What is a curriculum map and how do you develop one?

A curriculum map can be an important part of the assessment process. Essentially, a curriculum map shows the alignment of courses in a program with the student learning outcomes of the program. The map can be used to identify gaps in the curriculum, can show the program where the optimal places in the curriculum to collect assessment data are for a particular outcome, and can be used to communicate with students and others why certain courses are required for completion of the program.

Curriculum maps can be as simple as a spreadsheet with learning outcomes on the top and a list of courses on the side with “X”s indicating in which courses a particular outcome is addressed. The list of courses may only include required courses within the major or may include program electives or general education requirements. Some programs choose to include levels in their curriculum maps to show which courses introduce, reinforce, or showcase mastery of an outcome.

Of course, programs may choose to do curriculum mapping on their own. However, assessment consultants in IRAP are also available to help programs create a curriculum map in Xitracs where it is also possible to link to course descriptions, syllabi, and/or program-level outcomes.