How do we construct a curriculum map?

A curriculum map, also referred to as a curriculum matrix, identifies where and how often students are learning the knowledge, skills, and dispositions stated in the program learning outcomes. Curriculum maps are a visual representation of the alignment between a program’s curriculum and the program learning outcomes (PLOs). These maps are typically formatted as a table or grid, with PLOs listed in separate rows of the first column and courses (and other learning experiences, if applicable) within the program displayed in separate columns of the first row.

If students will encounter a PLO during a course, the level of the learning is identified (I, introduced; R, reinforced; M, mastery). These levels refer to the extent to which students will be able to demonstrate their understanding or ability for a specific PLO. Introduced means that students will develop an introductory or low-level understanding or ability with a PLO. Reinforced means that students will develop their understanding or ability beyond an introductory level. Mastery means that students should be able to demonstrate their mastery or achievement of the knowledge or skill identified in the PLO. Blank cells within the table indicate that a course does not meaningfully address a specific PLO. See below for an example curriculum map. Other formats may be used if they provide similar or additional information.

PLO 1 IntroducedReinforcedMastery
PLO 2IntroducedMastery
PLO 3IntroducedReinforcedMastery

It is unlikely that a PLO will be addressed in every course within a program. It is also unlikely that every course will address all PLOs. If a PLO is not addressed within any course, then the program should consider removing the PLO. Also, if a course within the program does not address any PLOs, then the program should consider removing the course from the curriculum.

A hypothetical example of a completed curriculum map with specific PLOs is available HERE.

Next step: create an Assessment Plan.

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