In this paper, we noted that:

  • A curriculum can be viewed as a syllabus, product, or process.
  • Components of a curriculum include identification of students, outcomes and assessments devices, a content framework, and delivery methodologies.
  • The common way of looking at curricula for technical training is to address it as a product. That is, as a set of outcomes that can be verified through assessment and testing.
  • Curriculum, as a product, is based on defining and establishing standards.
  • The process for defining those standards is critical.
  • A formal and respected method for defining job standards (tasks and duties) is creating a DACUM document. (See Appendix A for a sample DACUM document).
  • A DACUM document relies on experts (job performers and other stakeholders) who come together to decide the focus of a curriculum, including what courses should be included to meet the needs of the identified job duties and task statements.
  • A job task analysis (JTA) lists performance standards that allow evaluation instruments to be developed. These include condition statements, performance or behaviors, and criteria that define the outcome of the instruction (See Appendix B for a JTA evaluation checklist)
  • Prerequisites and entry skills should be identified when planning a curriculum and designing courses using the JTA.
  • The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has developed several task analyses in renewable energy.


This document is part of the Solar Energy Education and Training Best Practices document series. All Best Practices documents can be accessed online.  Other resources available online are referenced throughout this document with web-addresses and hyperlinks. Text-only resources are listed below.Hale, Judith. 2000. Performance-Based Certification: How to Design a Valid, Defensible, and Cost Effective Program. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.


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