Making your curriculum map

You may make your curriculum map using any program that display information in the form of a table. Excel is recommended, though you may use any program. For each program, you need your approved program learning outcomes (PLOs). Keep in mind that if your PLOs are grouped by theme, you need to use each PLO in your map, rather than the theme. For example, if you have a theme of "Critical Thinking" in your PLOs that lists three bullet points underneath it, then each of these bullet points is a PLO and must be included in your curriculum map, one per column. Display only one PLO in each column across the top of the table.

On the left-most column of the table, list each course a student in your program can take to fulfill a graduation requirement, along with any relevant milestones. Each row should contain only one course or milestone. For courses that are part of a series, you should put each part in a separate row, as these series courses often cover different material or cover the same material at different depths.

Once the PLOs, courses, and milestones are in a table format, it is best to fill it in using input from as many faculty as possible. Some departments are choosing to do this together at faculty meetings, others send it over email for each faculty member to complete the part of the map related to the courses they teach. This is not an exercise to be handled by just one or two faculty, but must involve all faculty in order to give a meaningful and accurate portrayal of your program's curriculum.

For each course or milestone, you want to mark to which extent each PLO is covered. Most often, a three-point scale is used, though you may come up with a scale that makes the most sense to you as long as you describe your scale in your document. An example of a commonly used three-point scale for curriculum maps is:

  • Introduced (I): for any course or milestone where a student is first introduced to the knowledge or first begins developing the skill described in the PLO
  • Practiced (P): for any course or milestone where a student has the opportunity to better develop the skill or knowledge described in the PLO
  • Demonstrated (D): for any course or milestone where a student has the opportunity to demonstrate a high level of achievement of the skill or knowledge described in the PLO

A single course or milestone may cover a PLO at various levels. It may also be that the level at which a PLO is covered depends on the faculty member who teaches it. In either case, these multiple scores can be documented on the map.

If you would like to see examples of curriculum maps from another department, please contact the A-Team.