Computer science is a vast field, and it’s in constant flux. Computers and programming conventions will almost certainly change radically over the next 10 years. Today’s innovative ideas will soon become industry norms. It’s not easy to design a curriculum for such a dynamic field. Some computer curricula fail because they succumb to one or more of these four common pitfalls. Focusing on exciting innovations versus fundamentals. It may be tempting to try to engage students with the most exciting new technologies. The reality, however, is that “new” technology may be outdated within just a year or two. Meanwhile, however, every student will need to understand the fundamentals of computer science in order to excel. Trying to teach everything to every student. Computer science is a large and growing field, with a wide range of different specialties and applications. Content development for a computer science curriculum should include segments focusing on a wide range of topics. Possibilities range from programming to networking to graphics. Curricula should not, however, stress one element over all others. Students will [...]
Every high quality math course writer should know these six things!
Any content developer can tell you that having a solid quality assurance (QA) process will ensure deliverables that hit the mark. From our years of developing educational content development, we’ve identified the following five keys to quality assurance. Training Both client-provided and in-house training can ensure that project team members are up to speed on what is required for a specific project. Senior project staff can rally a team’s focus and confirm workflow readiness. Acceptance criteria checklists provide the development team with clear direction and requirements. Calibration Instead of jumping into a large project full-steam, it’s helpful to begin with a small calibration batch to give the development team a chance to get accustomed to the specifications and the client a chance to ensure their requirements are being met. Feedback can be provided and utilized by the development team to hone their understanding and improve quality. QA-Friendly Workflow A development workflow with collaboration and built-in overlapping reviews adds another layer of vital QA. Multiple rounds of review and revision lead to high-quality deliverables. Building adequate cushioning [...]
Custom content development is much like building a custom home. If you had a choice, would you settle for a cookie-cutter home that’s going to meet only some of your needs or a custom-designed one that incorporates all your unique needs? Just as an architect spends time understanding why you want a certain type of window or flooring, a custom content developer acknowledges an organization’s unique content needs. We at A Pass know that a generic, off-the-shelf product or service is not going to work in most instances. Our years of experience have taught us that great content development must recognize this need to successfully reach learners. The depth and breadth of our experience helps bring your ideas to life quickly and exactly how you envisioned. Here’s a snapshot of what we do best. Courses and Lesson Plans Course design and lesson plans are at the heart of good content development. They are the vital roadmap necessary to reach your learners. As a full-service content provider, we design, write, and produce content across grade levels and [...]
A subject matter expert, or SME, plays a critical role in the instructional design process. The SME is an expert in a particular content area, often with an advanced degree in this subject. Individuals from a variety of professions can be SMEs, ranging from elementary educators to biologists in the field. During the curriculum development process, a SME may: Collaborate with the development team Add substance to outlines and storyboards Ensure that content is accurate Answer questions that arise about the content area The Instructional Design Process The SME and the instructional designer begin their collaboration early on by determining the needs of the learner and the learner’s characteristics. The SME and instructional designer create a list of characteristics that a learner in their class may have. The SME then works with a writer to create a course description. Then the instructional designer suggests a sequencing of the class. The SME approves the sequencing. Once the instructional designer creates objectives for the course, the SME evaluates the objectives based on the content and makes sure that [...]
The Worst Fake News Story in Education Ever: Those Who Can’t Do, Teach Any professional associated with education knows that teachers not only can do but must do much more than teach. Do some of these roles sound familiar? Conflict resolution specialist Data analyst Administrative professional Diplomat MC/Entertainer Communications manager And we haven’t even discussed content or curriculum development yet. In a 2014 study, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that teachers spend less than half of their time in school actually instructing students. Some of those non-teaching moments are unavoidable and necessary. But according to the same study, the second largest use of time by teachers is individual planning and preparation of lessons. What if we could reduce that time? What could teachers accomplish with those extra hours? Is it even possible to reduce prep time? It is--if educators take the leap and decide to outsource some content creation. We’re not talking about finding some faceless Internet vendor whose only experience with a classroom has been as a student. There are writers out [...]
Today’s headlines seem to focus on everything that’s wrong with education. “American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math”–The Atlantic “Wake-Up Call: U.S. Students Trail Global Leaders”–nbcnews.com “Obama Administration Spent Billions to Fix Failing Schools, and It Didn’t Work”–The Washington Post The list of objectives for educators at all levels seems to have no end: increasing access to high-quality education closing achievement gaps raising graduation rates preparing students to excel in a globalized economy keeping pace with rapid educational reform Creating new educational content to enhance choice, keep students engaged, and measure growth is vital. But if they are continuously asked to do more with less, how can educators keep pace? One answer is, simply, with help. Professional educational content writers use their expertise to develop tools that any superintendent, curriculum manager, and content developer can use. The objective is to facilitate educators in reaching their goals. And it’s those in the field who have had experience with successful students that know how to help students succeed. These writers can develop courses, curricula, and [...]
It is impossible to be completely objective. Creating bias free content is challenging. Our experiences and beliefs create a lens through which we view the world. This lens can subconsciously create biases. A bias occurs when we favor one thing or one person over another for unfair reasons. When we create content for education, the material will be in the hands of learners. It is important during copyediting to be able to identify a bias and remove it. When educational content is written with biases, a learner is given an unfair advantage. We need to make the content inclusive for all learners. Below are several best practices to help you create bias free content. Cultural Diversity The inclusion of diversity in the language we use is critical. Text for students should use a variety of names from different cultural backgrounds such as Juan or Li. It is empowering for minority students to see their background represented in educational materials. When looking through your content, track the names and cultural practices that are written and detect if [...]