Before you begin the process, consider the following:
- Developing a high-quality curriculum requires a serious commitment of time, money and energy. It is an ongoing project that will require updates and edits years after implementation to ensure it is up-to-date and relevant.
- Curriculum development works best with a team. Consider bringing people together with expertise in the content area, along with representatives from your target audiences to increase creativity and enhance the quality of the material.
Program development: The MU Extension Way
MU Extension’s mission is about improving lives, communities and economies. Creating programs to carry out this mission is an important task.
Given the impact that programs can make in people’s lives and the costs associated with programming, it is wise to periodically review the program development process.
Following such a review, a committee of your peers developed a five-step Missouri-specific process based on best practices of extension colleagues in other states.
Program development via the MU Extension Way has five stages:
1: Analyze: Exploration and conceptualization
Analyze the economic, environmental and societal issues that extension programs can and should address based on target audiences, potential partners and competitors and other available resources.
2: Design curriculum, education experiences, resource material, marketing plan and evaluation approaches
Design educational resources, learning experiences, financial resources, marketing support and evaluation tools based around information gathered in stage one.
3: Develop curriculum, education experiences, resource material, marketing plan and evaluation approach
Develop the content, educator and learner resources, a marketing plan and evaluation approaches based on information from stages one and two.
4: Implement training, support and delivery methods
Implement training to those who will deliver the program and other key partners.
5: Evaluate the program’s effectiveness and share feedback with faculty, staff, partners and stakeholders.
Throughout the next 10 weeks, detailed information and resources on each stage of the program development process will be shared.