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Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum mapping is a tool for describing the organization of your program curriculum in light of your expectations for student learning.  Mapping reveals the sequencing of topics from introductory to mastery.   For example, a simplified curriculum map for the major, DISCIPLINE, might look like this:

Students will be able to:

Pre-requisites

Required courses in major

Capstone

 

DISC 101

DISC 201

DISC 301

DISC 350

DISC 420

DISC 450

DISC   495

Describe the core concepts related to…

Introduced

Introduced

Reinforced

Assessed

 

 

 

Explain the relationship between…

 

Introduced

Introduced

 

Reinforced

Assessed

 

Critically analyze the…

 

Introduced

Introduced

Reinforced

Reinforced

 

Assessed

Effectively integrate multiple…

 

 

 

Introduced

Reinforced

Assessed

Assessed

 

Mapping facilitates evaluation of the overall curriculum by providing a systematic means for linking different levels of learning outcomes to the progression of coursework, identifying where gaps may occur, and highlighting opportunities for assessment.

Mapping also facilitates planning for student learning outcomes assessment. If you plan to assess students’ ability to, for example, “judge the value of information based on the soundness of sources, methods and reasoning,” where in your curriculum would students most likely demonstrate their capacity for such judgment?

The curriculum goal determines the curriculum map

The curricular requirements, course content and sequencing, pedagogical methods, and assessment procedures—all are directed toward achieving the overall goals and ensuring that students in each major have the opportunity to learn what is expected of them. A curriculum map illustrates how each course contributes to the curriculum.

Curricular goals should be stated in terms of student learning. For example, several undergraduate and graduate programs state their curricular goals as follows:

  • Environmental Sciences: To train undergraduates to be environmentally literate and/or to be technically competent to conduct environmental investigations
  • Interdisciplinary: Political Philosophy, Politics, and Law: To produce students who are articulate about the issues that arise in debates over complex questions of public policy; proficient in the careful analysis of practical arguments; astute in identifying and exposing the nonsense and rhetoric that surrounds much political debate; and creative in integrating perspectives across disciplinary boundaries. These are skills and qualities that will be invaluable to students in their future roles in the workplace, in their further studies, and in their role as active democratic citizens.
  • Sociology:  To provide a command of sociological theory, professional competence in research methods, and advanced knowledge of specialties in the discipline (PhD program)
  • Spanish: To provide undergraduates with a rigorous, humanistic education in foreign languages, literatures and cultures, one that fosters depth of knowledge, a high level of linguistic competency, and the ability to think critically and independently