Curriculum mapping is critical to ensure a program has clear learning outcomes and a path to help students achieve them. For many institutions, it can be a time-consuming, conflict-filled process. It is often difficult to get coordinators, stakeholders, and faculty to agree on what should be taught when, and it can be even more challenging to coordinate at an institutional level.
But your curriculum mapping process doesn’t have to be overly complicated or difficult. Try these tips to simplify the process:
- Start small and iterate. Review the current course offerings and identify which outcomes are covered in each course. Once you’ve done this, you can begin to look more closely at each course and add levels of Introduction, Reinforcement, and Mastery, and create a course alignment map to simplify tracking.
- Find ways to start measuring learning. Identify clear-cut assessment opportunities such as capstone assignments or major projects and start reviewing the data.
- Address obvious gaps. If there is a specific outcome that students in a program are struggling with, start there. Take a closer look at the curriculum and identify where faculty can make adjustments to help students build their knowledge.
- Use the right tools. Curriculum mapping software for higher education is essential. A digital assessment software solution can make it easy to create, track, and report on the connections between outcomes and courses. Watermark Planning & Self-Study allows you to quickly indicate whether a program outcome is covered in a particular course, and the assessment planning module actually starts building curriculum maps for you as you define where annual assessment is taking place in the program (and vice versa).
Curriculum mapping doesn’t need to be a headache. For more ways to simplify the process, check out Assessment Foundations: Curriculum Mapping.