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Gaining Confidence and Structure in Program Development

I do not have any formal training in educational program planning and as part of my job, I will need to learn quickly since my program is slated for reaccreditation early next year. I consider myself a hybrid of the conventional and pragmatic approaches with regards to program planning but I think my marketing concepts are more radical in nature. Employing different tactics as needed for any spectrum of tasks in planning seem to be how things can be best facilitated to completion and overall success. I find that creating a checklist with the following components to navigate program development processes is essential: discerning context; creating solid base of support; identifying ideas and needs; constructing goals and objectives; designing instructional plans; determining learning transfer; developing marketing plans; program evaluation planning; and determining formats, scheduling, and staffing. However, even though I created a checklist, my processes seemed more effective when I approached the tasks in a nonlinear concept by not necessarily doing them in the order on the list. I found that going back and forth between components of each topic area and accomplishing them at various points in planning, not necessarily all in one sitting, helped the overall program plan to become more comprehensive on its way to completion. One example of this is while I was building base of support, it led me to begin developing components of the marketing plan as well, which will likely be fully accomplished later once more of the earlier components such as constructing the goals and objectives are completed. Since I am a list maker, I felt that using the checklist helped me to stay focused on the master plan while considering all options of each topic without forgetting the details. I feel a bit more confident in proceeding with the changes I need to make for my program now that I have a clear process to follow and a few structured ideas from which to build and expand them.


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