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22 – 24, 2023

Pre-Conference Workshop M2

Thinking Bigger and Broader: Specifying a Curriculum Design Competency for L&D Professionals

Date Wednesday, Nov 23  Time   –    Room Tiergarten I/II/III   Price: 90.00 €   Status: places available

OEB speaker Saul Carliner

Saul Carliner

Professor, Concordia University, Canada

How does designing a collection of instructional programmes (a curriculum) differ from designing an individual one? Which competencies do Learning and Development professionals need to design curricula? How do these competencies differ from those needed to design individual programmes?

In this pre-conference workshop, participants experientially explore the answers to these questions. Specifically, participants engage in a process of working through these issues and, in the process, explore the distinctions between curriculum and programme design, while exploring such concepts as learning architecture, learning experience design, information architecture, information design, media selection, format selection, and strategic thinking.

Use the knowledge gained and competencies identified in this workshop to devise approaches to curriculum and programme design within your own organisations!


This workshop emerges from a project to revise the Competencies for Learning and Development Professionals, the official competency model of the Institute for Performance and Learning (formerly Canadian Society for Training and Development) and the basis for the certification program offered by the organisation.

This competency model is intended as a single, general characterisation of the work of the profession of workplace learning. The most recent update to these Competencies (a process overseen by the workshop facilitator) saw a split of the competency area Designing Learning into two: Designing Curricula and Designing Learning Experiences, as well as the addition of a new competency area, Partnering with Clients. 

Among the specific issues that arose when considering the competency area for designing curricula, we included not only the obvious ones of distinguishing  curriculum and programme design and issues of learning architecture and learning experience design, but also related competencies like information architecture, information design, media selection, format selection, and strategic thinking; the overlap between instructional and informational projects; the differing complexity of curriculum and program design and related career implications. 


Participant Benefits:

Rooted in the issues and debates that arose when devising the Designing Curricula competency as a basis, this workshop provides participants with an opportunity to define this competency themselves, distinguish it from designing individual programmes, and consider how they might integrate this competency into their own organisations. 

Key take-aways:

  • Describe the competencies needed to design curricula or collections of instructional programmes.
  • Distinguish the design of curricula from the design of individual learning experiences.
  • Suggest the implications of the division to jobs and career progressions in the field.


  • 10:00-10:45 Interactive activities to clarify the designing curricula competency
  • 10:45-11:45 Discussion of key issues and presentation of evidence from the literature regarding curriculum design in several contexts, including the Designing Curricula competency of the Institute for Performance and Learning
  • 11:45-12:15 Coffee Break
  • 12:15-13:00 Inviting participants to consider how they might integrate this material into their own organisations, including job descriptions, design and development procedures, and career paths for learning professionals.


  • Specialists in credentialing and competency modelling.
  • Instructional designers and developers, learning architects and lead designers, and their managers.
  • This session is likely to be of interest to people in all sectors of education that hire instructional designers.  

Level: intermediate