Curriculum mapping is a practical and valuable assessment tool which allows desired student learning outcomes to be aligned with curriculum and instruction. Curriculum mapping identifies outcomes that may not be adequately supported in the curriculum and area of average. The OAA provides workshops and training to individuals and departments on curriculum mapping.
Best Practices for Curriculum Mapping
- Build in practice and multiple learning trials for students: introduce, reinforce, master. Students will perform best if they are introduced to the learning outcome early in the curriculum and then given sufficient practice and reinforcement before evaluation of their level of mastery
- Use the curriculum map to identify the learning opportunities (e.g., assignments, activities) that produce the program’s outcomes.
- Allow each faculty member to teach to their strengths. “Hand off” particular outcomes to those best suited for the task.
- Ask if the department/program is trying to do too much. Eliminate outcomes that are not highly-valued and then focus on highly-valued outcomes by including them in multiple courses. (The eliminated outcomes can still be course-level outcomes.
- Set priorities as a department/program. Everyone working together toward common outcomes increases the likelihood that students will meet or exceed expectations.