Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trends and Issues in Curriculum Development in TVET in Zambia

The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) in Zambia uses the systematic curriculum instructional development (SCID) model for curriculum development. SCID is an efficient and effective method for creating competency-based curriculum and instructional materials. Twenty three components are grouped into five phases: Curriculum Analysis, Curriculum Design, Instructional Development, Training Implementation and Programme Evaluation.

The phases in more detail are:

Phase 1. Curriculum Analysis comprises six components. First is a needs analysis, in which actual needs are determined. If the need for training is confirmed, a job analysis is next (DACUM approach is recommended). Next is task verification, which can extend involvement in the job analysis from a few to 100 or more expert workers and can provide a means of rating the importance and difficulty of each task and obtaining other valuable decision-making information. Armed with this information, it is possible to select tasks (or deselect them, as some industry trainers say) for inclusion into the program. The next component in this phase is the standard task analysis. The information obtained in this step is absolutely essential in identifying performance steps and decisions, essential knowledge, industry standards, etc. needed to develop accurate and relevant teaching and learning materials. A sixth component, the literacy task analysis is recommended, but is optional here.

Phase 2. Curriculum Design comprises four components. Based on information collected in Phase 1, it is necessary to make decisions about the training approach -- type of instructional program and materials to be developed, the degree to which instruction will be individualized, and support media to be developed. Next is the development of learning objectives for each task of group of tasks, followed by the development of job performance measures. This phases concludes with the preparation of a training plan, which should be fairly detailed and include all aspects of personnel and facility and equipment needs. Implementation of this plan must occur concurrently with the development phase.

Phase 3. Instructional Development comprises of four main components, although depending on the type of materials produced, the first two components may vary. One choice -- usually for competency - or performance-based programs -- is to develop a competency profile and then to develop learning guides or modules. The second choice -- usually for more traditional programs -- is to develop a curriculum guide and then to develop lesson plans. The third component in either case is to develop supporting media, which can be simple transparencies, posters and slides, or more expensive videotapes or interactive videodiscs. Appropriate media add variety and clarity to the instructional process, motivate the learner, and help demonstrate or illustrate difficult concepts and procedures. The last step in dvelopment is to pilot-test and revise the materials. This step is important and worth the extra time and money to make needed improvements and modifications. Keep in mind that the purpose of these materials is to help learners achieve the performance objectives as efficiently, effectively, and economically as possible. In many cases, existing materials and resources may be used or adapted.

Phase 4. Training Implementation comprises four components, beginning with activating the training plan developed in the design phase. By now, learners have been recruited, instructors selected and trained, and the availability of facilities, supplies, equipment, and other resources confirmed. The next step, after pre-testing, is to conduct a formative evaluation of learner and instructor performance. This information is invaluable in making in-course corrections, should this become necessary. Documenting training in the form of student achievement and instructor performance records is the final step in this phase. The student competency profiles can be used to report achievement to parents and potential employers as well as to administrators.

Phase 5. Program Evaluation, the final phase, comprises three components. With the formative evaluation complete, the next important step is to conduct the summative evaluation to collect data for use in decisions on maintaining or improving the education or training program. This involves gathering data on the overall instructional process, program outcomes, student follow-up, worker productivity, and cost-effectiveness. Analyzing and interpreting this information will lead to recommendations on program improvement and, finally, taking corrective actions. Completion of the evaluation phase produces the performance data and feedback vital to any education or training system concerned with quality management and proving its worth. (Center on Education and Training for Employment, 2005:2).

It should be noted that before TEVETA coordinates supervises the curriculum development process, the following measures are in place: Staff (from institutions and industry) are identified, the programmes to develop are identified along with a justification for the programme. This is the planning stage.

(Presented at a Computer Society of Zambia ICT Training Standards and Professionalism Seminar in Lusaka in May 2005)

The full paper can be downloaded at:

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