Conducting a Curriculum Gap Analysis

April 14, 2022 Watermark Insights

Watermark solutions help you identify curriculum gaps to enhance student learning outcomes and meet institutional program goals. Whether you naturally intuit these gaps with curriculum mapping or glean them from student suggestions in course evaluations, we can help you get the most out of your curriculum gap analysis solutions.

What Is a Curriculum Gap Analysis?

A gap analysis aims to identify the leaps in instruction that students have experienced in moving between semesters or instructional levels. University advisors use curriculum gap analysis to identify faults in a university's instructional foundation so that students can build their skills and knowledge properly.

Conducting instructional gap analyses is imperative for higher education institutions to identify what students have been taught and fill in curriculum gaps.

A gap analysis takes the list of topics and compares it to what has not yet been matched with a desired objective, thereby illuminating any standards that have not been aligned to the goal of the program or curriculum.

Curriculum Mapping: Where to Begin

To complete a curriculum gap analysis, you'll need lesson plans from the previous year, a pacing guide, and instructional standards for the course. Conversing among colleagues may help instructors understand if certain standards were simply introduced or were taught to mastery.

Once instructors have analyzed course standards, they must see if any standards were not addressed in the previous year's curriculum.

Questions to Ask When Running a Curriculum Gap Analysis

To run a curriculum gap analysis, take each topic or standard and ask questions such as:

  • Are we covering this?
  • Do we need to be covering this?
  • When should we be covering this?

Ways to Bridge Curriculum Gaps

Instructors may adopt the following measures to address curriculum gaps:

  • Modify existing curricula or design new courses
  • Introduce bridge course subjects to improve students' subject knowledge
  • Implement student development programs

Ways to Apply Your Findings After Performing a Curriculum Gap Analysis

After you complete curriculum gap and overlap analyses, you can apply your findings by making programmatic and curricular improvements.

The overlap analysis will help you identify the what, how, and when of curriculum content.

Encouraging instructors to share the knowledge they glean from curriculum mapping is essential. Colleagues are invaluable in assessing students and making decisions.

Identify Curriculum Gaps With Watermark's Curriculum Development Program

Watermark helps you streamline collaboration with an intuitive curriculum management workflow while connecting your curriculum to student learning outcomes. For over two decades, we've helped thousands of universities adopt more efficient ways of collecting data to do what they do best — furthering students' success. We have the skills and expertise to develop technologies that support intentional assessment practices within institutions to improve students' learning.

Watermark Curriculum Strategy includes Student Information System (SIS) integration to connect key data, handbooks, or catalogs, whether they're printed or online. Learn how Wilmington University, Colorado Technical University, and Northampton Community College use the Watermark Curriculum Strategy to customize their online catalogs to showcase program outcomes and available courses.

Want to see our curriculum mapping solutions in action? Learn more about how we can help you build empowering curricula and request a demo today.

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