What is a Training Curriculum?
A Training Curriculum is a set of course topics to be delivered during a training session to provide knowledge and skills for a specific audience and discipline.
It goes further than that, but that is one of the simpler definitions. Exactly what is put in a training curriculum varies from organisation to organisation, as does the format and layout. However, a well thought out training curriculum should define the purpose of the course clearly, leaving the intended participants in no doubt about the topic of the course or training programme. It must show how you will ensure that your participants have the knowledge and skills to implement the learning. State the overall aim of the course or training programme and objectives for the key learning outcomes so that it is appropriate for the participants’ current skill and knowledge levels. It should be easy to use/read, align with company standards, be specific enough for managers to determine attendees yet flexible enough to allow trainer creativity.
Let’s look further at each of the key components of a training curriculum:
This is an opening statement that details the purpose and aim(s) of the training curriculum. This should be brief but clear and leave the reader in no doubt as to ‘what it’s all about’!
A brief description of the intended participants and the skill and knowledge levels they are expected to bring to the course.
Also referred to as performance indicators or outcomes; these should be clear descriptions of the skills and knowledge that participants will need to demonstrate to show mastery of the course content. The objectives should be written so that they know specifically what they should be able to do at the end of the course. The learning objectives should also be measurable so that both the trainer and participant can identify whether they can or can’t do the action(s) stated to the required standards.
This is a detailed outline of the major topics and sub-topics that will be taught in the course. Ideally these should be placed in a progressive sequence and the major topics are the ones that should each have a linked learning objective.
Session Outlines (optional)
These place the content and the learning objectives into units and typically correspond to a time period for delivery of each one. They may or may not specify teaching strategies and other learning activities.
Evaluation/Assessment of Learning
All courses should have a way for the trainer and participants to determine if the objectives were met. A course evaluation form or feedback form covers the participants’ assessment of their learning and feelings. An assessment is either at the end of course or post course and these assessments are measurable, objective, criterion referenced and authentic. It is required that assessment criteria be communicated in the curriculum and during the course. Assessments should be designed so the participants can demonstrate (to the trainer or to themselves) that they can do the actions stated in the learning objectives.
Some thought needs to be given to how the content is to be delivered. People learn in different ways. Teaching strategies and learning activities need to allow the participants to interact with content, the trainer and others on the course. These include: problems to solve, material samples to touch, case studies, hands-on sessions, questions and answers with the trainer and small group activities or discussions.
Resources, References and Related Information
Other sources of information that can be drawn on are always helpful, especially if there are pre-requisite courses to attend or content that should be read in advance.
The Training curriculum is provided to answer the questions “What and Why?”, “Where and When?” “Who and How?”
What and Why
This is the big part and should include:
- Aim of the training programme – what it is intended to achieve
- Key topics with learning objectives for each one
- Duration of overall course or breakdown of session timings if appropriate
- Summary of assessment methods for evaluation purposes – has the aim been achieved
Where, When and Who
Where – This is often pre-determined based on the location of the participants and the trainer. There may be a company headquarters with dedicated training facilities, but also consider online sessions where your audience is geographically dispersed or in lockdown!
When – This depends on the answer to ‘How long have you got to cover this topic?’
It may be that you have a course that is one day only or you may have a series of steps that lead to the final result. The dates of the sessions and course(s) are detailed in the training curriculum.
Who – The answer to this question is your intended audience taken from the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) (see also our TNA Template). If you have different skills to teach to holders of different job roles, but on the same overall topic, a separate training curriculum is generally required for each job role because the content and method/media may vary.
This is broken down into how you are going to teach these topics and whether it is instructor led or self-paced.
Some examples to consider are listed below:
- Role play
- Discussion groups
- Case studies
- Hands-on use of a software training system
Whatever the ‘How’ that you choose (the best courses have many), you should ensure that there is a good balance of theory and practical.
Example Training Curriculum
There are courses offered by Evolution Culture Ltd that cover the TNA, Design and Delivery, formulation of Aims and Objectives and Evaluation of training.
For more information on any of our training courses, please visit www.evolutionculture.co.uk
31 Aug 2020