Skip to Main Content
TABLE 1

Kern’s 6-Step Method to Curriculum Development

Description
Problem identification and general needs assessment Identify a general or specific focus for the curriculum and describe it in a clear manner 
Analyze the gap between the current approach to the issue and the ideal approach 
Targeted needs assessment Assess the needs of the targeted learners, including previous training and experience, baseline knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and preferred approaches 
Assess the learning environment, related existing curricula, needs of stakeholders other than the learners, and barriers to implementation 
Goals and objectives Goals: broad, general statements of what you want to accomplish 
Objectives: more specific and focus on knowledge, attitudes, and skills by using action verbs that target the level of expected competency 
Should be framed as, “Who will do how much of what by when?” 
Educational strategies Educational methods should be chosen that best fit the type of objective and will most likely achieve the goals and objectives. 
Examples include lectures, small group evaluations, online modules, hands-on procedural training, etc. 
Implementation Steps include 
 Identify resources 
 Obtain support 
 Develop administrative mechanisms to support the curriculum 
 Anticipate and address barriers 
 Plan to introduce the curriculum 
Evaluation and feedback Assess the learning outcomes and promote continuous improvement 
Incorporate learner assessment methods that are feasible and measure the desired competency 
Used to provide formative feedback and outcome measures 
Establish methods for evaluating the efficacy of the curriculum components in achieving the desired learner outcome 
Description
Problem identification and general needs assessment Identify a general or specific focus for the curriculum and describe it in a clear manner 
Analyze the gap between the current approach to the issue and the ideal approach 
Targeted needs assessment Assess the needs of the targeted learners, including previous training and experience, baseline knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and preferred approaches 
Assess the learning environment, related existing curricula, needs of stakeholders other than the learners, and barriers to implementation 
Goals and objectives Goals: broad, general statements of what you want to accomplish 
Objectives: more specific and focus on knowledge, attitudes, and skills by using action verbs that target the level of expected competency 
Should be framed as, “Who will do how much of what by when?” 
Educational strategies Educational methods should be chosen that best fit the type of objective and will most likely achieve the goals and objectives. 
Examples include lectures, small group evaluations, online modules, hands-on procedural training, etc. 
Implementation Steps include 
 Identify resources 
 Obtain support 
 Develop administrative mechanisms to support the curriculum 
 Anticipate and address barriers 
 Plan to introduce the curriculum 
Evaluation and feedback Assess the learning outcomes and promote continuous improvement 
Incorporate learner assessment methods that are feasible and measure the desired competency 
Used to provide formative feedback and outcome measures 
Establish methods for evaluating the efficacy of the curriculum components in achieving the desired learner outcome 

Adapted from Thomas PA, Kern DE, Hughes MT, Chen BY. Curriculum Development for Medical Education: A Six-Step Approach. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2016:6-9.

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal