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What is the difference between Curriculum Design and Instructional Design?

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Curriculum design is "what" the learner will learn, while instructional design is "how" they will learn it.


Generally speaking, curriculum relates to the content of an institution's programs and its course structure. Curriculum developers assemble content that meets specific standards, for example, to accomplish a specific degree. They make sure the dentist student takes that course entitled "Administering Novocaine" e.g. because that course is part of that program's core curriculum. Curriculum designers often work in academic institutions.

Instructional designers develop courses of instruction on specific topics, for example. While instructional designers may utilize subject matter experts to get the "what," they additionally develop the course delivery methods and evaluation methods. Instructional designers often work in industry developing training programs for employees and service sector entities.
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