Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum Mapping

The concept of curriculum mapping was introduced by Fenwick English[1] in 1984, to provide a visual depiction of what is being taught within a program or department. A curriculum map identifies what content is taught, how it is taught, and when it is taught. The goal of curriculum mapping is to create a visual aid to determine relationships between various components of the curriculum and ensure that learning outcomes and objectives are being addressed.[2]

Process for Curriculum Mapping

Curriculum mapping requires the program and each course to define learning outcomes.  The process benefits from the involvement of as many instructors as possible. A faculty retreat can be a useful method to both write and map objectives.  Alternatively, the curriculum mapping process can begin with individual instructors mapping the content of their courses. Then multiple instructors teaching the same course work together to aggregate their maps. Once the maps are combined, all faculty members working on the mapping project review the map to identify overlaps, gaps in content, strengths, etc.

In a curriculum map, the objectives of the program are typically written on one axis and courses (or class activities) are written on the other axis.  Within each cell, a mark is used to indicate when (either what course or lesson) that objective is taught. The following table demonstrates how components of a program can be mapped onto learning objectives.[3]

Faculty can also decide to differentiate between when the content is introduced, practiced, refined, or mastered by creating a key that is used instead of simply marking that the content was addressed.  The reasoning for indicating that a particular course or activities addresses an outjective should be recorded.

After a summary is created, revisions in course content or delivery can be created and implemented. This process can be repeated for continuous improvement and cohesion in a department.[4]

[1] English, F.W. (1984) curriculum mapping and management, in: B.D. Sattes (Ed.) Promoting Schools Excellence through the Application of Effective Schools Research: Summary and Proceedings of a 1984 Regional Exchange Workshop.

[2] Uchiyama, K.P. & Radin, J.L. (2009). Curriculum mapping in higher education: A vehicle for collaboration. Innovations in Higher Education, 33, 271-280.

[3] http://manoa.hawaii.edu/assessment/howto/mapping.htm