Curriculum mapping is curriculum awareness and a visual representation of the structure of curriculum:
Mapping is an ability of looking at programs in a holistic way – at a level beyond individual courses – and making sure that program [and discipline] curriculum provides appropriate conditions for student achievement of intended program [and discipline] learning outcomes. (Palomba & Banta, 1999)
Palomba, C. A., & Banta, T. W. (1999). Assessment essentials: Planning, implementing, and improving assessment in higher education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Why map curriculum?
- Alignment (within a program, between general education and institutional goals, etc.)
- Identifying where and how particular outcomes are expected, explicitly taught for, and assessed
- Backwards design the curriculum
- Understand the nature and role of course pre-requisites
- Mapping is a way of seeing organizational change
Uses of Curriculum Maps
- Provide an overview of the structure of the curriculum and the contribution of individual courses to the goals of the program
- Identify program strengths- student learning outcomes that are thoroughly addressed
- Help departments identify gaps (learning outcomes that are addressed by only a few courses)
- Suggest whether students take courses in an optimal sequence
Questions Curriculum Mapping can Answer
- In the key courses, are all outcomes addressed, in a logical order?
- Do all the key courses address at least one outcome?
- Do multiple offerings of the same course address the same outcomes, at the same levels?
- Do some outcomes get more coverage than others?
- Are all outcomes first introduced and then reinforced?
- Are students expected to show high levels of learning too early?
- Do students get practice on all the outcomes before being addressed, e.g., in the capstone?
- Do all students, regardless of which electives they choose, experience a coherent progression and coverage of all outcomes?
- What do your electives, individually and collectively contribute to the achievement of your student learning outcomes?
Jankowski, N. (2014) Mapping learning outcomes: What you map is what you see [Powerpoint Slides]. Retrieved from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iIzkPAcX8RKfkwkZhdWj_nBNWmej6e5l/view
Program/Discipline Curriculum Mapping
The map charts program courses, syllabi, classroom activities, and assessment as they relate to intended program/discipline learning outcomes.
Course Curriculum Mapping
Individual courses can also be mapped aligning activities and assessments as they relate to the intended course learning outcome.
Mapping Learning Outcomes
- Focused on curriculum and learning outcomes
- Two-dimensional matrix representing courses on one axis and outcomes on the other
- Faculty identify which courses address where learning outcomes are introduced, reinforced and assessed.
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