The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) supports Institutional and Program Assessment.
Please contact us with any questions or requests concerning Institutional Assessment, Program Assessment, measurement tools, or surveys.
The Institute for Teaching and Learning Excellence supports Classroom Assessment. Please contact them with questions or requests concerning this area of assessment.
This page serves as a resource for faculty who wish to map their program curriculum to program goals and/or student learning outcomes. Beginning Fall 2011, the Faculty Senate Academic Assessment Committee voted unanimously to suggest programs begin submission of curriculum maps as part of their annual programmatic assessment. This process is managed by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE), who is available for assistance and support in this and many other areas of Academic Assessment.
What is curriculum mapping?
For purposes of programmatic assessment, a curriculum map aligns instruction with desired program goals and student learning outcomes. A curriculum map is a matrix listing program courses down the first column and either program goals or student learning outcomes across the top row. Using one of several possible keys, each intersecting cell then denotes whether a particular goal or outcome is introduced ('I'), reinforced/emphasized ('R' or 'E'), or mastered ('M') within the corresponding course. Cells with a corresponding letter indicate a course in which the goal or outcome is present, thus creating an opportunity for program assessment.
What can curriculum mapping do for my program?
For faculty, completed curriculum maps:
For students, viewing curriculum maps:
How do we do it?
Multiple methods exist for creation of curriculum maps. The chosen technique depends on factors such as the size of the program faculty, the breadth of coursework, the number of required courses from other programs, utilization of time at faculty retreats or monthly meetings, the cooperation and participation of adjunct faculty, etc.
Perhaps the best practice is to utilize time when a majority of faculty is present so that substantive comments and discussions ensue. This guarantees faculty ownership of the curriculum map and, by extension, the curriculum being taught, program goals, and student learning outcomes. Present the faculty with 2 course matrices, with all required/core and required individual track (if applicable) courses down the leftmost column: one matrix listing program goals across the top, the other listing student learning outcomes across the top. Faculty who teach the courses are often in the best position to give "on the ground" accounts of the course content, while other faculty who share discipline expertise can also provide useful insight. Once the matrix is completed with the lettering key (I-R/E-M), faculty can discuss any possible issues they see.To counter any overstating of what their courses cover, encourage faculty to put a circle around any I, R/E, or M in which the goal or outcome is addressed in tests, classwork or graded assignments.
So we made our map; now what? What does it suggest? How do we use this?Here is what to look for in your completed curriculum maps:
So are we done?
Best practices suggest that as faculty and disciplines evolve and change over time, curriculum maps may also. It is a great idea to revisit the map during the programmatic assessment cycle, noting changes that are made or should be made.It is a good idea to provide new adjunct and full-time faculty with the completed and revised curriculum maps, allowing them to know what is expected in terms of content in their assigned courses. Remember that faculty may choose to measure outcomes in varied ways depending on their teaching style, grading tools, and course content.
Advanced Mapping Techniques
While basic curriculum mapping involves a program's required and core courses, advanced mapping takes into account required courses from other programs as well as electives. Programs should ultimately be able to answer the question, Why is this course a part of our curriculum? In other words, all courses, both within and without the major, across all tracks, required and elective, should ultimately relate to one or more program goals and outcomes. Otherwise, the courses may be superfluous to a program's degree requirements. Curriculum mapping can help identify these extraneous requirements, or help solidify the current curriculum as necessary for a student's degree.
Examples of Curriculum Maps
Sources for Curriculum Mapping information:
Kember, David, Amber Ho, and Celina Hong. "The importance of establishing relevance in
motivating student learning." Active Learning in Higher Education November 2008, 9(3):
Suskie, Linda. 2009. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. San Francisco:
Uchiyama, Kay Pippin and Jean L. Radin. 2009. "Curriculum mapping in higher education: A
Vehicle for collaboration." Innovative Higher Education 33:271-280.
Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. 1997. Mapping the big picture: Integrating curriculum and assessment
K-12. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Jacobs, Heidi Hayes. 2004. Getting results with curriculum mapping. Alexandria, VA:
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Udelhofen, Susan K. 2005. Keys to curriculum mapping: Strategies and tools to make it work.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Walvoord, Barbara E. 2010. Assessment Clear and Simple. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
The Office of Academic Affairs and the Academic Assessment Committee offer funding for projects related to the assessment of student learning, for travel for assessment-related meetings, for continued development of assessment projects and for program improvement projects growing out of assessment results. Note that these funds will be allocated for the current year only and will need to be spent by June 30. It will not be possible to provide continuing, base support for projects from these funds.
Requests for funding should be submitted as email attachments in Word to Teresa Andrews in the Office of Academic Affairs. To see if your request qualifies, you may submit a brief email as a short narrative with simply the request and the justification.
Funds are available to support the development and implementation of projects to assess student learning. Preference will be given to projects that have a clear link to the assessment plan of an academic program. Requests for funds from this pool should describe the project in brief narrative format and should include a breakdown of the funds requested into major budget categories, e.g., travel, supplies and expenses, equipment.
Funds are available to support specific projects for the improvement of academic programs at IU Southeast that arise from the assessment of student learning. The projects must be based on assessment data and must address issues for program improvement that the faculty of the program have identified after evaluating those data. Requests for these funds should include:
Requests must be endorsed by the appropriate dean and evaluated on a rolling basis, continuing until all the funds are committed. If there are any questions about either of these funds, please contact Gil Atnip.
2013-14 Academic Program Assessment Reports are due May 11, 2015. Coordinators, please check your email for step-by-step instructions on report submission.
The new WEAVE assessment and strategic planning software will be fully implemented September 1, 2015, for all academic programs. Over the next few weeks, programs will be given access and instructions to their WEAVE site, with access to their program learning goals, student learning outcomes (SLOs), measures, tools, and data results from 2010-11 through 2013-14. Data from 2014-15 will be added this summer.
In Fall 2015, the typical academic program cycle will resume, and coordinators will be given updates as to the status of their assessment cycle and detailed instructions on submitting their 2014-15 assessment report.
One primary goal of the OIE assessment team is to work with faculty of all programs, especially those with annual or biennial assessment cycles, to improve programmatic assessment and facilitate each program to achieve triennial cycle status. As of Fall 2013:
Are you a new coordinator? Or are you planning on stepping down as coordinator within the next year? The Assessment Coordinator Guidelines provides information for assessment program coordinators. It is a good tool to pass along.