Participant interest, and support the expectation that a new or revised online cna classes will be accomplished. Too short a time could be self-defeating, and viewed as a lack of regard for members’ time and other responsibilities.
A productive approach is one that provides regular meetings at which participants can assess decisions step-by-step and plan for the next activity by studying and creating new ideas (Torres & Stanton, 1982). If there are enough committed and qualified committee members who have expertise or who seek assistance, and who also meet on a regular basis, the goal of a developed online cna training will be achieved in a timely manner. It is neither practical nor productive to spend an extensive period of time on any one component of the curriculum. Despite the discomfort that may accompany decisions that are not firmly fixed, the group should move on to completion. As the work progresses through subsequent meetings, final decisions can be accomplished.
A prerequisite for undertaking a project as large as online cna schools development is establishing a work plan. Major elements of the curriculum development process must be identified and a timeline specified, responsibility assigned for activities, procedures determined for recording meeting minutes and decisions, and the work shared. Initial decisions may need to be reviewed as the work progresses and circumstances not apparent at the outset become evident. The creation of a work plan will bring definition to the online cna certification development process.
Critical Path The critical path is a blueprint for action, specifying the steps to be completed, the deadlines, and the individuals or committees responsible for each phase of the curriculum development process. It will provide a concrete means to assess whether the online cna courses is being developed at a pace that will ensure implementation by the target date. Dates of key meetings and reporting intervals (Smith, 1999) can be included as part of the critical path. Although revisions may become necessary, the critical path explicates the work to be done and the time-frame in which it must be completed. Importantly, a detailed critical path is the rationale for requesting resources.
Agreeing on deadlines for the major milestones of curriculum development is the first step in the creation of a critical path. Typically, the initial decision is to identify the implementation date of the first courses, by placing this first on the critical path. This highlights or gives preeminence to the start date for the new or revised online cna degree. After deciding when the curriculum is to begin, determine the total amount of time available to finalize it by calculating back to the date the educational institution must approve the curriculum design. Identifying major activities that must occur before final approval, and the associated deadlines for each, is the next step. It is helpful to note which individual or committee will have responsibility for each aspect of the process, as well as the approval procedures necessary throughout curriculum development. As the process evolves, committees will find it helpful to develop their own critical paths.
Table 3.2 provides an example of a critical path, beginning with the implementation date of the curriculum and working backward in time to when the online cna classes development.
Process actually begins. A three-year period for the development of a typical four-year undergraduate program is presented in consideration of the time needed for the change process among faculty (Mown & Reece, 2000), various levels of approval that may exist in some institutions, and realities of faculty members’ other responsibilities. Once the reverse ordering is completed, the chart can be rotated so that it starts with the most immediate activities and ends with curriculum implementation. This is the critical path. Alternately a Gantt chart could be devised. The advantage of the Gantt chart is that it illustrates the duration of activities. A Gantt chart to match Table 3.2 is presented in Table 3.3.
Many other activities and meetings could be added to the critical path. For example, meetings of the Total Faculty Group and the Online cna training Committee might be included, as well as regular meetings with the school director. It is important to find a comfortable balance such that the critical path can specify the major work to be done without being overly detailed. Committees or individuals can develop other critical paths to ensure that their work will be completed to match the major deadlines.
Approaches to Sharing the Work Inherent in all group work is the need to determine how activities will be completed. Who will do what, and to what standard? This is partly accomplished by decisions about committee structures. Yet, within each committee, the matter of how to share the work will arise, and the approach is unlikely to be identical in each committee and subcommittee. In some, all members may prefer to work together as much as possible, so ideas are explored and consensus is achieved before much writing is done. For others, there may be a desire to divide tasks among individuals or dyads, and then bring back draft work to the group for discussion, revision, and consensus. Likely, some combination of these approaches will be agreed to, depending on the nature of the task and the imminence of deadlines. Although it is beyond the scope of this book to describe all aspects of successful group functioning, some elements are worthy of review when considering how the work of online cna degree development can be accomplished.
- Agree on the goals to be achieved. This includes not only the task to be completed, but the deadline for completion and the standard of the work.
- Obtain commitment from each of the members to achieve the goal.
- Identify how much time each member can give to the task.
- Discuss how the group will work together.
- Consider the value of preparing a critical path for the group’s work.
- Recognize that not all workgroups will become cohesive teams, whose synergy is intrinsically motivating (Wylie & Smith, 1999).
Schedule of Meetings Developing a schedule of meetings for committees and task forces will both expedite the work of curriculum development and keep the groups on track for.