What Is Developing a Curriculum (DACUM)?

Developing a Curriculum (DACUM) is a process that incorporates the use of a focus group in a facilitated storyboarding process to capture the major duties and related tasks included in an occupation, as well as, the necessary knowledge, skills, and traits.  This cost-effective method provides a quick and thorough analysis of any job.   

The Process

Step One:  Initial Occupational Profile

In the DACUM process, high-performing incumbent workers  analyze their own job.  DACUM utilizes a panel of six to eight high-performing incumbent workers.  Over a two-day period, these skilled workers identify the duties and tasks that make up their job.  Under the direction of a neutral facilitator, the panel analyzes their job-related tasks while using a modified brainstorming process that encompasses a storyboarding technique.  The final result is an occupational profile presented in a chart format, which describes a job in terms of specific duties and tasks that competent workers must perform.  During the process, tasks are also sequenced and ranked based on:

  • Criticality:  Essential and/or most important components of a job
  • Most time consuming:  Tasks that consume the majority of the workers time
  • New worker training needs:  Tasks that should be included in introductory training programs
  • Veteran worker training needs:  Tasks that should be included in veteran training programs
Steps Two & Three:  Validation Process

The occupational profile is validated and vetted through various methods.  A peer-review process is utilized in a validation workshop to review the initial profile.  Once peer reviewed, the profile can then be analyzed through a management review, allowing the management team to synthesize what the workers said, with what they expect and believe the job should encompass. 

Steps Four & Five:  Curriculum Development

Once the profile has been validated, a task analysis can  be conducted to further define the job.  The validated profile and the task analysis can then be used to develop a curriculum. 

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