Curricular Mapping: Process and Definitions

Please work with faculty to determine where outcomes are addressed within specific courses. You may accomplish this in any number of ways. Two examples: 1) some departments prefer to do this together, as a collaborative exercise where faculty bring their syllabi and discuss where program learning outcomes are covered; 2) other departments utilize a form that all faculty fill out, and the chair and/or a sub-committee come together to create a draft of the curriculum map, then send it out for a review for accuracy to all faculty. In any case, I highly encourage a department-wide conversation at least at the end point of this process to discuss the accuracy and results of this process.

See Resources for Curriculum Mapping, including examples, a template, and other resources in the Sakai site for Chairs and Program Directors, in the folder “Assessment 2018”.

In the spirit of creating usable and intentional maps, please document how student learning of program outcomes is scaffolded across course levels by the designations of Introduce (I), Practice (P), and Demonstrate (D). Consider Introduce and Practice to depend on formative types of assessment (documenting how students are progressing through the curriculum) and Demonstrate to focus on summative measures that portray a student’s mastery of the topic/concept. In most curricula, students will Demonstrate their mastery at the capstone level; depending on the design, however, particular strands and expectations could be documented in upper division courses in preparation for the capstone experience. These designations also align with Bloom’s Taxonomy: Courses and experiences that Introduce a concept ask students to perform lower-level thinking (remember, understand); those that ask students to Practice ask students to apply and begin to analyze the concept; then, students are asked to Demonstrate their mastery of a concept by analyzing, evaluating, and/or creating.

Introduce (I)

The essential concepts addressed by a program learning outcome are introduced to students.  There may be some formative assessment(s) to mark student progress in their initial understanding of these concepts, asking them to remember and understand particular aspects.

Practice (P)

Students are expected to have some foundational knowledge to build upon and apply to gain deeper understanding of a particular concept/idea/theory. Again, formative assessment(s) will mark student progress, asking them to move to a more sophisticated understanding of the program learning outcome and provide faculty with the ability to apply, compare, and begin to analyze.

Demonstrate (D)

Students demonstrate, through forms of summative assessment, their mastery of disciplinary concepts and theories as they are described in the program learning outcomes. At PLU, this happens often at the capstone level through papers and projects.

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Questions or comments?
Please contact the Office of the Provost (253)535-7126 or