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University of Connecticut Assessment

Assessment Primer:
Curriculum Mapping

Plan for designing and delivering learning outcomes:
In designing course outcomes

  • Start first with the broad outcomes expected of all students
  • Then work backward to design academic program outcomes
  • Finally design course outcomes that will lead to the achievement of both program and institutional outcomes

When the program is delivered, students experience the system in reverse

  • Students first participate in experiences that address lesson outcomes
  • The learning that results from these experiences accumulates as students proceed through the courses and other experiences in the program
  • The curriculum is designed so that it provides a coherent set of experiences leading to the development of desired knowledge and skills – students show increasing levels of sophistication and integration of skills as they progress through the program

(Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: shifting the focus from teaching to learning by Huba and Freed 2000)

mapping

Curriculum mapping makes it possible to identify where within the curriculum learning objectives are addressed.  In other words, it provides a means to determine whether your objectives are aligned with the curriculum.

Alignment – the curricula must be systematically aligned with the program objectives.  Alignment involves clarifying the relationship between what students do in their courses and what faculty expect them to learn.  Analyzing the alignment of the curricula with program objectives allows for the identification of gaps which can then lead to curricular changes to improve student learning opportunities.

Approach to determining the alignment of courses with the program objectives – create a matrix:

Curriculum Alignment Matrix
(Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Allen 2004)
Course Program Objective 1 Program Objective 2 Etc.
100 I    
101   P  
102 D P  
103 I D  
Etc.      
  I = introduced, P = practiced, D = demonstrated

Aligning course objectives to program objectives may be accomplished by a curriculum alignment matrix which maps each onto the other; a checkmark indicating coverage or an indication of the level of coverage can be used.

 

Similarly, a course alignment matrix may be used to indicate where course objectives support the overall objectives of the program.

Course Alignment Matrix
(Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Allen 2004)
Course Objectives Program Objective 1 Program Objective 2 Program Objective 3 Etc.
Course Objective 1 B      
Course Objective 2 B B    
Course Objective 3   B    
Course Objective 4     I  
Etc.     A  
B= basic, I = intermediate, A = advanced expectation for this objective

Mapping of outcomes to educational experiences may also be done:

Program- or Institution-level Map
(Assessing for Learning: Building a sustainable commitment across the institution by Maki 2004)
Learning Outcomes Course or Educational Experience #1 Course or Educational Experience #2 Etc.
Outcome #1 I    
Outcome #2 E R  
Outcome #3   R  
Outcome #4 I E  
Etc.      
I = introduced, R = reinforced, E = emphasized

An example outlining the connections between program objectives and courses:

Example of curriculum mapping
(Based on “Defining Outcomes for Programs and Courses”, Higher Learning Commission Workshop
Making a Difference in Student Learning: Assessment as a Core Strategy by Pagano 2005)

Martha Stewart College
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Party Planning

Program Objectives:

All students with a major in Party Planning will be able to:
  • Develop and execute parties for a variety of situations and for diverse clientele.
  • Create complete menus for a variety of events.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the biochemical properties of foods and liquids.
  • Plan, price, and budget a variety of parties.
  • Develop successful marketing strategies for a party planner.
  • Anticipate and respond to emergencies in parties they are running.
  • Train and manage staff.

Party Planning
Core Courses:

PP 110 Introduction to Party Planning
PP 200 Party Budgeting and Purchasing
PP 201 Fundamentals of Catering
PP 240 Home Decorations
PP 260 Crisis Management
PP 290 Capstone Course/Internship

Details on one of the courses:

PP 201: Fundamentals of Catering
By the end of the semester, students should be able to
  • Create and develop a food and beverage menu for a variety of parties
  • Budget and price menus for a variety of parties
  • Develop realistic timelines for delivering and preparing food and ancillary party accoutrements.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of food varieties and appropriateness for different occasions.
  • Make appropriate decisions regarding staffing at a variety of parties.

 

(Example Continued)

Martha Stewart College
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Party Planning

  Program Objectives
#1
Develop and execute parties for a variety of situations and for diverse clientele.
#2
Create complete menus for a variety of events.
#3
Demonstrate an understanding of the biochemical properties of foods and liquids.
#4
Plan, price, and budget a variety of parties.
#5
Develop successful marketing strategies for a party planner.
#6
Anticipate and respond to emergencies in parties they are running.
#7
Train and manage staff.
PP 110
Introduction to Party Planning
I       I   I
PP 200
Party Budgeting and Purchasing
      I P    
PP 201
Fundamentals of Catering
D   I        
PP 240
Home Decorations
      P D    
PP 260
Crisis Management
      I   D D
PP 290
Capstone Course
D P     P D D
B = basic, I = intermediate, A = advanced expectation for this objective

 

(Example Continued – Mapping of the objectives of a single course)

Martha Stewart College
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Party Planning

  Program Objectives
#1
Develop and execute parties for a variety of situations and for diverse clientele.
#2
Create complete menus for a variety of events.
#3
Demonstrate an understanding of the biochemical properties of foods and liquids.
#4
Plan, price, and budget a variety of parties.
#5
Develop successful marketing strategies for a party planner.
#6
Anticipate and respond to emergencies in parties they are running.
#7
Train and manage staff.
PP 110
Objective #1
B        
PP 200
Objective #2
A   A      
PP 201
Objective #3
B   B       A
PP 240
Objective #4
  I B        
PP 260
Objective #5
          B A
B = basic, I = intermediate, A = advanced expectation for this objective

 Curriculum Mapping Example – Business Program

An example showing the mapping of learning competencies with Business courses (3 page  pdf document)

Curriculum Mapping Example – Engineering Program

An example of a UCLA Engineering program curriculum mapping (2 page  pdf document)