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Outcomes Curriculum Maps

About Curriculum Maps

The Curriculum Map is a tool used by educational institutions to validate the cohesiveness of their programs’ curricula. By providing a simple tool that allows a Program to map connections between course offerings and goals, Outcomes Assessment can make curriculum planning more visible to external accreditation organizations, licensing agencies, and the state and federal government. Institutions are also able to use Curriculum Maps to address any shortcomings or overlaps in their current programs, and plan for future programs.

Elementary and secondary schools are able to use Curriculum Maps to ensure they are meeting national and state goals as well as meeting local school board requests for insight into the process of curriculum development. Elementary and secondary educators are subject to increasing pressure from initiatives like "No Child Left Behind" that require demonstrations of planning and coverage of many very specific criteria. Curriculum Maps help schools and districts ensure that they are meeting the learning needs of every student.

The Curriculum Map tool provides a Program with the means to record structured data in an easily readable and conventional format. The Curriculum Map can then be shared with multiple Blackboard Outcome users and stored for reference.

The Curriculum Map tool allows users to align courses and educational experiences to Goals, and display this information on a grid. The map can be created manually, or it can be automatically generated, populating all courses in a program on one axis, and the goals for that program on the other.

At the intersection of every row and column is a space to describe how a Course is supporting the Goals of the Program. Support of Goals is determined by the logical progression of concepts in each Course and move from being introduced, to being emphasized, being reinforced, and finally to being assessed. The definition of the Levels of Support may be user-defined and a description or explanation may also be included in the Comments section of the Levels of Support field to provide more information. These comments are included in the 360º View of the Curriculum Map.

Defining the Levels of Support

Each Unit may define its own levels of support within Curriculum Maps. These definitions apply to all Programs within a Unit. To change the Levels of Support definitions for a Unit, navigate to the Unit and click Settings located on the Features menu.

The example in the following table illustrates how a Curriculum Map for a Program called "Biology Major" is being developed by a curriculum committee. Courses in any Unit that have been made public can be added as well as any courses in the Biology Department, the Unit that owns the Program. Comments are added by committee members and appear in the 360º View of the Curriculum Map.

Curriculum Map Example
Curriculum Program Level Goals
Courses Lab Safety Lab Tech Scientific Method Analyzing Data Presenting Data Tech Writing Experiment Design
Intro to Biology N/A I I I I I I
Intro to Biology Lab I R R E E E E
Organic Chemistry N/A R R E R E A R E R E A R
Organic Chemistry Lab R E E E E E E
Genetics N/A E E E A E A E A E A
Genetics Lab R E E E E A E A E A E A
Human Physiology N/A N/A R R E A R E A R E A N/A
Molecular Biology N/A E A A E A E A A E A
Molecular Biology Lab E A E A A E A E A E A E A
Biochemistry N/A E A E A E A E A E A
Biochemistry Lab E A E A A A A A A
Independent Research A A A A A A A

N/A = This concept, idea, skill, technique, or method is not part of or is not covered by course material.

I (Introduce) = This concept, idea, skill, technique, or method is introduced in the course. A foundation is created covering its historical evolution and the rationale for its use.

E (Emphasize) = This concept, idea, skill, technique, or method is emphasized in the course and students are given opportunities or explore its use, importance, and limitations.

R (Reinforce) = This concept, idea, skill, technique, or method is reinforced in the course. Students are given opportunities to practice and perfect its use, apply it to novel situations, and determine the success or failure of the applications.

A (Assess) = This concept, idea, skill, technique, or method is assessed in the course. Students are given opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and application under a variety of situations and in a variety of assignments.

A Curriculum Map plots Courses and Program Goals along the axes of a grid. Courses and Program Goals must be added to Outcomes Assessment before the Curriculum Map can be created automatically. Place holders for additional Courses (rows) and Program Goals (columns) can be manually added to an automatically generated map. A Curriculum Map also can be created manually by adding rows and columns individually.

Curriculum Maps belong to Programs, so you access the Curriculum Map tool from a Program’s homepage.

After a map has been added, a 360º View Report of the Curriculum Map becomes available by clicking the 360º View icon. This report contains links to other 360º View Reports and is formatted for printing.

The Template for Curriculum Maps is not available in Template Builder and cannot be edited.

How to Add a Curriculum Map

  1. Navigate to the Program you want to add a Curriculum Map to.
  2. From the Program Home Page, click Curriculum Maps.

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  3. Click Create Curriculum Map.
  4. Complete the Curriculum Map:
    • Name: This is a required field and must be filled out.
    • Description: The description appears on the Curriculum Map list page and can help other users identify a specific map.
    • Public: Curriculum Maps that are public are available to all users in the system. Maps that are not public only appear to users who are members of the Program that owns the map.
    • Term: Click a Term to select it and associate it to the Curriculum Map. Multiple Terms may be selected by holding down SHIFT or CTRL while clicking. Terms are added by clicking Template Builder and then Terms on the Administrator Panel. Terms added to the system automatically populate the text box.
    • Status: Select the status of a Curriculum Map from the drop-down list. Selections include Draft, Inactive, Active, and Complete.
    • Point of Contact: Add a name or other information such as an email address so users may contact the author or owner of the Curriculum Map.
  5. Select to Automatically Include: Courses, Educational Experiences, and Program Goals.
  6. Click Submit. This opens the Curriculum Map Grid.
  7. Edit the Curriculum Map Grid:
    1. Add or remove Curriculum rows and Program Goals columns to the Grid.
    2. Click Edit. This opens the Select Levels of Support page.

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    3. Select one or more levels of support.

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    4. Click Submit. This takes you back to the Curriculum Map Grid.
    5. Click Submit.

How to Copy a Curriculum Map

Existing Curriculum Maps can be copied from the Curriculum Maps list page. A Curriculum Map that is copied is automatically named using the original map’s name supplemented with a number in parenthesis, for example Map Name (1). The first copy has (1) added to the end of the name, the second copy has a (2), and so on. A copy of a copy automatically is named using the copied map’s name supplemented with a second number in parenthesis, for example Map Name (1)(1), and so on. Curriculum Map names may be changed by modifying the properties of the map.

To copy a Curriculum Map, access the contextual menu, and select Copy.

How to Modify a Curriculum Map

The properties of a Curriculum Map can be modified. To modify the properties of a Curriculum Map, access the contextual menu, and select Edit Properties.

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Curriculum Map properties appear in the 360º View Report and include:

  • Name: This is a required field and must be filled out.
  • Description: The description appears on the Curriculum Map list page and can help other users identify a specific map.
  • Public: Curriculum Maps that are public are available to all users in the system. Maps that are not public only appear to users who are members of the Program that owns the map.
  • Term: Click a Term to select it and associate it to the Curriculum Map. Multiple Terms may be selected by holding down SHIFT or CTRL while clicking. Terms are added by clicking Template Builder and then Terms on the Administrator Panel. Terms added to the system automatically populate the text box.
  • Status: Select the status of a Curriculum Map from the drop-down list. Selections include Draft, Inactive, Active, and Complete.
  • Point of Contact: Add a name or other information such as an email address so users may contact the author or owner of the Curriculum Map.

The Grid that makes up the Curriculum Map can be modified. To modify the Grid of the Curriculum Map, access the contextual menu, and select Edit Curriculum Map. Columns and rows may be added or removed from the grid. The order of columns and rows may be changed using the drop-down numerical list.

The Levels of Support information located at the intersection of each row and column may be added, removed, or modified. Comments pertaining to the levels of support can be added, removed, or edited using the text box. All information entered here appears on the 360º View Report for that Curriculum Map.