May 25, 2016

How to Create a New Curriculum for Your Class

If you’ve been a childbirth educator for a while, you may be thinking about freshening up your course content. But where do you begin?

Change can be a good thing, and we have a few practical steps to guide you in designing your revamped curriculum, as well as some online resources to turn to when you need help coming up with new ideas.

Why you need to occasionally revamp your class

Trying to figure out whether you need to create a new curriculum or make some changes to your current one? Below are three reasons to overhaul your class.

  1. You’ve been using the same materials and delivery methods for years. If this is the case, it’s probably a good time to create a new curriculum for your class or, at the very least, make some key updates to your current syllabus.
  2. The class content isn’t as effective as it used to be and isn’t achieving the desired results. If you’re no longer satisfied with the content and techniques you’re using or have discovered research supporting newer practices, then changes to your curriculum could be overdue. Making adjustments will provide your students with the most current information in formats they’ll relate to and receive the most benefit from.
  3. Your technology isn’t up to date or isn’t part of the program at all. With technology constantly evolving, birthing classes aren’t always at the forefront of the most recent technological advances. It’s possible your curriculum doesn’t have a technology component at all. Either way, incorporating technology in some aspect is a wonderful way to enhance your instruction. Just be sure to do your research and select the experiences that are most appropriate for your class and that will help you deliver course content in a meaningful way.

Steps for designing your curriculum

Whether you’ve decided to create an entirely new curriculum or just make over your existing one, the following steps will help you get started and develop an effective program.

  1. Define the course objectives. Begin by thinking about the takeaways you want for your students. Defining specific objectives for your program upfront will guide you as you go about developing the curriculum as a whole.
  2. Create a scope and sequence. With your course objectives set, you can then create an outline of the key information your students need in order to meet those objectives by the end of the course, along with the best order in which to present them.
  3. Determine the teaching methodologies. While it’s always best to use a variety of teaching methods, you’ll want to figure out which methods work best for the topics and objectives you’ll be covering, considering which ones you feel are best suited to your personality and your audience. You may decide that certain information is best presented in a traditional lecture format with accompanying handouts or visual aids while others are better suited for small-group discussions. Other components may resonate best through hands-on experiential activities.

Resources to get you started

When in need of new ideas, the below resources are great places to start to get your creativity flowing:

When developing the content for your classes, it’s fine to pick and choose from the resources that appeal to you. You’ll find ideas, tools, and information in everything from books and videos to journal articles and brochures.

Need more teaching inspiration and resources to enhance your classes? CCI’s high-quality educational materials are the perfect complement to any education and childbirth program. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how to best incorporate them into your programs.

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Have questions? Ready to start?