-centered curriculum design also requires that teachers balance student wants and interests with student needs and required outcomes, which is not an easy balance to obtain.
Problem-Centered Curriculum Design
Like learner-centered curriculum design, problem-centered curriculum design is also a form of student-centered design. Problem-centered curricula focus on teaching students how to look at a problem and come up with a solution to the problem. Students are thus exposed to real-life issues, which helps them develop skills that are transferable to the real world.
Problem-centered curriculum design increases the relevance of the curriculum and allows students to be creative and innovate as they are learning. The drawback to this form of curriculum design is that it does not always take learning styles into consideration.
Curriculum Design Tips
The following curriculum design tips can help educators manage each stage of the curriculum design process.
- Identify the needs of stakeholders (i.e., students) early on in the curriculum design process. This can be done through needs analysis, which involves the collection and analysis of data related to the learner. This data might include what learners already know and what they need to know to be proficient in a particular area or skill. It may also include information about learner perceptions, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Create a clear list of learning goals and outcomes. This will help you to focus on the intended purpose of the curriculum and allow you to plan instruction that can achieve the desired results. Learning goals are the things teachers want students to achieve in the course. Learning outcomes are the measurable knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students should have achieved in the course.
- Identify constraints that will impact your curriculum design. For example, time is a common constraint that must be considered. There are only so many hours, days, weeks or months in the term. If there isn’t enough time to deliver all of the instruction that has been planned, it will impact learning outcomes.
- Consider creating a curriculum map (also known as a curriculum matrix) so that you can properly evaluate the sequence and coherence of instruction. Curriculum mapping provides visual diagrams or indexes of a curriculum. Analyzing a visual representation of the curriculum is a good way to quickly and easily identify potential gaps, redundancies or alignment issues in the sequencing of instruction. Curriculum maps can be created on paper or with software programs or online services designed specifically for this purpose.
- Identify the instructional methods that will be used throughout the course and consider how they will work with student learning styles. If the instructional methods are not conducive to the curriculum, the instructional design or the curriculum design will need to be altered accordingly.
- Establish evaluation methods that will be used at the end and during the school year to assess learners, instructors, and the curriculum. Evaluation will help you determine if the curriculum design is working or if it is failing. Examples of things that should be evaluated include the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum and achievement rates related to learning outcomes. The most effective evaluation is ongoing and summative.
- Remember that curriculum design is not a one-step process; continuous improvement is a necessity. The design of the curriculum should be assessed periodically and refined based on assessment data. This may involve making alterations to the design part way through the course to ensure that learning outcomes or a certain level of proficiency will be achieved at the end of the course.
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 6503 Autumn 2019
Q.2 Why situational analysis is important, how is it carried out? Highlight the three domains of educational objectives?
The Importance of Situational Analysis and needs assessment in the initial stages of curriculum development. Situational analysis is the systematic process of analyzing the situation before the curriculum is developed effectively. However, Hilda Taba (1962) describes situational Analysis as a diagnosis of needs. In this simpler form, we can define situational Analysis as the process of examining factors that exist in the environment or society where the curriculum is going to be implemented.
Situational analysis factors include knowledge about the environment in terms of mountains, rivers, flora and fauna including places where the programme or curriculum is going to be implemented, the social or power structure of that society, the traditions, norms, needs and aspirations of the community and the language of instruction.
Bishop (1985) argued that the situational Analysis must incorporate members of the general public and not only ‘experts’. These members should be invited to play their past in situational Analysis. This si because Education itself is not a discipline like English and History but an area involving a wide variety of society with different backgrounds. Hence, Parents Teachers Association (P.T.A) and religious Organisations would feel to say something pertaining to the lives and future of their children. This simply means that there is a way parents and society at large would want the curriculum to shape their attitudes of their children.
Simpson Yinger (1958) argued that situational Analysis involve careful observation and an acute understanding of the variables influencing a given situation. The particular role of a researcher in situational Analysis is to contribute to our knowledge by isolating one by one each of the many variables that are involved in every situation and then studying the effects of their interaction. The scientists in this regard measures the influence of each factor alone and later how these variables interact with each other. In short, every stakeholder must be anlysed in details. To ensure effective results curriculum developers need to undertake SWOT analysis of the stakeholders involved.
E.G. INTERNAL FACTOR EXTERNAL FACTOR
ABSCONDS CLASSES FISHERMAN
ILLITERATE DOES NOT VALUE EDUCAITON
In situation analysis, you need to look at the Resources people posses. Rich people will contribute positively towards the education of a learner. Poor people are unable to contribute positively towards the development of the curriculum.
Kaufman (1982:75) defined Needs Assessment as “a formal analysis that documents gaps between current results and the desired results.” He further defined a need as a gap between what is and what should be.
Need assessment involves arranging gaps (needs) in priority of order, selection of the needs to be resolved. Once analyzed, the information is then used to set appropriate arms , goals and objectives in curriculum Development.
The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they provide us with up to date information which can be used to solve the problems, set providers, identify groups which require special need intervention and can create a basis or platform for discussion in as far as curriculum development is concerned.
Another importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that Policy makers (Government officials) and decision makers (curriculum specialists) can make strong arguments in as far as allocation of resources is concerned.
A needs assessment can be a powerful tool used to develop strategies to address the curriculum needs. Will provide the met and unmet needs within the targeted groups e.g. (i) met needs may be availability of teachers and pupils, supplementary readers (ii) unmet may be the distance between the school and the learners home.
The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they will help in the formulation of curriculum intent, content, selection of learning and teaching activities.
It help educationalists meet the needs and expectations of the society. Ordinarily, the content of subjects in curriculum intent is too formal and academic to meet the needs of the majority of the children who do not proceed on to higher studies especially if it was developed without situational analysis. What pupils do in schools neither satisfies the developing needs of the child nor prepares the child adequately for the world/environment he/she lives in (no wonder we have more street kids in Zambia). Practical and aesthetic subjects such as wood work and music are therefore not given enough time and attention. This is because curriculum is mainly designed to transmit factual knowledge rather than to provide learning experiences.
The importance of situational analysis and needs assessments is that they guide on what need to be done by attacking a real problem in the community which are issue based rather than assumptions.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 Code 6503 Autumn 2019
Q.3 Analyze the criteria and procedure of content selection. Further elaborate the selection of teaching strategies.
The term curriculum is viewed in two different ways: the micro and the macro. The micro curriculum refers to subjects while the macro curriculum refers to curricular programs. For example, the subject biology is a micro curriculum while BS in Civil Engineering is a macro curriculum. What do the micro and the macro curriculum contain? The following criteria discusses the content of these two levels of the curriculum.
Seven Criteria for the Selection of Subject-matter or Content of the Curriculum
The selection of subject matter for micro curriculum employs the seven criteria below. For the macro curriculum, the subjects needed for the curricular program or course.
To help learners attain maximum self-sufficiency in the most economical manner is the main guiding principle of subject matter or content selection (Scheffler, 1970) as cited by Bilbao et al. (2008). Although the economy of learning implies less teaching effort and less use of educational resources, students gain more results. They can cope up with the learning outcomes effectively.
This criterion means that students should be given a chance to experiment, observe, and do field study. This system allows them to learn independently. With this principle in mind, I suggest that for a high school curriculum or preparatory year, there should be a one-day independent learning activity each week. However, this should be carefully planned by the teacher. When the students return, they should present outputs from the activity.
The subject matter or content is significant if it is selected and organized for the development of learning activities, skills, processes, and attitude. It also develops the three domains of learning namely the cognitive, affective and psychomotor skills and considers the cultural aspects of the learners. Particularly, if your students come from different cultural backgrounds and races, the subject matter must be culture-sensitive.
In short, select content or subject matter that can achieve the overall aim of the curriculum.
Validity refers to the authenticity of the subject matter or content you selected. Make sure that the topics are not obsolete. For example, do not include typewriting as a skill to be learned by college students. It should be about the computer or Information Technology (IT). Thus, there is a need to check regularly the subject matter or contents of the curriculum, and replace it if necessary. Do not wait for another 5 years to change it.
Modern curriculum experts are after current trends, relevance and authenticity of the curriculum; otherwise, the school or the country becomes obsolete.
This criterion is true to the learner-centered curriculum. Students learn best if the subject matter is meaningful to them. It becomes meaningful if they are interested in it. However, if the curriculum is subject-centered, teachers have no choice but to finish the pacing schedule religiously and only teach what is in the book. This approach explains why many fail in the subject.
Another criterion is the usefulness of the content or subject matter. Students think that a subject matter or some subjects are not important to them. They view it useless. As a result, they do not study. Here are the questions that students often ask: Will I need the subject in my job? Will it give meaning to my life? Will it develop my potentials? Will it solve my problem? Will it be part of the test? Will I have a passing mark if I learn it? Students only value the subject matter or content if it is useful to them.
The subject matter or content must be within the schema of the learners. It should be within their experiences. Teachers should apply theories in the psychology of learning to know how subjects are presented, sequenced, and organized to maximize the learning capacity of the students.
Feasibility means full implementation of the subject matter. It should consider the real situation of the school, the government, and the society, in general. Students must learn within the allowable time and the use of resources available. Do not give them a topic that is impossible to finish. For example, you have only one week left to finish the unit but then, the activities may take a month for the students to complete. Thus, this requirement is not feasible.
Do not offer a computer subject if there is no even electricity in the area, or there are no computers at all. Further, feasibility means that there should be teachers who are experts in that area. For example, do not offer English for Business Communication if there is no teacher to handle it.
Also, there is a need to consider the nature of the learners. The organization and design of the subject matter or content must be appropriate to the nature of students. So, it would be better if students in a subject-centered curriculum (with pacing schedule that must be religiously implemented every week) shall be grouped homogeneously; otherwise, many will flunk in that subject. In conclusion, teachers in elementary and high school are not directly involved in the selection of subject-matter because there are already lesson plans made by the Department of Education. All they have to do is to follow it. However, they can also customize the lessons if their department heads or principals allows them.
As regards macro curriculum, the Commission on Higher Education sets guidelines and policies on what subjects to offer as minimum requirements for the course. Then, the Curriculum Development Committee will takes charge of the selection, organization and implementation of the curriculum with the approval of the Academic Council.
The Curriculum Development Committee headed by the Director of Curriculum Development sees to it that the selection of the subject-matter and the subjects for a curricular program be examined and scrutinized using the 7 criteria mentioned above.
But, this is not the end of the process yet! The selection of the subject matter or content of the micro and macro curriculum is only one of the considerations in designing the curriculum.
AIOU Solved Assignments 2 Code 6503 Autumn 2019
Q.4 Design strategies for the evaluation of specific educational programmes and suggest means for their improvement.
Evaluation has been defined by Oerman and Gaberson as “a process of making judgements about student learning and achievement, clinical performance, employee competence, and educational programs, based on assessment data”. Keating defined evaluation as “a process by which information about an entity is gathered to determine its worth” and involves making “value judgements about learners, as value is part of the word evaluation”. Evaluation is used in various professional contexts on a daily basis in order to make decisions for complex matters that require individuals or methods of practice to be either certified, secured or improved. With regard to the educational context, many of the terms, concepts, and theories of educational evaluation originated from business models, and have been adapted to education, especially in light of an increased emphasis on outcomes.
A variety of evaluation approaches have been developed throughout the relatively short but plentiful life of evaluation. Evaluation in education has received both criticism and approval from the scientific community. Many authors expressed their scepticism about the application of evaluation in education, and have discussed the difficulties of implementing evaluation theory in practice. From the early years of evaluation, programme evaluation was considered as a problematic issue for several reasons. The impracticality of evaluation instruments, the lack of students’ involvement in the evaluation process, the low response rate and poor commitment of faculty staff are some of the issues that have thrown doubt on the practicality of programme evaluation. In the past, programme evaluation was characterised as a time-consuming, monotonous procedure, with doubtful results and struggling processes. Others considered evaluation as a necessary but complex component of curriculum design, development and implementation. Traditionally, the complexity of evaluation was highlighted and, for this reason, evaluation was the least understood and the most neglected element of curriculum design and development. In the same context, however, programme evaluation was considered as an important element of programme development, despite being neglected due to its complex nature and the increased problems for policy makers and programme planners.
Different views were presented in the past by various authors who revealed the constructive nature of evaluation and claimed that evaluation is a vital component of programme development. Rolfe for example, who expressed concerns about the practicality of educational evaluation, also emphasised that evaluation is an important element of curriculum development and implementation. O’Neill stressed that evaluation is one of the most significant facets of curriculum development, even if it is carried out solely for the purpose of providing the faculty with a sense of security. In addition, Shapiro and Grant-Haworth and Conrad, associate the notion of quality with evaluation and consider evaluation as a prerequisite for developing and sustaining high–quality educational programmes. The authors underscored that programme quality and programme evaluation have been strongly emphasised in higher education, despite the fact that evaluators and educators often conveyed criticism and divergent opinions.
Historically, these contrasting views highlight the value of educational evaluation as well as its complexity and impracticality. These can be the reasons for poor and unsuccessful implementation of evaluation in practice. Despite, however, the opposing views on the utilisation and usefulness of programme evaluation, there is a general agreement among authors of the earlier and later times that evaluation is an essential part of the educational process. Perhaps this is the reason that successive attempts have been made throughout the 20th century to evaluate educational programmes and curricula. These attempts will be reviewed in chronological order.
The evaluation of educational programmes is considered as an important action for educators in the field of nursing. Throughout the history of nursing education a variety of methods and models of evaluation have been developed and used to evaluate educational activities. Aim: The aim of this paper is to review the history of evaluation in nursing education, and to highlight its contribution to modern evaluation thinking. Methodology: A literature search of the electronic databases ProQuest, GoogleScholar, CINHAL+ and PubMed was conducted, benchmarking texts on evaluation and education as well as articles and documents describing evaluation theories and methods in education. Findings: ? significant number of evaluation models were developed and tested in real educational contexts. Their utilisation in education had a significant impact on course improvement and quality, but most of the evaluation models were criticised for their multifaceted nature. Despite this, their contribution to the development of modern evaluation approaches is evident. Conclusion: The history of evaluation in education highlighted the contradictory attributes of educational evaluation, its usefulness in different educational contexts, and its complexity in implementation. These opposing characteristics led to the development of novel evaluative activities focusing on flexibility and a synthesis of methods.
AIOU Solved Assignments Code 6503
Q.5 What are the main problems and issues faced by curriculum developers? Discuss the implementation and modification of curriculum in the light of Algorithmic model?
The process of curriculum development is facing serious issues in Pakistan. These issues are interference of bureaucrats, the absence of involvement of school teachers etc. Experts sitting in curriculum development boards do not use academic resources properly for revising outdated sections of school textbooks. EAST offers innovative solutions for meeting the needs of curriculum development in Pakistan.
What is Curriculum?
While thinking about education, the most important idea that comes to mind is curriculum. Curriculum is a channel that school administration needs for giving educational and life skills to students. However, unluckily, in Pakistani context, this idea is highly misunderstood due to which students do not get enriched educational experience in schools.
Curriculum does not change in Pakistan
Ghulam Haider in his article, “Process of Curriculum Development in Pakistan,” says that curriculum is not a static process, but it is a dynamic exercise that must undergo changes according to society’s new demands. In Pakistan, curriculum development is a static process. There are many reasons for the failure in developing proper curriculum. Some of them are discussed below.
Issues in curriculum development
- Curriculum is outdated
Firstly, the curriculum is outdated, which does not meet the local needs of Pakistani society. Raja Omer Shabbir in his article, “The curriculum problems,” notes that our present generation is learning the same knowledge that previous two generations have learnt. As students from different parts of the world get difficult mathematical and scientific knowledge by activity-based learning, our students are forced to know scientific concepts through cramming.
For example, in school textbooks of Mathematics at primary level, the concepts of shapes in geometry lessons are not written correctly. One example is of sphere and circle. Most of the teachers do not know that a sphere is a solid shape and a circle is a flat shape. Many teachers teach students that the shape of sun is a circle and not a sphere. It is sad situation that experts designing school textbooks of mathematics at primary level do not pay attention to include the concept of solid and flat shapes together.
- Involvement of government officials
Secondly, both Haider and Shabbir note that involvement of government officers in the development of Pakistani curriculum is proving harmful to our education system.
Haider suggests that the current process of curriculum development is based on a uniform policy for the whole country that has its particular aims and goals, but he thinks that it is not possible to apply national educational policy to different regions of the country with equality. For example, there are many underdeveloped areas of Pakistan, where parents do not have adequate resources to send their children to schools. The drop-out rate from schools is high, because parents cannot afford the expense of education easily. Hence, a new educational policy has to be made by government officers for poor students, so that their problems of education can be solved. One way of doing this is to build schools, where students are allowed to study in evening time, and where books having basic knowledge about core subjects such as English, Mathematics, Science, Urdu and Islam are taught by trained teachers.
- Lack of academic research
Thirdly, the problem that the process of curriculum development faces in Pakistan is improper academic research for writing school textbooks. Haider points out those experts sitting in the curriculum development boards use materials of their own choice for instruction in schools.
He says that most of the times the chosen content is not up to the mark. While going through textbooks approved by several board systems in the country, it becomes clear that no suitable research/evaluation system is created to revise curriculum.
For example, in computer books of Class 9th, students still learn serial and parallel ports. However, it is noted that all electronic devices created in present day are connected with computers by USB port.
- Absence of school teachers’ involvement
Fourthly, it is seen that the academic experience of teachers from different schools is also not considered in designing and revising school curriculum. Daniel Tanner and Laurel N. Tanner in their book, “Curriculum Development: Theory into Practice,” suggest that without intelligent participation of school teachers, meaningful curriculum development will not be achieved.
Tanner and Tanner say that teachers, who are involved in bringing out educational change, accept and adopt the new ideas more quickly than those teachers who are not involved in carrying out change.
Useful evidence suggests that in countries where well-educated teachers were not involved in the curriculum development process, they did not accept new changes in school textbooks.
Result of weak academic skills of researchers
With lack of academic skills in researchers responsible for designing curriculum for schools, the most important feature of curriculum, i.e. content suffers a lot. Students follow rote-learning process, because the content of their books does not match to their educational skills. In order to make students problem-solvers, Shabbir argues that our books must contain questions that relate to problems we face in our daily life. By answering those questions, students will learn to solve issues in difficult situations.
For example, while studying the concept of speed in science, students must be given questions related to real-life examples of speed such as speed of a car etc., so that they know the application of the concept.