Curriculum design is the process of creating a curriculum that aligns with the goals, objectives, and learning outcomes of a course. It may involve creating an entirely new curriculum or making changes to an existing one so that it better meets the needs of students taking the course.

What is Curriculum Design?

Curriculum design is the process of taking a subject and creating a plan for teaching that subject. This includes deciding what materials to use, how those materials will be organized, and how they will be used in the classroom to develop students’ knowledge and skills.

The term “curriculum” is defined as the lessons and academic content taught in a school or in a specific course or program. In dictionaries, the curriculum is often defined as the courses offered by a school, but it is rarely used in such a general sense in schools. Depending on how broadly educators define or employ the term, curriculum typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn.

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This includes the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet, the units and lessons that teachers teach, the assignments or projects given to students, books, materials, videos, and presentations. It also contains readings used in a course, the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning. It includes the extra-curricular activities and resources available at schools.

Curriculum design does not just apply to schools, it applies to all kinds of other situations, too. For example, if you’re trying to teach your coworkers how to use a new technology system, you can design a curriculum. If you’re trying to teach your kids how to read, how to be compassionate human beings, or how to do long division, you’re also designing a curriculum.

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Purpose of Curriculum Design

The purpose of a curriculum design is to help educational institutions to meet the needs of their students. Curriculum design is a relatively new approach to education that seeks to find ways that schools can be more effective at teaching students within the constraints of limited time and resources.

Curriculum design involves identifying learning objectives and activities that will help students reach those objectives. The process also requires assessing what resources are needed to conduct the activities and ensure student success.

A curriculum can be arranged in many different ways, but should always be designed with the student in mind. A good curriculum design will outline how students are assessed and what standards they are expected to meet. It will also provide a framework for how content is delivered to students, and how it is evaluated.

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Because the purpose of curriculum design is to create an educational experience that has a flow and structure to it, one of the most important aspects of designing a curriculum is developing a way for students to receive feedback about their performance. The best way to do this is by using a system that allows teachers and administrators to see how well students are performing on tasks that have been assigned.

This can include standard tests, classwork activities, or even games. This helps students learn more effectively.

Types of Curriculum Design

There are three basic types of curriculum design: 

1. Subject-centered design: In subject-centered design, the curriculum is centered around a particular discipline. Just imagine if you could go to school and only take science classes! That’s the idea behind this type of curriculum design: to provide a complete experience in one specific field of study. It involves using a specific subject as the focal point of learning.

2. Learner-centered design: In a learner-centered curriculum design, students take charge of their own learning by setting goals for themselves, developing plans for reaching those goals, tracking their progress toward those goals, assessing their performance against those goals, and reflecting on how they can improve their performance against those goals. Learner-centered curriculum designs give students some control over what they’re learning so they can pursue topics that excite them.

3. Problem-centered design: problem-centered curriculum design focuses on real-world problems that students can solve together. Students develop critical thinking skills as they learn to solve problems collaboratively. For example, if the community wanted students to be able to conduct research about environmental problems so they could participate in solving them after graduation, this would be an example of problem-centered curriculum design.

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Principles of Curriculum Design

The principles of curriculum design are broad guidelines that can inform how a curriculum is built. They are based on research and theory about learning, teaching, and how people learn. These principles offer insight into what makes curricula effective in terms of achieving the desired learning outcomes for students.

When designing a curriculum, educators can refer to these principles to create an effective and engaging learning experience that meets students’ needs and helps them achieve their goals.

Here are some principles of curriculum design:

1. Develop a curriculum that is based on the needs of the students, not the teacher or school.

2. Determine what topics and skills need to be taught, and what should be the order in which they are taught.

3. Create an assessment plan that matches up with the content and skills that students learned.

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How to Design a Curriculum

The curriculum design process involves many different components, including:

  • Selecting learning objectives: The first step in designing a curriculum is to choose the learning objectives or outcomes that students should achieve by the end of the course. These objectives should be related to skills, knowledge, competencies, and attitudes.
  • Choosing assessments: The next step in designing a curriculum is choosing how to assess whether students have met the learning objectives. Different assessments may be appropriate for different kinds of learning objectives. For example, an objective that requires students to master a skill might be assessed by watching them perform the skill, whereas an objective that requires students to acquire factual knowledge might be assessed through a short-answer test.
  • Creating lesson plans and learning activities: The final step in designing a curriculum is creating lesson plans that will help students meet the learning objectives. Lesson plans can include instructional materials such as handouts, readings, and videos; group discussions or lectures; and hands-on activities.
  • Establishing a timeline for completion: At this point, you’ll need to map out when each unit should be completed, along with any other details such as holidays or special events that may impact your schedule.

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Curriculum Design Tips

The best tips on how to design a curriculum are:

  1. Start with a survey about what your students need.
  2. Think about what you want to teach and how you want to teach it.
  3. Make sure your curriculum can be taught on a large or small scale.
  4. Think about the topic in different ways, so that people can understand the material. This way, people will be exposed to new information in different ways and will see things from different perspectives.
  5. Always test the curriculum after it is completed to make sure all of the information is clear and understandable and that it covers all of the areas covered in your program.


What are the 4 elements of a curriculum design?

There are four elements of curriculum design:

  1. Goals: what you want to learn
  2. Content: how you’ll learn it
  3. Instruction: how you’ll use the content to learn the goals
  4. Assessment: how you’ll measure your learning

What are the 5 curriculum models?

  1. Academic model (focused on academic achievement)
  2. Behavioral model (focuses on learning objectives, measurable behaviors)
  3. Task-based model (learning objectives are focused on tasks, not knowledge or skills)
  4. Competency-based model (learning is based on competencies and abilities)
  5. Mixed/hybrid/other (combines some combination of models above).

What are the 7 types of curriculum?

Here’s a quick guide to the different types of curriculum design:

  1. Recommended Curriculum: The subject matter that teachers are told they should cover in their classes.
  2. Written Curriculum: The formal documentation of the recommended curriculum, including syllabi, textbooks, and teacher’s manuals.
  3. Taught Curriculum: What teachers actually cover in their classes.
  4. Supported Curriculum: The material that is provided to students to aid their learning process, like handouts and study guides.
  5. Assessed Curriculum: The material that students are tested on and expected to know.
  6. Learned Curriculum: This is what students actually learn from the materials presented to them, whether or not it is explicitly taught.
  7. Hidden Curriculum: This is the unofficial set of values or norms that are instilled in students through things like punishment policies and grading practices.


Curriculum development is essential in teaching and learning. However, it must be done right to achieve any impact or usefulness. It is also important for schools and institutions to understand the types of curriculum and their uses.

  • busayo.longe
  • on 7 min read


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