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In terms of the assessment cycle, a crucial piece for faculty is looking at the curriculum to see where the student learning outcomes are developed (learned) and then assessed. One way to do that is to create a visual map of the curriculum, to show where learning takes place.

The learning outcomes can, of course, be staged and they do not have to be assessed everywhere they are learned, but periodic assessments help faculty determine if students are on track. Benefits of curriculum mapping are that the student learning outcomes and assessments are aligned, and that program faculty all know the path that student learning takes, which courses and experiences are important for each learning outcome, and where assessments should be given.

Curriculum mapping resources

  • Assessment How-To: Curriculum Mapping / Curriculum Matrix. (2012). Retrieved 13 December, 2012, from
    This University of Hawaii-Manoa web page provides helpful information about curriculum mapping and its use in assessment planning.
  • Curriculum Mapping. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment.  2012.
    Information and tools are provided. 
  • Liu, M., Wrobbel, D., & Blankson, I. Rethinking Program Assessment through the Use of Program Alignment Mapping Technique. Communication Teacher, 24(4), 238-246.
    This article offers an alternative to traditional curriculum mapping and includes instructions for constructing a curriculum alignment map. Includes a case study in the field of Communication. 
  • Veltri, N. F., Webb, H. W., Matveev, A. G., & Zapatero, E. G. Curriculum Mapping as a Tool for Continuous Improvement of IS Curriculum. Journal of Information Systems Education, 22(1), 31-42.
    This article presents an example of curriculum mapping in Information Science. 
  • Walvoord, B. E. (2004). Assessment clear and simple. A practical guide for institutions, departments, and general education. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
    Chapter 1 presents an overview of assessment and a set of answers to the most common myths about learning outcome assessment. Chapter 3 provides a practical overview of how to create and carry out an effective program assessment plan, with Appendix K offering a useful way to link program outcomes to courses through a professor survey. 
  • Sample Map
    From University of West Florida’s Center for University Teaching, Learning and Assessment.

Structure of a Curriculum Map

Sample mapping structure, table format

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