A curriculum map is a document which identifies the courses in a program, identifying pre- and co-requisites as well as future related courses. Once you have identified the learning outcomes for your program, the next step is to identify the courses that students complete to reach the program outcomes, and where your course fits in. This is done using a curriculum map.
When a college program is designed, each program outcome is broken down into smaller and smaller topics or outcomes until they become manageable content for individual courses; topics or outcomes are organized into courses through a process of backwards course design so that successful completion of all the courses will meet the program outcomes. In all programs, the program learning outcomes are achieved through progression through a series of courses.
What’s the role of your course in meeting your programs’ learning outcomes?
Where does your course “fit” in the program’s design?
Task: Use the Curriculum Map Template as an example, and map your course within the curriculum of the program. Once you have completed this task, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Which semester is your course located in?
- Are there pre-requisites to your course?
- Are there co-requisites to your course?
- Are there any subjects that your course is a pre-requisite for?
Identifying connections between your course and other courses in the program may help you later when it is time to identify how your course should be organized / designed / sequenced.
Once you have SMART learning outcomes and an assessment blueprint, it is time to plan how you are going meet those learning outcomes. The first step in this process is to break your SMART learning outcomes into topics. What do your students need to learn in order for them to be able to meet the course learning outcomes? A list of topics should be created for each learning outcome.
Once you have a list of topics, the next step is to sequence them. Is there a “natural” order in which the topics should be covered? Do topics build on each other? Is there a chronological sequence that must be followed? When your topics have been sequenced, they should be placed on a course map. A course map pulls together many kinds of information about a subject and presents everything in one “master” document.
Possible Columns in a Course Map:
- Learning Outcomes
- Level on Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Weeks of the Semester
- Teaching and Learning Activities
- Seneca Core Literacies
Assessment information on a course map would reflect work previously done creating an assessment blueprint, and would connect the assessment information to other aspects of the subject (weeks, topics, teaching and learning activities etc.).
A Course Map document was created by Nova Scotia Community College Academic Services. Adapt it for use in your course; we have permission to adapt it for use at Seneca.