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Develop Curriculum

Audience: Teachers, Curriculum Coordinators, Instructional Systems Specialists, Program Administrators, Career Technical Education Supervisors, Curriculum and Assessment Directors, Corporate Trainers, and Technical Trainers, may find this page helpful.
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Competency models identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for success in an occupation or industry. This information can be used to develop and evaluate competency-based curriculum to ensure workers fulfill industry needs and are prepared to face work-related challenges and activities.

  • Background
  • Real-life examples
  • Step-by-step
  • Worksheet

Curriculum Development and Evaluation:

Development: To build a curriculum based on an existing competency model, the relevant competencies must be translated into learning objectives. Learning objectives are statements that describe ways that students can demonstrate mastery of the competency in an educational setting. Curriculum developers can then devise lesson plans that will take learners to the desired level of competency.

Evaluation: Competency models are a resource for evaluating existing curriculum to ensure that it addresses business and industry's needs. Compare the learning objectives of the curriculum to the model's competencies to identify which knowledge, skills, and abilities are insufficiently addressed. For example, a program or department administrator may ask individual educators to compare their course content with a model's competencies to better align course goals with intended program outcomes.

Use the Curriculum Analysis Worksheet to develop or evaluate a curriculum using a competency model.

The GeoTech Center, which led the validation of the Geospatial Technology Competency Model, has used the model to develop a Curriculum Analysis Worksheet. GeoTech offers workshops and tips on how the model can be used to improve existing curricula. Colleges around the country are using the tool to evaluate their geospatial courses and programs. Read the full story at: http://www.careeronestop.org/competencymodel/info_documents/Geospatial_CaseSummary.pdf.

Visit the Models in Action to learn about the many additional ways competency models are being used.

  1. If you have not already done so, select or customize an industry competency model which identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for successful performance within the industry. For assistance developing a competency model, see the CMC User Guide - Competency Models.

  2. Use the knowledge, skills, and abilities from your competency model to develop or compare course content that aligns with the competencies desired by industry. The Curriculum Analysis Worksheet may be used to identify any gaps in skills or knowledge. For more information, click on the Worksheet tab above.

  3. A competency model is not intended to replace existing processes for developing curriculum that meets local workforce needs. The model is a resource for use in conjunction with other task and content analysis methods.

  4. Download competencies and key behaviors to the Curriculum Analysis Worksheet.

  5. List proposed or existing courses on the worksheet.

  6. Use the worksheet to compare the industry competencies to the competencies taught in the program's courses.

  7. Analyze the results.

  8. Determine steps for improving curricula, by adding competencies not covered, eliminating excessive duplication, or assuring that repetitions of a competency in different courses leads to increased levels of mastery.

A curriculum gap analysis compares the outcome objectives of a curriculum or program of study to the competencies necessary to perform a task or tasks effectively, thereby identifying any missing knowledge, skills, or abilities.

To download and use the Curriculum Analysis Worksheet, follow the directions below:

  1. Worksheets are available to download from each industry model page. After choosing an industry model, click "Download" in the Helpline section on the left. You will then have the option to download that model as a worksheet.

    You can also download your own customized model as a worksheet during the "Stop and Save" step of the Build a Model process.

  2. List existing course(s) in Columns B, C, etc.

  3. Edit the text or columns headings as desired; suggested headings are provided.

  4. Use the worksheet to identify the knowledge, skills, or abilities to include or as a check sheet to indicate the course that address the competencies in the model.

  5. Analyze the results.

Below is an example of a completed Curriculum Analysis worksheet.

Curriculum Analysis Worksheet - Example



Do you have advice on using competency models for Curriculum Development and Evaluation that you would like to share? If so, e-mail competency@careeronestop.org
For assistance applying your model in some common situations, select another guide.


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