A curriculum map is a matrix that aligns a program’s student learning outcomes with the courses in a program of study. Curriculum maps make visible the relationship among courses to help students systematically develop and deepen key skills through the curriculum. Curriculum mapping also promotes rich faculty discussions about aligning and scaffolding courses, teaching, and assignments to effectively support students’ learning; they show faculty how a course is situated in relationship to other courses.
WSU undergraduate programs have developed and regularly update curriculum maps for their programs. Programs’ curriculum maps vary in complexity and structure, to meet the needs of the program.
How Programs Can Use Curriculum Maps
Curriculum maps can be shared regularly with all teaching faculty, discussed periodically, and revised as needed. They can be provided to new faculty as part of orientation to the department and can be shared with others, such as advisors, TAs, and students. Used in this way, a curriculum map can:
- Help each faculty member understand how his/her course is situated in the curriculum, and the essential contributions that course makes toward student learning outcomes for the degree.
- Help students see the bigger picture of how their courses fit together, and help focus and motivate their learning.
- Reveal strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum.
- Inform decisions about course offerings, sequencing, scheduling.
- Guide assessment of learning outcomes.
Resources for Curriculum Maps
- Different Types of Curriculum Maps
- WSU Examples of Curriculum Maps
- Curriculum Mapping: A Quick Guide for Programs [PDF] — including how to develop a curriculum map
- Student Learning Outcomes & Curriculum Maps Toolkit
Program Spotlights Related to Curriculum Maps
- Using Results of Course-Embedded Assignments to “Close the Loop” (Psychology)
- Assessing Students’ Abilities to Apply Concepts to Real-world Problems (School of Food Science)
- Identifying Gaps with Curriculum Mapping (Criminal Justice & Criminology)
- Getting Industry Input on the Curriculum (Apparel, Merchandising, Design & Textiles)