B.Sc. Curriculum Mapping Project
In Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 the BSc Degree programs will undertake a large-scale curriculum mapping initiative. The goal of this initiative is to collect information on how each course, within the various majors contributes to the B.Sc. program learning outcomes and the associated majors.
As the Associate Dean Academic for the College of Biological Science, I am writing to tell you about the B.Sc. Curriculum Mapping Project. This initiative has been in the planning stage for some time. I would like to briefly explain its purpose and how you can assist us in completing it.
In 2013, the B.Sc. became the first degree program on campus to have a complete set of learning outcomes, which articulate the desired skills, knowledge and values of a B.Sc. graduate. Outcomes serve as aspirational goals that guide revisions and improvements to our majors. As such they are an essential element of the Institutional Quality Assurance Process (IQAP), which all departments undertake on a cyclical basis.
For Learning Outcomes to be useful, we need to ask how our current majors stack up against these outcomes – a kind of gap analysis – so as to reveal our strengths and areas needing further review in our curriculum. The Curriculum Mapping Project aims to accomplish this very goal by mapping each course against the learning outcomes, documenting the modes of instruction, assessment, and degree of mastery expected of students. With learning outcomes in place for the degree and for individual majors, the time is now right to undertake this project.
The mapping project has multiple benefits. It will provide a clear sense of the progression of skills and knowledge developed within any given major. It will highlight outcomes that are under-represented, poorly times or over-represented, and will generate useful discussion about what the majors ought to achieve and how. It can also assist departments making decisions about course needs and redundancy, and allocation of resources.
So what does this mean for you as an instructor? The mapping project will be accomplished through a survey, which will be sent to one instructor for each core and restricted elective course in the B.Sc.. This will occur either at the end of fall 2016 or early winter 2017, depending on when the course is offered. If you are the designated person, you will need to complete the survey (with assistance of your teaching team). Because of its comprehensive nature, the survey will take a bit of time to complete (40-50 minutes) but will be worth the investment compared to the alternative of running a separate survey for each major. Over the next few months we will be identifying the designated instructors and would greatly appreciate your support for this project.
The curriculum mapping process will happen via a Qualtrics survey. Each survey will be customized using logic to ensure that questions will only be asked that apply to the majors that courses support.
Each instructor teaching during these semesters will be asked to complete the survey by following this link:
If you are teaching more than one course, you will be asked to complete the survey more than once. You can access the survey multiple times using the same link above.
During the fall semester the survey will be open from November 23rd – December 21st.
In the winter semester the survey will be open from February 1st – March 15th.
As the survey is web-based, you may complete the survey on your own time at any location, however we will also be offering drop-in hours in SSC Room1304 (CBS Computer Labs) to complete the survey. Please note you do not need to attend the entire drop-in session, just come to fill out your survey or ask questions if you require.
The drop-in sessions during the fall semester will be offered at the following times:
- Monday November 23rd @ 1:30pm – 3:00pm
- Thursday December 1st @ 8:30am – 9:50am
- Wednesday December 7th @ 11:00am – 1:00pm
- Monday December 12th @ 1:30pm – 3:30pm
- Thursday December 15th @ 10 - noon
Q: How long will the survey take?
A: It depends! However for those who have already completed the survey, on average it has taken 25 - 30mins.
Q: Can I stop and return to the survey?
A: Yes! But, you will need to return to the survey using the same browser on the same computer you first accessed the survey.
Q: How do I complete multiple surveys?
A: Since a global link is being used, you will need to complete one survey before starting another within the same browser. Once you have completed the survey for your first course, return back to the link on this page to start your next course.
Q: What are the benefits of curriculum mapping?
A: See above for BSc specifics. In general, mapping curriculum provides data which can drive discussions that support curriculum decision making processes. It opens up conversations about how courses work together throughout a program and across individual years to identify gaps and redundancies that can be addressed through curriculum committees. As part of this process, each curriculum committee within the BSc will receive a customized report detailing the instructional methods, assessment methods, learning outcome sequencing, and high impact practices within the program.
Q: What happens after curriculum mapping?
A: Curriculum mapping is often used as part of ongoing continuous improvement initiatives. The Educational Development team within Open Learning and Educational Support will be available to offer support to departments after the data collection phase to help identify and implement changes that the departments wish to make.
Q: Is my course being evaluated?
A: No! Curriculum mapping processes understand that each course plays a unique role within a curricula and looks to identify how all the courses and work together to best suit student learning.
Q: Who will have access to the course data?
A: The Educational Development team supporting this process will have access to the data on a secure server to develop reports for curriculum committees and the BSc AVPAs office. All information will be used for continuous improvement process and none will be shared
publically with student, parents, or other faculty members outside of the relevant majors / curriculum committees.
Q: What does term x mean?
A: If you are unsure of a term when working through the survey, please feel free to contact Clarke or Jenn (see the bottom of the page for their contact information).
Q: What if I am using an innovative instructional method not included in the list provided in the survey?
A: (a) That’s awesome! (b) Capture that information using the other selections within the instructional method or assessment section. A catch-all text box is also provided at the end of the survey for you to write in anything else that is relevant about your course.
If you have any questions about the survey itself please feel free to contact Jennifer Reniers or Clarke Mathany.
The University 's central curriculum mapping website highlights the role and value curriculum mapping adds to a course or program. On the site, you will find tools to help with the curriculum mapping process including questions to help lead and initiate curriculum mapping exercises.
The University of Guelph developed its own curriculum mapping tool, Curricket. This tool involves a questionnaire for each instructor of the courses involved in the exercise. Common questions are then asked to each instructor regarding where and how various learning outcomes are delivered and assessed within their course. The data from each instructor is then tabulated and a report is produced. An example report is available here.
Course Progression Mapping
Centre for Open Learning and Educational Development (COLES) has developed course [major] progression maps for most majors within all degree programs at the University of Guelph. These maps are graphical representations of the core courses and restricted electives within a major.
Courses with similar subject areas are colour coded to highlight common threads throughout the major.
These progression maps are available on the COLES website.