DACUM training in Ohio State classroom

The Center on Education and Training for Employment (CETE) understands the nature of the corporate and e-learning market and is home to a team of award-winning learning designers who create online learning programs.

Under Director Ana-Paula Correia, professor of learning technologies in the college, they are leading to meet the demands and requirements of high-quality, exceptional online learning experiences.

CETE's latest in virtual training

According to Businesswire, "The corporate e-learning market is slated to increase by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024." Within this arena, competency-based education is an area gaining momentum internationally.

In response, the center recently piloted its new Competency-Based Learning (CBL) Virtual Institute. The institute teaches participants how to develop competency-based curricula and performance assessments for job duties and tasks, which can be identified through the Developing a Curriculum (DACUM) job analysis process.

The DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) International Training Institute at CETE has trained over 5,000 DACUM facilitators in 51 countries across six continents.

The benefits of DACUM are many. It is an effective, relatively low-cost method of convening a team of experts to analyze a job or occupation. The resulting duties and tasks, often called competencies, identify what should be taught and become the foundation of competency-based training programs.

This institute recently expanded to include both in-person and virtual sessions, offering participants a chance to analyze jobs, occupations, processes and functions in a 40-hour, online learning experience over 13 weeks. The DACUM Virtual Institute (DVI) serves as a 40-hour, 10-week program, with seven asynchronous modules and associated discussion forums. In addition, it provides eight performance assignments, two synchronous webinars and ongoing feedback and coaching.

CETE also offers a complete series of online modules on Competency-based Education for those looking for an asynchronous, self-paced learning experience, digital badge and non-academic credit certificate.

Liberia uses DACUM and CBL virtual institutes to rebuild industry, address poverty

Seal of the Republic of Liberia Ministry of Education
The Republic of Liberia's Ministry of Education works to promote the health and well-being of its people to be technologically literate and lifelong learners.

The Republic of Liberia served as a recent DACUM Virtual Institute client. Situated on Africa's Atlantic coast, the Republic of Liberia is a nation determined to rebuild after nearly two decades of civil war that crushed its economy and infrastructure. Because of these political conditions, citizens were left in situations where they experienced high unemployment, widespread poverty, and very few resources to improve the situation.

Identifying employment opportunities with local industry — particularly for its youth — and providing job skills through competency-based training served as one strategy to help transform the Liberian workforce and strengthen its economy.

Sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), CETE's DACUM Virtual Institute provided technical and vocational education and training to professionals from Liberia's Ministries of Education and Youth and Sports.

Participants were highly committed to gaining the skills to develop linkages with local industry. They also learned to analyze the industry's available jobs to identify the competencies required for employees to be successful.

Once competencies were identified and verified, the employees of those ministries developed competency-based training programs to prepare Liberian youth and adults for in-demand jobs.

This process provides opportunities for Liberians to gain employment, which can help transform lives, benefit communities and make progress toward the ultimate goal of helping to bolster the Liberian economy.

How more countries and companies benefit from CETE online and in-person learning

The summer of 2022 led to CETE's engagement in a multitude of international activities that aligned perfectly with the college's Internationalization pillar. Twelve faculty members from the United Arab Emirates Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) sought to move some of its courses to competency-based education.

They drew on CETE's expertise for 12 weeks, online, to learn how the DACUM process would provide them with the foundation for developing the courses. These same 12 faculty members plan to participate in CETE's competency-based learning institute offering in 2023.

CETE's DVI also trained two groups from Jamaica this past summer — one from the Heart NSTA Trust and another from the Caribbean Examinations Council.

Those who participate in the DACUM Virtual Institute engage in practical exercises and explore sample DACUM data. They also gauge learning through assessments developed to measure understanding of the elements of the DACUM process.

Interaction with fellow institute participants and ongoing coaching and guidance from expert DACUM facilitators offer participants the chance to craft their facilitation skills.


"My company appreciates that CETE modified the traditional DACUM process to fit the virtual world. This is a huge benefit given the current circumstance, but I think it will also be useful for companies who may have a hard time getting everyone in the same location for 2-3 days."

Senior instructional designer and DACUM Virtual Institute participant


"My company appreciates that CETE modified the traditional DACUM process to fit the virtual world," said a senior instructional designer who participated in the DACUM Virtual Institute. "This is a huge benefit given the current circumstance, but I think it will also be useful for companies who may have a hard time getting everyone in the same location for 2-3 days."

Heather Lunsford, Erin Lawler-King and Ryan Borze are DACUM Virtual Institute participants from Dexcom, a company that develops products to manage diabetes. They will use the DACUM process for all new projects, job analysis and developing skills assessments.

"It's always good to have a dialogue with the other participants and be able to learn from each other," Lunsford said. "The way the course is structured makes it very easy for participants to interact with the instructors and each other."

The five online modules that comprise the DACUM Virtual Institute each prioritize one or more principles of the DACUM methodology. Each module presents a DACUM concept, explores its application and provides knowledge and application-level checks for understanding, with feedback and guidance to measure learner understanding of the concept and effective application in practice.

Lunsford said the leaders in her department are DACUM certified, and as a newer employee, she had been exposed to some of the DACUM practices but didn't see the big picture of how it all worked until she took the course.


"The course helped me understand more about why my new team was conducting job analyses in such a way, and why they were using the terminology of duties and tasks instead of topics and objectives. I was excited to learn how the DACUM method leads to being able to measure how knowledge is linked to job performance."

Heather Lunsford, DACUM Virtual Institute participant


"The course helped me understand more about why my new team was conducting job analyses in such a way," Lunsford said, "and why they were using the terminology of duties and tasks instead of topics and objectives. I was excited to learn how the DACUM method leads to being able to measure how knowledge is linked to job performance."

The culmination of the DACUM Virtual Institute involves participants facilitating a virtual DACUM workshop with fellow participants under the supervision and coaching of seasoned DACUM facilitators John Moser, program lead, and Kate Fergus, program specialist.

The pair share a combined 25+ years of facilitation experience. They work in tandem to prepare participants to conduct their DACUM workshops. They also provide continuous feedback in synchronous and asynchronous formats designed to give participants a truly authentic experience.

One component of the virtual format is to have participants record themselves discussing a specific topic. "Self-recordings have helped me learn the content and allowed me to dig into the information and formulate my understanding of it," Lunsford said. "Reteaching the content to a pretend audience worked in helping me to grasp the concepts and evaluate how I will facilitate DACUM for new projects going forward."

The blended asynchronous online content, synchronous discussion and coaching sessions are designed to keep participants interacting and engaged.


"I like the combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities, (My colleagues) chime in quite a bit on the discussion forums and post great questions. I've been in virtual classes before where the instructor left all the discussions to the students, which can be frustrating when someone has a question about the content/concepts being covered. I've found (my colleagues') input to be invaluable for my learning."

DVI participant


"I like the combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities," a participant in the DVI said. "(My colleagues) chime in quite a bit on the discussion forums and post great questions. I've been in virtual classes before where the instructor left all the discussions to the students, which can be frustrating when someone has a question about the content/concepts being covered. I've found (my colleagues') input to be invaluable for my learning."

Attendees on screen during a Zoom conference
Participants from the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates celebrated the completion of their DACUM Virtual Institute.

The DACUM International Training Institute is still offered in person, with plans to host 14 participants in Columbus from the Africa Institute of Organization Development (AIOD) in the near future. The 14 want to experience DACUM to develop competency-based education in Ghana.

Their first week would involve the DACUM training, followed by visits during the second week to local employers who use DACUM for a day each, including American Electric Power and Honda.

As organizations and colleges continue to reevaluate jobs, processes, and functions for the future of the workforce, CETE is honored to customize international face-to-face and online/virtual learning experiences that meet the changing demands for workforce development and contribute to its transformation.

This work enhances the value of internationalization in the College of Education and Human Ecology through the cultivation of global awareness and engagement.

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