Blog Archives

Creating a curriculum from the ground up

Two weeks ago I was in Wheaton, IL meeting with a content expert to start to develop a new curriculum. It was a new experience for me. I have never been a part of writing a curriculum that is essentially being built from the ground up. We do have source material to pull from and content experts who have done shorter trainings on the same topic, but for the most part we are crafting this curriculum from pretty close to scratch.

I don’t want to talk about the nitty gritty details of this curriculum and the design process even though I could probably talk about those things for hours. What I want to talk about is the experience in general.

I am new to the instructional design field. Sure I have designed curriculum here and there for COSI Toledo and my own classroom, but this is different. COSI Toledo was mostly about having fun while learning some pretty basic science. My own classroom’s curriculum was so regulated by the objectives dictated to me by higher ups, so I was very limited.

This was different.

This was the first large project on my plate.

This was my first experience being the expert in the field, with a good chunk of responsibility on my shoulders.

This was the beginning of the bulk of my work here with GEM eDOT in Germany.

This was and is incredible!

First off it is pretty incredible because of the possible reach of this curriculum. So far we have 1 guaranteed conference with interest being shown in three other locations. The idea behind our design is to allow a properly trained facilitator (which may be a course we create as well) to use our curriculum and facilitate a conference in their area. The easier this is to bring to any area, the more conferences there are. The more conferences there are, the more people trained in this discipleship making movement. The more people trained, the more impact it has for the Kingdom of God in Europe and beyond.

Then it’s awesome on a personal level. I have very rarely been given so much responsibility and trust as I already have at eDOT. Sometimes, I am confident that I will have a clue what to do, but because of the way my supervisors have been treating me I have grown in confidence of my skills. I have been trained for this and they believe that I can do this.

The third way that it was awesome, was that we accomplished what we needed to accomplish in half the time that I thought it would take. That allowed us to get more done than previously thought and also work on other things we needed to get done.

The greatest thing in all of this though, is to see God moving in this project. Are there frustrations? Sure. Is there a pretty tight deadline? Definitely. It doesn’t matter though, because God is moving and where He moves, things far beyond our hopes and dreams will be accomplished. Join me in praising Him, for His work!

Guessing Strategically – DMT Curriculum

In March I went to a training called Discipleship Multiplication Training (DMT) in Lisbon. I wrote a little bit about it after the training was done. During that time I really felt God pushing on my heart telling me that I was going to do something with this curriculum. I thought it was going to be specifically with the curriculum that was used during our training, but God had other plans.

Within a few weeks we were discussing the possibility of eDOT playing a major role in the creation of a new DMT curriculum targeted towards reaching immigrants. The other two guys in the office never saw that coming…but I did!

The DMT trainings were already being planned and a grant for the curriculum/training was already obtained, all that was left to do was the curriculum itself. The grant requires that a certain number of trainings are completed within just under a year and a half. Our first training is planned for October and in order to get a curriculum written in time for it to be used at that training, we have a lot of work to do.

In the next month we will be reading a lot of material in preparation for beginning the curriculum. Neither of us, that are working on the project, are subject matter experts so next month I will be taking a trip to Chicago (and Toledo of course!) to sit down and have a very packed four days of meetings with a content expert. During those four days we will discuss anything and everything that we can, tied to the curriculum, and what he invisions for the trainings. The nice thing, that this trip will allow for, is time to ask questions and get answers immediately. E-mail is great, but when you are working on a curriculum, a lot of questions come up and will need answering sooner rather than later.

This curriculum will definitely stretch my skills and abilities to the max, but I am very excited to be able to develop something from the ground up. During the project we will be posting short articles about the instructional design process and I invite you to check out eDOT’s website to watch as we progress along in this project.

Guessing Strategically – Narnia curriculum

For the third post of the outcomes of our strategic guessing, I wanted to highlight one of the two curricula that I will be helping to design.

I have been working on an ESL (English as a second language) curriculum, based on the 3rd movie in the Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As of right now there is no technology involved in this project, so I have been secunded to EuroTeam to help.

The idea for the curriculum is to be used at a camp for teenagers who want to learn English. We are designing it to be used at a specific camp in Germany, but ideally it could be used in any number of locations and situations. Basically once this curriculum is finished it will be available to any partners who would like an ESL curriculum.

This is the first project that I have been able to work on that uses the unique skills with which God has blessed me. Instructional design is an often misunderstood process that is often overlooked as well. It’s not that you need special training in order to do instructional design, but you do need an understanding for how people learn and in what ways you can craft a lesson to reach as many people as possible.

It has been a great experience so far and I am learning a lot while doing this project. I am looking forward to finishing this project and getting to see it in action later this year. Hopefully it will be used throughout the world so that while learning English these teenagers can learn about God in a non-threatening way.