December 03, 2020
Series: Better Childbirth Education By Design - Development: A Modular Approach to Curriculum Design
By: Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE | 0 Comments
Today, please enjoy the sixth post in the series: Better Childbirth Education By Design, a special Connecting the Dots series written by skilled educator LCCE Andrea Lythgoe. Andrea has been a frequent contributor to Connecting the Dots over the years with some very popular and informative posts. Instruction design is a field that applies systematic approaches to planning education. Lots has been written about its use in a wide variety of fields, from K-12 education to higher education, corporate training and even the US military. In this series - Better Childbirth Education by Design, Andrea introduces readers to a very common model of instructional design, called ADDIE, and demonstrate how childbirth educators can use this process to create and refine your childbirth classes. Today, Andrea discusses using a modular way of activity planning to help you select activities and adapt on the fly when necessary. To find the entire Better Childbirth Education By Design series, follow this link. - Sharon Muza, Connecting the Dots Community Manager.
Just before class started on Wednesday evening, one of the pregnant class members walked in the room with their leg in a large boot. Well, it was more like “scooted in on a knee scooter” and I immediately knew that one of the learning activities I had planned would need to be swapped out for something a little less physical. Luckily, over the last few years I have developed a modular way of thinking about my curriculum, so I was prepared for just this kind of thing.
Here's how I started with this modular way of thinking about my curriculum:
List of topics, each on its own card – you could start with the list of suggested topics from your certification packet, or with the topics you usually cover. Do not make your topics too broad or too narrow – aim for concepts like prenatal nutrition, prenatal fitness, warning signs, and discomforts of pregnancy instead of simply “pregnancy”
Add teaching techniques/activities (plural) on the other side Gather ideas from the BABE series, from other instructors, from books, etc. Include the estimated time for each one. You may also want to keep a reference to how to do each activity somewhere as well.
Divide the cards into piles for each night of the series Six piles for a six-week series, two for a Saturday and Sunday weekend series, etc. Try to evenly distribute the topics so you have about the same amount of material each week, and carefully consider the sequence of topics so it makes sense to the members of your class.
Use the cards to create your preferred curriculum For each class session, put the topics in order and choose your preferred learning activities. Then type up your curriculum on the computer. I prefer to have a list at the front of my outline for each session with a list of needed materials, so I do not forget anything when setting up.
Reserve the cards so you have alternate activities for specific needs You can keep the cards in a box, or convert the information into a document on your computer, but having a resource of activities on hand for last minute swaps is invaluable. I add to my lists of alternate activities all the time, and I am especially on the lookout for activities that require few props, or just the basic ones I always have on hand like markers, giant post-it notes, large foam dice, etc.
I do not generally adapt the labor skills activities, instead I would talk about adapting the ideas as needed. But *learning* activities I swap out all the time if I have a special need or compelling reason. Some reasons I have swapped out activities in the past include a woman who was deaf, a class too small for the group activity I usually do, a class that was accidentally double filled and I had twenty-four couples when I usually cap out at twelve, when there was a crisis in labor and delivery and I couldn’t do the tour I had planned, and a class where I ended up without a classroom and had to teach in a mammography waiting room instead.
Over time, I have depended less and less on the cards as I can remember, swap and even create on the fly. This kind of creativity and adaptation is one of the things that keeps me from getting bored with teaching.
About Andrea Lythgoe
Andrea Lythgoe, LCCE is a childbirth educator and doula with over 20 years of experience helping families as they move through pregnancy and birth. She is also the author of UnderstandingResearch.com, the place for birth professionals to learn how to find and read research. Recently, she has gone back to school to study instructional design and strengthen her skills. You can find Andrea at andrealythgoe.com
TagsChildbirth education Andrea Lythgoe Series: Better Childbirth Education by Design Instructional Design