The instructional and program design component of every afterschool and youth development programs is the core of the program, and critical to high quality programs. While there is no one curriculum used by out-of-school time programs, program design and curriculum are becoming increasingly used, and the focus on content is becoming an area of interest. The curricula being developed most recently for OST can be divided into such areas as STEM (or STEAM), Reading and Math. It also includes the SAFE concept of planning (Sequential, Active, Focused, and Explicit).
Program design, a slightly different concept, focuses on ways that the program is organized, segmented, and scheduled. It also includes the aspect of student choice.
The Program Quality category of Instructional & Program Design is divided into the following sections. Each section provides free materials and resources to download on a range of topics and approaches to instructional and program design in OST programs.
- Articles & Research contains key and current research on the topic of evaluation and program assessment.
- Resources provides program materials that have been generated by the field, such as evaluation and assessment tools and procedures.
- Program Examples includes case studies and video clips of actual OST programs that demonstrate ways that programs have been evaluated and assessed.
- Professional Development provides professional learning opportunities through webinars and other offerings.
- OST Field Notes provides photo essays, blogs, and other types of writing by practitioners about their experiences in evaluating their offerings for children and youth.