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The Cataloging Process

Selecting a curriculum that meets the needs of the individuals to be served as well as of the organization that will implement it can be time consuming. To help facilitate that process, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) contracted with IMPAQ International, LLC (IMPAQ) to catalog selected features of curricula identified as commonly used by Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees of the Office of Family Assistance (OFA).

There were four key steps in the cataloging process:

Identify Commonly Used Curricula. Through another contract, the Office of Family Assistance identified healthy marriage/relationship education and responsible parenting curricula used by two or more grantees between 2005 and 2011.* They identified 49 curricula.

Systematically Document Curricula. Using this list, IMPAQ staff worked with ACF to develop a systematic process to document curricular features that would be of interest to individuals who wished to learn about or compare curricula. Two IMPAQ researchers were assigned responsibility for the documentation. They used a common template to record information from the curricula materials. If materials did not include information about a particular feature (for example, there was no indication of whether the curriculum is available in languages other than English), researchers recorded “Not Specified.”

Ensure Reliability. To ensure consistency in the review process, the two researchers initially reviewed the same curricula independently. They debriefed with each other and subject-matter experts after each curriculum review until they attained 90% inter-rater reliability (they documented curricular features the same way at least 90% of the time). From that point, each researcher was assigned a different set of curricula for cataloging independently. Random checks of their review data were performed by subject-matter experts.

Verify Information. Finally, the developer of each curriculum was sent a copy of the cataloged information. He or she was asked to confirm the cataloged information or to provide corrections. Once developer responses were accounted for by researchers, the cataloging process was complete.

* There are many curricula in use and available beyond those included in this process. Inclusion in the final Resource Guide does not constitute an endorsement or preference by ACF.