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Curriculum Mapping & Design

A curriculum map is a matrix or table that cross references course offerings and other program components to learning outcomes. When completed, it shows you where, when and how learning is achieved. As Kopera-Fry, Mahaffy, & Syare (2008) have stated, “A graphical portrayal of program goals or outcomes, the courses that comprise the program and their relationship to the program’s purpose.”

Curriculum maps can vary from very basic to extremely complex depending on needs and intended uses.

Related article: How to Map Your Curriculum

Benefits of Curriculum Mapping

  • Helps faculty see relationships between course and overall program goals, and learning outcomes;
  • Gives students a better understanding of what is expected of them, and what they will accomplish from different courses and program components;
  • Allows for identification of gaps in course offerings as well as redundancies;
  • Increases faculty collaboration and collegiality – provides an opportunity for faculty to work together. This can be especially useful to help new faculty
    entering a department develop professional relationships and a sense of belonging.

Additional Resources

University of Hawai’i Manoa, Assessment Office: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/assessment/howto/mapping.htm

Bath, D., Smith, C., Stein, S., & Swann, R. (2007). Beyond mapping and embedding graduate attributes: Bringing together quality assurance and action learning to create a validated and living curriculum. Higher Education Research, 23, 313 – 328. DOI: 10.1080/0729436042000235427.

Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment. (2011). Curriculum Review and Mapping Guide. Durham College: Oshawa, ON.

Kopera-Fry. K., Mahaffy, J. & Svare, G.M. (2008). The map to curriculum alignment and improvement. Collected Essays on Teaching and Learning, 1, 8 – 14.

Uchiyama, K.P., & Radin, J.L. (2009). Curriculum mapping in higher education: A vehicle for collaboration. Innovation in Higher Education, 33, 271–280. DOI 10.1007/s10755-008-9078-8