Accelerated curriculum development in higher education under conditions of urgent need: A case study



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This study sought a solution to the research problem stated as the lack of a curriculum development model to accelerate curriculum development under conditions of urgent need in higher education. The study had two purposes: (1) to develop a prototype model for accelerated curriculum development for use under conditions of urgent need, and (2) to study the process of accelerated curriculum development. A three phase qualitative case study was designed to address the research problem and purposes. In phase one, simultaneous research and curriculum development were undertaken to develop training objectives designed to meet an urgent training need in military aviation safety: the effects of extreme fatigue on U. S. Air Force B-IB bomber flight crews. In phase two, these data were analyzed searching for factors relevant to accelerated curriculum development. Five primary findings resulted. (1) Combining researcher and curriculum developer roles accelerated the curriculum development effort. (2) The researcher/curriculum developer (R/CD) must prepare him/herself to the level of the connoisseur in the content area to be studied in the field research environment. (3) Effective time management and organizational skills were essential prerequisites for successful accelerated curriculum development. (4) Five specific interaction sets were identified for effective accelerated curriculum development in the field, with particular emphasis placed on the development of the Ancillary Support Network (ASN). (5) Simultaneous data collection and analysis accelerated curriculum development by allowing the R/CD to conceptualize the problem domain and develop effective instructional strategies. In phase three, findings were consolidated into steps and a prototype model was developed and presented to a panel of 25 curriculum development experts from the fields of higher education, industry, and the military. Feedback from this theoretical sampling resulted in adjustments to the model and the final prototype model for accelerated curriculum development under conditions of urgent need was constructed.