A successful learning experience doesn't happen by accident. Plan your program with resources informed by the science of learning. Intentional design for learning ensures value and impact with targeted information and learning experiences provided through multiple delivery formats. We want to ensure successful learning experiences and ongoing support for our audiences.
Program goals state what a program or process is to do, achieve or accomplish. Learning outcomes state what an individual is to do or think as a result of the program, course or service.
Exactly what will happen as a result of the program and how would that differ from the current state?
- What do successful students look like for this program?
- What do they know?
- What will they care about?
- How will they behave?
- What can they do? To what level? In what situations?
- What will learners remember about this program in 3 weeks, 6 months, 2 years after completion?
How can we deliver learning experiences in an interesting and engaging way, while providing opportunities for practice and activities to reinforce understanding?
Program delivery options
Here are just a few questions to consider:
- How many learners will access the instruction now? In the future?
- Are the learners localized or are they geographically distributed?
- What kinds of resources are available for developing and delivering instruction?
- What technologies could support the learning outcomes you have identified?
- What forms of collaborative learning do you want to foster, and what strategies will support those outcomes?
- What tools or methods are target learners already using and familiar with?
- Do the target learners view some delivery options more favorably than others?
- What is the best format for additional resources in terms of accessibility, ease of use and utility to the learners?
- How might different delivery options empower learners?
Whatever the scope of your program, the degree of planning you do up front will impact your development effort and costs. In this section, you will find information and tools to help you:
- pull it all together, plan and map your program,
- consider your options for developing new programs,
- determine the resources needed to develop your program's supporting materials, and
- find and engage the right expertise
Pull it all together, plan and map your program
A program blueprint will help ensure alignment. Instructional alignment is the relationship between learning objectives, learning activities and assessment. Alignment ensures students learn what you intend and you accurately assess what students are learning.
Our Blueprint tool will help you develop and organize your program to ensure your program curriculum is aligned to deliver value and impact. Depending on the scope of your project, developing a good map and timeline can chart your progress and help hold others accountable to deadlines.
Review your plan. Does your program demonstrate value, develop and sustain relationships, provide valuable learning experiences and support ongoing change? Have you established how will you monitor, measure and demonstrate success?
Consider your options for developing new programs
Here are three approaches to consider:
- Off-the-shelf or existing program:
- Timing: is this an urgent need that must be met immediately?
- Is there an existing curriculum that addresses our learning outcomes and is backed by a proven track record of revenue generation and impacts? Can we do better? Do we have the resources available?
- Will we have a high volume of users?
- Is this a general topic?
- Contract out:
- Does the faculty development team have curriculum development experience?
- Is the development workload inconsistent or extensive?
- Will this draw faculty time and focus away from other efforts?
- Do we have the human and capital resources to produce in-house?
- Develop internally:
- Do we want full and complete control over the content?
- Will this project entail a long-term, consistent effort?
- Can we bring on additional staff or allocate resources to support this?
Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of each approach to determine the best option.
Determine the resources needed to develop your program's supporting materials
How much effort and expense will be required to develop your program? Do you need to outsource development of an entire project? Do you need to outsource specific segments such as instructional design, curriculum development, publications or multimedia content?
Here are a few areas of expertise that are often involved when a new program is developed:
- Instructional designer
- Programmer for app development
- Graphic designer
- Quality assurance tester
- Project manager
- Subject matter experts
- Voice talent
- Audio recording and editing specialist
- Video production and editing specialist
Find and engage the right expertise
When you look at hiring additional expertise, consider the scope and cost of your project. Are you likely to need under $10,000 in services? If so, you may select a provider of your choice. If you need $10,000 or more in services, you must use vendors approved by UM Supply Chain Management. Whatever the cost, it is always a best practice to get multiple bids.Service Providers
Engaging internal expertise
You may find the additional expertise you need within Extension or the University of Missouri. If so, there is a simple procedure to engage and pay the provider. Review our Hiring MU Service Providers guide.
Engaging outside expertise
You have two options for engaging outside expertise: hire an individual (a consultant) or contract with a company.
For some projects, you can hire an individual to provide services. For example, you may hire a consultant to edit a publication, provide voice-over services to convert a PowerPoint to video format, or peer review a curriculum or publication. Review our Hiring a Consultant guide.
For other projects, you may find you need to engage the expertise of a business. Review our Contracting with External Businesses guide. Also, review the Example External Vendor Contract. Remember, if you need $10,000 or more in services, you must use vendors approved by UM Supply Chain Management.