A curriculum map is a matrix aligning program-level student learning outcomes (SLOs) with the courses/experiences for a degree program (major) or co-curricular program. Program maps may vary in complexity and structure, to best meet the needs of the program.
In academic programs, these maps are usually called Curriculum Maps; whereas in non-academic/co-curricular programs, these maps are usually called Outcome Maps. The term Curriculum Maps will be used throughout, however the concepts for Outcome Maps for co-curricular programs is the same.
Value of Curriculum Mapping
Curriculum maps make visible the relationship between courses and program-level SLOs, enabling faculty to design and implement intentional curricula which systematically develop and deepen students’ key skills and knowledge. In this context, curriculum maps can:
- Help each faculty member understand how their course is situated in the curriculum, and the essential contributions their course makes toward advancing program-level SLOs
- Reveal where the curriculum is stronger or weaker in terms of advancing program-level SLOs
- Provide a catalyst for faculty discussions about aligning and scaffolding courses, teaching, and assignments to effectively support student learning
- Help programs plan assessment of program-level SLOs
- Provide a framework for exploring the alignment between the intended, taught, and assessed curriculum
Curriculum Maps at UND
All UND programs are responsible for developing and regularly updating curriculum maps for their degree program or majors. Curriculum maps vary in approach and complexity. While a basic curriculum map simply shows which core courses support which program-level SLOs, most curriculum maps indicate an approximate level which a given course targets for a given program-level SLO (e.g., beginning, developing, mastering).
At UND, we aspire for all programs to meet the following criteria in regards to mapping their programs:
- Every outcome is assessed in at least one course or experience in the program
- Timeline for assessment is identified for each outcome
- Level of mastery is articulated for each outcome
Curriculum Map Resources
Quick Guide to Curriculum Maps, Washington State University Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness
Essential Guide to Assessment Strategy, [pg 5-7] Watermark
Buttner, A.C. (2015). Finding the way in the assessment landscape: Developing an effective assessment map. Urbanam IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
Hutchings, P. (2016). Aligning Educational Outcomes and Practices (PDF) (Occasional Paper #26). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
Jankowski, N.A. & Baker, G.R. Mapping and Assessing Student Learning in Student Affairs. (Occasional Paper #45). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
Matveev, A., et al. (2010). Curriculum Mapping: A Conceptual Framework and Practical Illustration (PDF). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings.
National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2018). Mapping Learning: A Toolkit of Resources (PDF). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
Rawle, F., et al. (2017). Curriculum Mapping Across the Disciplines: Differences, Approaches, and Strategies (PDF). Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching. 10.
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