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Mapping the Curriculum

Curriculum mapping is a method program faculty can use to align courses with desired program outcomes and goals. A curriculum map is a matrix (grid, table) that depicts the connection between outcomes (what students will be able to do or demonstrate as a result of their studies) and shows where the curriculum addresses and assesses those outcomes.

The curriculum mapping process helps program faculty:

  • Identify which courses and program-level assessments support a program’s outcomes
  • Document what is taught and when
  • See gaps in the curriculum
  • Design an assessment plan

Curriculum Mapping Steps:

Sample Curriculum Map

  • Define program outcomes and list them in the first row, one per column.
  • List all existing courses your program provides in the first column. These can be organized by lower- and upper-level requirements and electives.
  • Identify where the outcomes are or should be introduced, practiced, mastered, and assessed.
  • Rethink the value of offering courses that do not support any of your program outcomes.
  • If no course provides a direct measure for a program outcome, rethink the value of the outcome or consider revising an existing assignment or exam, revising an existing course, or developing a new course.