Six Questions to Ask to Successfully Establish a Program

Smooth implementation of programs, courses, and curricula of any size is a challenge. Program developers must identify, appraise, and effectively use resources, objectives, and educational methodologies and frameworks, making the process even more difficult and confusing. As Barbara Gross Davis puts it right at the beginning of her book Tools for Teaching, “Faculty must consider what material to teach, how best to teach it, and how to ensure that students are learning what is being taught” (Davis, 2009, p. 3). Life does not get any easier in higher education, and growing demands from educators expect launching educational innovations ranging from curricular sessions to new programs under time constraints. Patricia A. Thomas, David E. Kern, Mark T. Hughes, and Belinda Yim Chen’s groundbreaking program development text, Curriculum Development for Medical Education (2016), presents a six-step method relevant to any development context—from individual lessons to programs involving several departments and sessions. According to this approach, designing or revising a program or course in any learning environment boils down to asking the right questions at each step.

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