At CCAC, we utilized the following process to guide our thinking. For Programs, we aligned Program Objectives to General Education Goals, then Courses to Program Objectives. In Disciplines, that do not have Objectives, alignment was completed between Courses and General Education Goals. Faculty members also reviewed all course learning outcomes, aligning them appropriately to each level.
1. Begin with the broad outcomes expected of all students. (General Education Goals)
2. Work backward to design academic program outcomes (Program Objectives)
3. Design course learning outcomes that will lead to the achievement of both program and institutional outcomes (Course Learning Outcomes)
4. Collect data utilizing key assessments (direct or indirect)
Curriculum Maps are now available to view in the CCAC Curriculum Map Application, a system we will be utilizing to archive assessment data as well as search and generate reports on the assessment data collected by programs and disciplines.
These digital maps are the first major step to the creation of a sustainable process for adapting curriculum in programs or disciplines. Faculty should keep in mind that mapping is an ongoing process, adapted for the needs of our students with the goal of improving learning.
In addition, the use of backwards design ensures alignment across multiple levels at an institution.
When the program is delivered, students experience the system in reverse.
Students first participate in experiences that address lesson outcomes.
The learning that results from these experiences accumulates as students proceed through the courses and other experiences in the program.
The curriculum is designed so that it provides a coherent set of experiences leading to the development of desired knowledge and skills - students show increasing levels of sophistication and integration of skill as they progress through the program.
(Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses: shifting the focus from teaching to learning by Huba and Freed 2000)
Curriculum mapping is the process indexing or diagramming a curriculum to identify and address academic gaps, redundancies, and misalignments for purposes of improving the overall coherence of a course of study and, by extension, its effectiveness. Generally speaking, a coherent curriculum is (1) well organized and purposefully designed to facilitate learning, (2) free of academic gaps and needless repetitions, and (3) aligned across courses, programs, and general education. When educators map a curriculum, they are working to ensure that what students are actually taught matches the academic expectations in a particular subject area or skill set. (Curriculum Mapping).
Caroline Evans: Curriculum Mapping