All education must begin with a needs analysis. We must deliver what the students need to perform and apply the requisite knowledge and skills in an ethical and professional manner. Adult education is not intended to correct shortages in motivation, remedy personal inadequacies, or alter deficient value systems. These are the purview of Dr. Phil, Judge Judy, and even the Jerry Springer of this world—entertainment, assuredly, but not education.
“Under promise and over deliver” is a conservative, self-rationalization for getting by and avoiding creativity. Although the tenet may have merit in some aspects of life, it is anathema when it comes to modern instructional and curriculum design. Here we need to get rid of the ‘box’, not just think outside of it.
In education, let’s not dwell on constraints. Let’s focus on what is it learners need to know and imagine the most creative design for achieving that end. We can always temper our creation later with discussions of budget and available resources. After paring down (using the KISS process) is complete, our objective and anticipated learning should remain intact. Probably the most important thread to weave in this entire exercise is to make the content realistic so students grasp how the content relates to their out-of-class behaviour and performance.
In curriculum creation, content rules. Content is merely a grouping of a multiplicity of tasks. Each task must be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-sensitive (SMART). As for the facilitator, ensure that you deploy instructional techniques that lead to practical, informative, learning by ‘doing’, student-centric educational experiences.