|The Curriculum Management Plan's main purpose is to provide a framework for the design and management of a professional curriculum for the wildland fire community. The plan describes the scope, timing, and procedures for curriculum development, delivery and evaluation. The Plan will be used by the NWCG Training Branch, Development, Evaluation, Instructional Media, and Distance Learning Units, as a guide for curriculum management and to assist with making management decisions. The plan will be reviewed annually and updated as appropriate. There are five primary work processes in the Plan: Course Development, Course Delivery, Course Evaluation, Curriculum Assessment and Curriculum Development Schedule. See diagram for a visual representation of the Plan.
The Curriculum Management Plan outlines the following:
- Philosophy and Guiding Principles
- Course Development Process
- Course Delivery Process
- Course Feedback Process
- Curriculum Assessment Process
- Curriculum Development Schedule Process
NWCG Training is committed to providing a professional curriculum to assure a solid training foundation and enhanced training experience to the wildland fire community. The NWCG curriculum helps students attain skills and knowledge (competencies, behaviors and tasks) to successfully perform on incidents.
The Guiding Principles provide direction for the curriculum.
- The curriculum is based on a core set of student objectives which are aligned with the NWCG position qualification system (competencies, behaviors and tasks).
- The curriculum's core set of student objectives are aligned vertically (from the 100 - 600 level courses), horizontally (across functional areas, such as unit leader positions), and where possible systemically (across emergency response agencies).
- The curriculum is user friendly, consistent, deliverable, current, accurate and reflects best practices in the field.
- The curriculum is developed using current and appropriate adult education strategies.
- The curriculum is developed using a team concept that utilizes the skills of instructional designers, project leaders, instructional media specialists, editorial assistants, and subject matter experts.
- The curriculum is evaluated regularly to address overall effectiveness of the curriculum and specific issues with courses.
- The curriculum is developed, delivered and evaluated using documented processes and standards.
Course Development Process
There are five main phases used to define and describe the process NWCG Training uses to develop/revise a course:
- Analysis Phase - The purpose of the analysis phase is to ensure the objectives are aligned with the position task book(s) (if there is one) and to ensure the content is current and builds on previous and related courses.
- Design Phase - The purpose of the design phase is to define the course layout for the development phase and to provide an overall picture of how the course will move through the development phase.
- Development Phase - In the development phase content will be revised using the recommendations and findings from the analysis phase and the course layout outlined in the design phase.
- Evaluation Phase - In the evaluation phase a final draft of the course will be evaluated through a field review and/or test course(s). Edits will be made and a final course will be produced.
- Certification Phase - In the certification phase the final course will be certified and published (in the Publications Management System or online).
Course Delivery Process
With the development of online courses, the NWCG Training Branch is starting to have more responsibilities related to delivery of courses. This section of the Plan documents, defines and describes the process the NWCG Training Branch uses to deliver training, with an emphasis on blended (combination of instructor and online) and online training.
Course Feedback Process
The main purpose of the Course Feedback Process is to ensure each NWCG course is meeting the needs of the wildland fire community. This section of the Plan documents, defines and describes the course feedback process which will include:
- Course evaluation - the NWCG Training Branch solicits feedback from students, instructors and others on each individual course. This feedback provides data for the Curriculum Evaluation and is also used when course moves into the Development Phase.
- NWCG Training Web Site "NWCG EVAL" button - anyone involved in the wildland fire community can submit course feedback via this form.
- Online and blended courses evaluations
- NWCG Committees
Curriculum Assessment Process
The purpose of the Curriculum Assessment Process is to evaluate the entire NWCG training curriculum from a big-picture perspective. The curriculum is evaluated on a variety of levels:
Curriculum Development Schedule Process
- Strategic - The NWCG Training Branch continually evaluate the whole curriculum to strategically identify and prioritize courses to be revised/developed.
- Position Taskbook to Objectives - This curriculum evaluation also helps ensure objectives are aligned with the NWCG position qualification system (competencies, behaviors and tasks), vertically and horizontally within and among the NWCG courses and systemically (across emergency response agencies, as appropriate).
- Terminology - Consistent use of terminology areas of specialization.
During the Curriculum Development Schedule process, all information available from the Course Feedback and Curriculum Assessment processes is consolidated into a Curriculum Development Schedule document detailing upcoming course revisions and development efforts. The Workload Prioritization Matrix and Curriculum Development Schedule are used to initiate the Course Development process.