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Curriculum Development at FHI

This summer, FHI’s curriculum development team has been working on numerous projects, including a series of asynchronous online courses focused on different significant points in a marriage: divorce, and a marriage impacted by an unexpected major financial event, or economic shock. The courses focus on the economics of divorce and co-parenting, from the beginning stages to settling into your new life, as well as on helping couples understand how to weather economic shocks and save their marriage and families.

As we were in the process of developing this curriculum, we noticed the similarities in thought processes and emotions experienced by our learners to those that we experienced during online course production.

Much like navigating through a divorce or weathering an economic shock, developing curriculum comes with some intense and complicated emotions, like anxiety and stress, from a lack of resources and a desire to do the right thing by people. People going through a divorce or split are certainly experiencing intense anxiety, very likely due to some economic stress and a great desire for household financial security. But you can learn to understand the process and gain tools to help you. Our curriculum development team can experience anxiety and stress from an initial lack of knowledge or expertise on a topic, much like with these courses, which represent 3 distinctly different circumstances.

Not surprisingly, going through a divorce or an economic shock is complex, in steps and actions that need to be taken in order to successfully make it through them. The same can be said for the creation of online courses, with learning objectives to meet while following the guiding principles of trauma informed care and writing for the intended audience.

For the production of our online courses, one curriculum team member takes the lead in its construction and content, but it is not a solo effort; all team members contribute to the development of the course. During and after divorce, and even during an economic shock, it’s important for parents to act as a team for the best interest of their children and themselves.

We talk in our courses about understanding and utilizing all the available resources and assets we have at our disposal. This is a good exercise for anyone to do, especially for those who are experiencing financial stress and/or instability. These assets could be your family members or friends, who can provide assistance in areas that may be lacking for you otherwise. In our realm, the curriculum development team we have at FHI is an incredible asset that each of us call upon during the creation process of each course.

Divorce and economic shocks are hard, really hard. They can be extremely emotional and destabilizing events for everyone, both parents and children. But with communication and collaboration among all parties, these events can be endured. And our curriculum development team, during the production process of these courses, utilized the concepts that we described as resources and tools to assist with economic security and stability.

Our curriculum team strives to create content that is constructive and informative to our learners. We work together, utilizing concepts and values that FHI espouses, to produce content like our new courses on the economics of divorce and marriage and economic shocks, as well as many others.