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Competence-based Curriculum Development Canvas

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A one-page inquiry-based collaborative exercise to design a training curriculum focused on competence development.

Aims of the tool

- To analyse and check on the different elements of a curriculum
- To integrate training needs and reflect on them
- To became aware and learn how the dynamics of curriculum development process interplay
- To create a training curriculum for competence development

Description of the tool

A) Introduce Curriculum Development Canvas Methodology (you can contact the author for more details) - 30 minutes
1. Presentation of the Canvas Method and elements. Allow time for questions.
2. Prepare Canvas for the workstations with guideline questions that reflect their needs, steps in curriculum building where they can input the material and further develop it.

B) Draw your CD Canvas - Part 1 - 90 minutes
1. Distribute Canvas blank templates (A3-size) to each team and post-it notes (in yellow) and place an A1- size canvas on each competence table.
2. Ask them to start filling in the Canvas starting from the elements they have brought from their organisations and focusing on the needs they have identified. (50 min).
3. Explain that it is teamwork and that the facilitator will be available to help them out and answer questions.

C) Revise - 40 minutes
1. Invite the teams to discuss the conclusions from the previous sessions within the team in order to identify elements in the Canvas that should be modified:
2. Identify difficult points: Using the Canvas you drew, circle the building blocks where you feel dissatisfied or challenged.
3. Explain that the Canvas work in a dynamic way so before making any changes they should consider the impact on the other elements and proceed accordingly by changing the linked elements.
4. Switch half the team in each table. Newcomers will now act as consultants and help out the competence team to find solutions.
5. Tell the consultants to go through the guideline questions and add new ones, if necessary about the most challenging building block(s). Write them down and discuss within the table team.

D) Reinvent - 50 minutes
1. Ask the original team members to gather again at their own tables:
2. Explain to them that they need to modify the blocks and evaluate effects.
3. Referring to the team’s responses to the questions, list the modifications they would like to make to your building blocks in the table.
4. Redraw or modify the Canvas: Ask the teams to rewrite the elements they consider necessary on post-it notes (different colour) This time, guided by the feedback they received, the new ideas from the “revise your CD Canvas” activity and their questions.

E) Final presentation by each team and debriefing - 30 minutes

Please, feel free to download the Canvas for non-profit activities, otherwise please contact the author for a license.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

Competence-based Curriculum Development Canvas

This tool is for

Trainers, training designers, project managers - with a common baseline on curriculum design process and methods as a prerequisite.

and addresses

Project Management, Personal Development, Organisational Management, Peer education

It is recommended for use in:

Training and Networking
Capacity Building

Materials needed:

Blank canvas templates (A3 and A1), markers, post-it notes - yellow and pink

PREZI presentation


A 1.5-day seminar consisting of the following parts:
Intro: 30 min.
Canvas: 90 min.
Revise:40 min.
Reinvent: 50 min.
Presentation and debriefing: 30 min.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

Juan Ratto-Nielsen (inspired by different business and HRD canvas models)

in the context of

an international train-the-trainers seminar for educational & vocational guidance practitioners

The tool has been experimented in

Seminars, workshops

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Juan Ratto-Nielsen (on 8 October 2015)

and last modified

21 September 2015

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