Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DACUM -- Developing a Curriculum

A few months ago I tilted against a particular question, specifically: "How we build a curriculum." One of the things that tripped me up was the whole issue of job analysis. I realized that there were some standard resources from HRIDC, etc. but I could find a definite resource.

At the same time, I was exploring the issue of certification and information governance. In particular, I looked into ARMA's Information Governance certification program. There wasn't a lot of information but the structure of the program but I did find an interesting table showing competencies, etc. I operationalized this table as a WBS for Information Governance projects and then promptly forgot about it.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my colleagues and he reminded me of this mysterious document. I found it again and noticed that the original file name had a strange title including the acronym "DACUM". What the heck is DACUM? Apparently DACUM is an acronym for Developing A CUrriculuM. Nice.

Let's see what ERIC coughs up. Immediately, we find the compelling title "DACUM Handbook, 2nd. Ed" from 1997 (http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED401483.pdf). The descriptors open up a whole world of options that I was missing:
  • Competency based education
  • Curriculum development
  • Job analysis
  • Occupational information

All of these would have been good starting points.




Hmmm…. Apparently we need DACUM training before actually using the process. Let's see what we get from the manual.
  • The program was developed at Ohio State University but seems to be popular in Canada. Good!
  • A "DACUM analysis workshop" involves a facilitator and a committee of 5-12 expert workers. It takes two days and results in a "DACUM Research Chart" demonstrating:
    • Duties
    • Tasks
    • Knowledge and skills
    • Worker behaviors
    • Tools and equipment
    • Future trends/concerns
  • Premises:
    • Expert workers can describe their jobs/occupations
    • A way of defining a job/occupation is to describe the tasks that experts perform
    • All tasks demand the use of certain knowledge, skills, tools, and behaviors
  • DACUM gets used in conjunction with TQM and ISO 9000
  • DACUM advantages:
    • Group interaction
    • Brainstorming
    • Group synergy
    • Group consensus
    • Future oriented
    • Employee/learner buy-in
    • Comprehensive outcome
    • Superior quality
    • Low cost
  • DACUM answers the question: What should be taught?
  • Common challenges:
    1. Failure to teach what should be taught.
    2. Teaching what should not be taught (i.e., outdated concepts, processes, technology, etc.).
  • Important for "competency-based education" or "performance-based training"
  • A training manager from a large company: "This is critical information to have because in all the DACUMs we have conducted -- what the supervisors think the employees are doing and what the employees are actually doing were two very different things. Once you have a clear understanding of what actually is going on in the job, then you can make logical decisions in regards to reengineering or restructuring the job. You can answer questions such as: are all these tasks value added; should they be doing what they are doing; what do we want them to be doing that they are not doing; why have they had to take one these low value added tasks, etc. Given this detailed information, you can redefine the job from the 'as is' to the 'to be', to the benefit of the company."
  • Other benefits of DACUM:
    • Employee involvement and buy-in
    • Foundation for new program development
    • Basis for assessing relevance of existing programs
    • Accurate job descriptions
    • Detailed information for career counseling and training needs assessment
    • Legally defensible basis for competency and performance tests
    • Descriptions of operations and processes for TQM, ISO 9000, etc.
    • Basis for performance appraisals
    • Basis for selecting training materials, tools, and equipment
    • ADA compliance
    • Data for job efficiency and assurance
  • The guideline gives us details on who should facilitate these things but it really is a generic list of good facilitator qualities.
  • DACUM is used for researching:
    1. Competencies and skills that should be addressed in the development of new education and training programs
    2. Competencies and skills that should be delivered by existing programs
  • Common uses of DACUM:
    • Curriculum development
    • Curriculum review and revision
    • Training needs assessments
    • Competency test development
    • Worker performance evals
    • Job descriptions
    • Process descriptions
    • Student recruitments
    • Student counseling
    • Student achievement records
    • Training program review
    • Curriculum articulation
    • Tech prep program
    • Job modifications
    • Career development/planning
  • Apparently there is a DACUM Quality Performance Checklist
  • DACUM charts should be revised every 3-5 years. Ultimately it will come down to the advisory committee.
  • SCID process for instructional development and five phases:
    • Curriculum analysis.
      1. Needs analysis
      2. Job analysis (ideally DACUM)
      3. Task verification
      4. Select tasks
      5. Standard task analysis
      6. Literacy task analysis (optional): communication skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening); computer skills; science skills; decision-making skills (reasoning, problem-solving)
    • Curriculum design.
      1. Make decisions about training approach
      2. Develop learning objectives
      3. Develop job performance measures
      4. Preparation of a training plan
    • Instructional development.
      1. Develop a competency profile
      2. Develop learning guides or modules
OR
  1. Develop a curriculum guide
  2. Develop lesson plans
  3. Develop supporting media
  4. Pilot-test and revise
  • Training implementation.
    1. Activate the training plan
    2. Conduct the training
    3. Conduct a formative evaluation
    4. Document training
  • Program evaluation.
    1. Conduct summative evaluation
    2. Analyze and interpret information
    3. Take corrective action



  • Quality control:






  • So, what is DACUM? We aren't getting very far here. Apparently, it's a process of using brainstorming to assess DUTIES and TASKS:


  • We also have to identify:
    • General knowledge and skills
    • Tools, equipment, supplies, and materials
    • Important worker behaviors
    • Future trends and concerns
  • We see some requirements for facilities for conducting the workshop from a sample SOW:
    • Room with a clear wall 10' x 25'
    • Projector
    • Flipchart + markers + paper
    • 200 5" x 8" cards
    • 40 sheets of 8.5" x 11" cover stock
    • Someone to serve as recorder
    • Meals
  • Duty A -- Market the DACUM process
    • Present DACUM concepts, rationale, and benefits
    • Prepare DACUM promotional materials
    • Establish procedures for providing DACUM services
    • Promote DACUM services
    • Consult with potential DACUM customers
    • Assess customer need for DACUM
    • Develop DACUM services agreement
  • Duty B -- Plan the DACUM workshop
    • Conduct job analysis lit search
    • Orient stakeholders to DACUM
      • Involve staff: business unit manager, training manager, internal customers, sponsors
    • Develop committee member profile
      • Considerations:
        • Gender mix
        • Racial mix
        • Geographic representation
        • Levels of job representation
        • Size representation
        • Worker's experience
        • Full-time, part-time, etc.
      • Size: 5-12, 7-10 ideal
    • Arrange for workshop facilities
      • An unbroken wall surface of 30 feet
    • Schedule workshop and related activities
      • Two full days
      • 60-90 days ahead:
        • Decide on the job/occupation
        • Establish dates
        • Determine facilitator
        • Determine cooridnator
        • Prepare general written description
      • 30-60 days ahead:
        • Identify employers/departments
        • Prepare written explanation for employer and committee members
        • Site visits to arrange worker release
        • Contact nominees
        • Arrange the meeting room
      • 20-30 days ahead:
        • Confirm arrangements
        • Arrange refreshments and meals
        • Identify a recorder
      • 5-10 days ahead:
        • Confirm, answer questions, etc.
        • Assemble equipment and supplies
        • Invite observers
        • Identify a chair to open the workshop
        • Review workshop plans with the sponsor/host
        • Prepare an agenda
      • Day before
        • Check room, supplies, materials, etc.
    • Arrange for support services
      • Projector, lecture pads, screen
      • Lunch and meals
    • Decide whether to allow observers
      • Supervisors, training directors, sponsors, etc.
    • Select DACUM workshop team
      • Facilitator; coordinator; recorder; sponsor/host
    • Prepare workshop agenda
    • Obtain workshop materials
      • Lecture pads
      • U-HOLD IT putty
      • Markers
      • Unlined cards for task statements
      • Card-stock for duty statements
      • Note pads for participants
      • Pencils for participants
      • Masking tape
      • Presentation
      • Agenda
      • Task statement criteria handout
      • Workshop evaluation form
      • Participant name tents/tags
      • Participant roster
    • Prep room for workshop



  • Monitor logistics
  • Duty C -- Recruit the DACUM workshop committee
    • Develop working definition of job, occupation, process or function area
    • Research sources of committee members
      • Advisory committee, instructor contacts, former students, Chamber of Commerce, business/industrial association, yellow pages, public employment service office
    • Develop expert worker selection criteria
      • Technical competence, full-time employment, occupational representativeness, effective communicator, team player, full-time commitment, freedom from bias
    • Establish geographical area to be represented
    • Develop criteria for industry representation
    • Identify key contact persons
    • Assess the need for supervisor representation
    • Assess need to involve special interest groups
    • Explain DACUM to employers when recruiting
      • What is DACUM; why want their involvement; why you want the experts; why you want two days; why you want them for free; who else is invited; how you will use the results; WIIFM
    • Invite committee members
    • Assist committee members in obtaining employer approval
    • Accommodate special needs
    • Conform participation of DACUM committee members
  • Duty D -- Orient the DACUM Committee
    • Greet committee members upon arrival: parking permit; refreshments; coat service; name tent/tag; answer questions
    • Collect committee members identifying data
    • Conduct committee member introductions: name, company/department, position, years in position. Should facilitate proper name pronunciation. Also, introduce recorder.
    • Facilitate ice-breaker
      • "What little known, interesting event in your life are you willing to share??
      • "What would you do if you anonymously received $50-million?"
    • Review workshop agenda
      • Distribute it at this point
      • Discuss: phones, lunch, restrooms, etc.
    • Present rationale for DACUM workshop
    • Clarify roles of facilitator, committee, recorder, observers, and curriculum developers
      • Facilitator is DACUM expert; group is the  content expert
    • Present DACUM philosophy and concepts
      • Slides: actors; the gap between what is taught and what happens; curriculum; what should be taught; intro to DACUM; DACUM philosophy
    • Review high quality sample DACUM chart

  • Front:
    • Title of the job/occupation
    • Names of experts, companies, cities
    • Name of facilitator
    • Sponsor/developers
    • Dates of workshop
  • Outside:
    • Job duties
    • Job tasks
  • Back:
    • General knowledge and skills
    • Worker behaviors
    • Tools, equipment, supplies, materials
    • Future trends/concerns
    • Acronyms
  • Definitions:
    • Duties -- a cluster of job related tasks. Usually 6-12 per job
    • Tasks -- meaningful units of work. 6-20 per duty; 75-125 per job
    • Steps -- specific elements or activities to perform a task; two or more steps per task
  • Teach committee members to compose duty and task statements
    • Duty statements:
      • One verb, an object, and a qualifier
      • Are general
      • Stand alone
      • Avoid references to behaviors, tools, and required knowledge
    • Task statement:
      • Verb in first person singular, active void
      • Object is the thing being acted upon
      • Qualifier (e.g., "develop a plan" is a poor task statement. "Develop a floor plan" is much better)
    • Job task criteria:
      • Smallest unit of job activity with a meaningful outcome
      • Results in a product, service, or decision
      • Represents as assignable unit of work
      • Definite beginning and ending point
      • Oberservable, measureable
      • Performed over a short period of time
      • Can be performed independent of other tasks
      • Two or more steps
    • Task statements:
      • Describe a task in performance terms
      • Should have a single verb and an object
      • One or more relevant qualifiers
      • Explicitly stated
      • Are independently meaningful
      • Avoid references to worker behaviors
      • Avoid references to tools and equipment
      • Avoid reference to required knowledge
  • Present the DACUM procedural steps
    • Orient the committee
    • Review the job/occupation
      • Brainstorming
      • Organizational chart
    • Identify duties
    • Identify specific tasks
    • List:
      • General knowledge and skill requirements
      • Worker behaviors
      • Tools, equipment, supplies, and materials
      • Future trends/concerns
    • Review/refine task and duty statements
    • Sequence the task and duty statements
  • Explain the Workshop Ground Rules
    • Seniority/rank is left at the door
    • Everyone equally participates
    • Freely share ideas
    • One person speaks at a time
    • Scaffold on each other's ideas
    • Provide constructive suggestions
    • All task statements carefully considered
    • Keep on track
    • No references
    • No observer participation
    • Have fun
  • Conduct a consensus seeking exercise
  • Describe panned follow-up activities
  • Duty E -- manage the group process
    • Control group pace
      • Facilitator should:
        • Encourage contribution
        • Listen actively
        • Control participants who try to dominate
        • Readily accept as many contributions as possible
        • Avoid criticizing contributions
        • Verbalize contributions
        • Provide positive reinforcement
        • Repress your own biases
        • Probe and encourage with questions
        • Maintain an enthusiastic climate
    • Resolve group conflicts/concerns
    • Direct the group's focus
    • Enforce rules for observers
    • Balance committee participation
    • Reinforce productive behavior contributions
      • Positive reinforcement:
        • Praise
        • Ask for personal reaction
        • Acknowledge expertise
        • Acknowledge progress
        • Use first names
        • Mentioning individual contributions
        • Demonstrating sincere interest
      • Negative reinforcement:
        • Ignore critical comments
        • Acknowledge only relevant contributions
        • Tactful interruptions
        • Challenging a speaker to put contribution into performance terms
        • Body language
    • Deal with disruptive or unproductive committee members
    • Probe with questions
      • What would I see you doing?
      • What did you do last week?
      • What else do you have to do?
      • What do you do first each day? Last?
      • What work do you like most? Least?
    • Evaluate progress of workshop
    • Coordinate hospitality functions
    • Terminate unproductive session
  • Duty F -- Facilitate chart development
    • Conduct brainstorming of the whole occupation
      • Ask people: what do you do? Go around the room a few times
    • Conduct a job, occupation, process or functional area review
      • Determine what is to be included and what should be excluded
      • Use an organizational chart to determine titles, and those that are higher, lower, or to the side
      • Mind-map related roles, etc.
    • Elicit duty statements
      • Use the brain-stormed activities. Which are duties? Can you group activities? Use examples e.g., Duty = maintain the yard; task = mow the lawn.
    • Obtain consensus on initial sequencing of duty statements
    • Conduct brainstorming to elicit task statement
      • Ask: "What do you do when working in this duty area?"
    • Obtain consensus on task statements
      • Filter out verbs like "know", "understand", "appreciate", etc.
      • Ask about procedures. Different procedures = different tasks.
      • It is tough to distinguish between tasks and activities.
      • Guidelines:
        • Keep statements short and precise
        • Statements should stand alone
        • Use occupation terminology
        • Avoid double verbs (e.g., "remove and repair")
        • Avoid statements of needed knowledge
        • Avoid flowery modifiers (e.g., correctly, effectively, accurately, etc.)
        • Avoid equipment or tools statements
        • Avoid statements about worker behaviors
        • List a task only once
    • Reintroduce unresolved contribution
    • Elicit list of general knowledge and skills
      • These lists could be used to change the pace or as a short period activity
    • Elicit list of worker behaviors
    • Elicit list of tools, equipment, supplies, and materials
      • Avoid brand names
    • Elicit lists of future trends/concerns
    • Identify list of acronyms and their meanings
    • Review initial brainstorming lists
    • Refine duty and task statements
      • Is the action verb the most accurate descriptor? What about the object? And the modifiers?
      • Is the duty statement still appropriate?
    • Sequence task statements
      • Most logical flow of activities
      • Order of task importance
      • Order of task difficulty
    • Sequence duty statements
      • Priority to positive image for the occupation
      • What is the logical flow?
    • Assess chart using DACUM quality standards
    • Conduct final review of chart
      • Identify entry-level tasks
      • Revise occupation definition
      • Establish career ladder profiles and common skills
    • Code task and duty statements
      • A1, A2, A3, B1, etc.
    • Administer committee evaluation of workshop
    • Arrange for recognition and publicity
      • Group photo; small tokens of appreciation (coffee mugs, etc.)
      • Prepare news release








  • Duty G -- verify DACUM results
    • Publish draft of DACUM research chart
      • Codes can be used to coordinate learning guides, modules, media, checklists, etc.
      • Make it look good!
    • Develop verification strategy
      • Determine if verification is necessary
      • Useful for determining task importance and learning difficulty
      • Verification:
        • Who will conduct it?
        • What questions will be asked?
        • What instruments will be used?
        • What rating scales will be used?
        • How will verifiers be identified and selected?
        • How will the data be collected and analyzed?
        • How will task statements be codified?
    • Develop verification instrument
      • How important is the task?
      • How difficult is it to learn?
      • Is it entry level?
      • How critical is the performance?
      • How frequently do you perform it?
    • Select verification respondents
    • Collect verification data
      • Survey; Delphi; interview; observation
    • Analyze verification data
    • Refine DACUM chart based on verification data
    • Publish verification report
      • Mean responses; percentage and frequency tallies
      • Statement write-ins
      • Demographics
      • Revised DACUM
      • Copy of verification instruments; cover and follow-up letters
  • Duty H -- coordinate post-DACUM activities
    • Publish revised DACUM chart
    • Maintain original DACUM data
    • Distribute the revised DACUM chart
      • Managers, supervisors, DACUM panel members, trainers, HR
      • Include a cover letter
    • Acknowledge contributors to the DACUM process
    • Consult on the application of DACUM results
      • Task analysis. Verify:
        • Steps involved
        • Performance standards expected
        • Tools and materials needed
        • Related knowledge required
        • Safety concerns
        • Attitudes involved
        • Decisions, cues, errors
    • Identify customer need for assistance beyond DACUM




  • NOT tasks: qualifications, behaviors, responsibilities, etc.

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