BLUF: How do I balance out specialized classes that teach widely different skill sets, to offer a similar progression as each other? Background: As many of you may know, my current school is big on memorization, something I'm not overly fond of. To that effort, I've been trying to develop my own curriculum for when I eventually create my own school. This is becoming less and less of an academic exercise (as it was several years ago) and more and more of a plan. I started with a comprehensive curriculum, which covers most of what I know. The problem with this is two-fold: It may take longer than I'd like for students to reach Black Belt. Since there are timers on progression after black belt, I don't want to needlessly set their career behind compared to students from other schools. Not everyone enjoys every aspect of Taekwondo. Most of the teenagers only care about sparring, most of the adults either like the forms or the self-defense (they like sparring, but would prefer to use more techniques than WT allows). To this end, I've come up with my newest idea: a core curriculum that serves as a casual introduction to the different aspects of Taekwondo, which would be your progression through the colored belt. Specialized classes focusing on forms, sparring, self-defense, or demonstration would be elective content for colored belts, but progression through these would be required for Dan ranks. This would be similar to having a high school which is a general diploma, and then college courses that let you choose a Major. In keeping with the idea of college classes, I decided to use a credit system. 1 credit for completing the introductory period of a specialized class, and more credits for various milestones, up to 5 credits which is a mastery of that class. I might require 1 total credit to get your black belt, 4 credits for 2nd Dan, 9 credits for 3rd Dan, 16 credits for 4th Dan. (Numbers are obviously subject to change, as this idea is in its infancy). However, I run into a few problems. These classes are widely different in scope and design. The forms class is very linear, and has objective measures of progress (how well do you know the forms). The other classes have objective metrics (do you understand the concepts) and subjective metrics (how well can you apply them). They're subjective, because you're always training with a partner. The other classes may evolve as I learn more. The demonstration class will certainly evolve with creative input from the students. And then there's simply the scope. There's a lot of forms to learn for the forms class, that's easy to look at. Sparring has a few concepts that take time to master. Self-defense has many more concepts, because it covers a wide variety of techniques and situations. These aren't problems by themselves, until you get to my goals: Credits are objectively earned Earning 5 credits in a class means you've mastered it Earning 5 credits in each class takes roughly the same amount of time All classes are 5 credits These credits are used for black-belt progression, so I want them to be clearly defined and meaningful. At the same time, I want classes to be balanced with each other. Let's say I have 2 years worth of content for sparring, 5 years for forms, and 8 years for self-defense. I don't want everyone to ignore self-defense and choose sparring because you can get your credits in 2 years instead of 8. I also don't want everyone to ignore sparring and choose self-defense because you can get 8 credits instead of 2. I also don't want you to earn 5 credits in 5 years in both, with the assumption that you're only roughly 60% through the self-defense course when you earn your 5 credits. This leads me to the following options (as I see them): Find some way to balance these out so my goals are met (working on it, not having any luck). Subjectively grant credits. More difficult for students to understand when they can get their credit, but allows me more flexibility. Have a consistent time frame to earn 5 credits, even if some of the curriculum comes after. Grant credits specifically based on time, instead of by objective (or even subjective) measures. Hope they master the curriculum along the way. Have 5 credits for learning the whole curriculum, even if it means some classes earn credits faster. Have enough credits for the expected time to complete the curriculum, even if some classes can earn more credits. Drop the credit system and find some other way to make specialized classes work for advancement (haven't worked on it yet, but that may be my next step) Drop the entire concept of specialized classes as your black belt requirement (which I could simply do by reverting to the comprehensive curriculum I'm still working on as an option). It seems like a simple problem, but for the way I want to design this curriculum, I think it falls apart if I can't balance it out. The gamer in me wants to see these things balanced. I don't want any students to feel they have to game the system to progress faster, nor do I want any of them to feel cheated if their option ends up being slower. What I want to do is create a system where students have options based on what they want to do, and that their educational goals would be the biggest reason for making their choices (instead of how fast they can progress).