Project Management Post Mortem

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Being a secondary high school teacher, I have been involved in several different curriculum writing projects for the county's social studies department. It appears as though many of my classmates have had authentic experiences with the ID process and the use of the ADDIE Model. Though I haven't had the experience of using the ADDIE model, I do believe, however, that I can provide everyone with a clear sense of my role in the curriculum writing process.

Before we actually started working on the curriculum, the first thing we did was meet as a team. During this team meeting it was discovered the various educators from across the county at the secondary level would be working on this project. Our county level supervisor started the meeting with a greeting and established who the team leader would be for the duration of project. The meeting continued by establishing the goal, timeline, and individuals roles for the project. The team leader was in charge of monitoring the overall project, the point of contact for questions and concerns, They were also in charge of the formatting of the curriculum. All work was to be complete and submitted to the team leader.

My role was fairly simple. Each of us were assigned two units. In each we were to design the lesson plans, teaching materials, and students materials. I think the most frustrating portion of the curriculum writing was ensuring that all activities were different from each other and that they placed a heavy emphasis on blooms taxonomy. I would have ideas about a project only find out that another writer has completed a similar or same idea. I think this could have been avoided by creating a project chart that was out in the open so that we could use it as a cross reference to ensure that we didn't start creating a project that has already been complete. Most organizations look at the overall output and don't look into the details if the work is presented as they wanted it (Joshi, 2011). This of course put me back to brainstorming and trying other methods such as project based learning.

The project was successful overall. Despite the minor setbacks that took place we were able to produce a curriculum that would replace the old curriculum and that met both state and national standards.

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

2 Responses to “Project Management Post Mortem”

  1. With years of curriculum writing and lesson planning under my belt, I can completely relate to your experience. I do not have "authentic" work in ID, but feel that my years of teaching have prepared me for my future in ID. Your idea to have a project chart is excellent, why this is not used, I have no idea. In my experience, the educational community does not want to use ideas from business, which I have never understood. Good practices should be shared, no matter where they come from. I am looking forward to applying all my knowledge of ID, teaching and education to find my place where I can use all to succeed.

  2. Brandon,

    School districts around the country are busily writing and rewriting curriculum especially as they begin to implement the Common Core Standards into their existing instruction. I would imagine may teachers/school district instructional designers may be feeling just as you did when you were creating your unit.
    Project managers need to keep in mind the diversity of experiences and backgrounds that there team come from. In your case a simple plan and direction about what type of instruction or project should be addressed in each unit would have alleviated a lot of rework and loss of time. I am sure that it did not help motivation or morale to have to reinvent the wheel a second…third time.
    I have just started to do some consulting work in curriculum development and will most certainly remember your story when working with my new teams.

    Donna S.