Curriculum Specialist ll- School of Professional and Area Studies
Foreign Service Institute
Job Description: *
Position Objective: To work on a team close collaboration with the Management Tradecraft Training (MTT) Program Manager and to redesign a blended learning curriculum to improve Department of State communications by reviewing existing courses that teach writing skills at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), conducting a comprehensive needs assessment related to writing skills, and developing recommendations for improving and standardizing writing skills training for Department employees at FSI and abroad. The project will allow FSI to update and improve existing courses and training modules, identify and disseminate resources to help employees around the world improve their writing skills, and create new resources tailored to Department needs.
Duties and Responsibilities:
The instructional systems designer (ISD) will review existing courses that include writing skills training. The ISD will have access to staff responsible for teaching the relevant courses and to the course content.
The ISD will author a written report that includes the following information for each course reviewed. The ISD will also deliver the report via a verbal presentation:
Name of course
Name of instructor(s)
Description of student audience (e.g., grade levels, Civil Service, Foreign Service Generalist and Specialist, LE Staff)
Terminal learning objectives
Enabling learning objectives
Description of how writing supports terminal and enabling learning objectives
Description of instructional methods used for teaching writing
Description of methods used to assess students’ writing (e.g., rubrics used)
Description of student feedback (e.g., Level 1, 2, or 3 evaluations)
Performance supports referenced in content (e.g., S/ES Style Guide, Chicago Manual of Style, other authoritative resources)
The ISD will conduct a needs assessment of writing skills training and performance support. The purpose of the need’s assessment is to discover whether Department employees have unmet writing skills training and performance support needs that FSI can fulfill. The goal for the project is to ensure that writing skills training and performance support tools are aligned to address the current needs of Department employees.
Review extant data and information relevant to
are they not doing what they need to do?
What are the types and frequency of writing assignments and challenges associated with each?
Performer needs organizational needs, performance needs, and performer needs
Conduct interviews, focus groups, and surveys of a functionally and geographically diverse sample of Department employees, leaders, managers, supervisors, and users of written products in Washington and overseas. Interviews, focus groups, and survey questions will be piloted with small groups before a stratified sample is used.
Identify and document the following information based on interviews, focus groups, and surveys
Organizational needs supported by writing skills training (e.g., 12 Dimensions)
What do employees need to do in order for us to achieve our organizational goals?
What are they not doing that we need to address?
Who are the performers and what do they already know?
What is the best way to address any knowledge or skill gaps?
What is the best way to address any knowledge or skill gaps?
What are other solutions?
How will we know if our solutions are effective?
Author a written needs assessment report that includes the following information:
Design/methodology of conducting interviews, focus groups, and surveys
Findings of interviews, focus groups, and surveys:
Success profiles of effective writers in the Department
Recommendations for writing skills training and performance support tools unmet by existing FSI courses and performance support tools
Other relevant recommendations
Appendix of relevant data and information
Deliver the needs assessment via a written report and verbal presentation
Minimum 7 years of curriculum development/instructional design experience or 2 years curriculum/instructional design experience plus MS/MA (or higher) degree in related field; with proven ability in designing a wide variety of classroom, blended, and experiential training applications including, but not limited to, foreign affairs, tradecraft, foreign language, or applications/IT systems training.
Extensive knowledge of and practice in adult leadership development training programs.
Experience with course mapping.
Proven ability in designing a variety of leadership training courses using a broad array of delivery modalities and methods (e.g., flipped, blended, traditional, and experiential).
Proven expertise serving as curriculum/instructional designer of classroom courses and training products that demonstrate sound instructional principles, strategies and techniques for adult learners.
Experience conducting needs assessments and analysis, designing appropriate instructional approaches, and working on a team to design, develop, pilot, implement, and evaluate training for an adult, professional audience.
Demonstrated ability to apply learning theories to create effective instructional designs.
Demonstrated experience with curriculum development, i.e., developing courses and informal training products that use a range of methods, from lecture-based to experiential, as appropriate to the content, learning objectives, and associated competency-based KSAs (Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes), with the goal of structuring the learning experience so that it results in transformation – deep, nuanced understanding and dramatically improved performance.
Experience with the appropriate integration of a wide variety of educational technologies and continuous learning techniques to enhance the learning experience, maximize achievement of learning objectives, and facilitate transfer of learning to the workplace or personal setting, as appropriate to the course goals.
Ability to collaborate effectively with Subject Matter Experts / program managers to conduct needs analysis; develop training objectives, evaluation strategy, and course/product outline; design course/product content; develop scaffolded, interactive course activities and assessment items. This includes compiling and organizing information and writing and editing instructional materials to adapt policies and procedures, regulations, reference documents, and raw materials into clear, effective, interactive and experiential training.
Demonstrated experience in leading facilitation sessions with all participants in the curriculum development cycle, for the purposes of needs assessment, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of courses and programs.
Demonstrated experience integrating formative assessment throughout the course design, both to ensure that learners are able to track their progress and that instructional staff are able to measure the extent to which learning is progressing as intended. Experience with the appropriate use of checklists and rubrics for performance-based assessment.
Job Type: Temporary