A curriculum map is a visualization tool that illustrates where and how learning is achieved in the program. The map cross-references courses with program learning outcomes to identify when and where outcomes are introduced, reinforced, and at what point students are expected to be proficient as they progress through the program.
At Toronto Metropolitan University, we have developed Curriculum Insights (CI), an easy-to-use online program to help faculty and instructors map their courses to the program’s learning outcomes (PLOs), and generate full curriculum maps.
As faculty and instructors map their course(s) to the PLOs, they also map the teaching methods and assessment methods to identify how students learn and are assessed on each outcome. Mapping these methods helps to identify which methods are used most often, and to ensure the delivery and assessment methods support students’ achievement of all program learning outcomes.
Our Curriculum Insights mapping program is used to visualize the curriculum and generate a range of curriculum reports. It facilitates PPR and can be used to plan curriculum modifications and to help with accreditation mapping.
It is very difficult to get a comprehensive picture of the program curriculum and to see how the specific knowledge, skills, and values build on each other across a complex program. Creating and analyzing a curriculum map reveals patterns that are often otherwise difficult to see, and helps to:
Advance Program Communication
- Foster discussion, communication, understanding, and collaboration across the program
- Clarify expectations between instructors
- Clarify overall program expectations and learning outcome
Strengthen Curriculum Planning and Development
- Engage in strategic curriculum planning
- Identify strengths, gaps, redundancies, and areas for enhancement
- Assess whether the course content, timing, delivery, and assessment align and support the overall goals and learning outcomes
Support Student Learning
- Determine whether the course sequencing provides students opportunities to practice and receive feedback on their developing skills
- Identify how and whether outcomes can be met in multiple courses/ways
A curriculum map is a required component of every PPR self-study. The map offers a comprehensive picture of the program’s curriculum to facilitate a thorough overview and analysis of the program as a whole.
We use the Curriculum Insights (CI) application for program mapping. In addition to generating a comprehensive curriculum map, CI also generates reports that map teaching and assessment methods, for incorporation into the PPR self-study.
Analysing the curriculum map with program instructors helps clarify and unify program expectations, facilitates collaborative planning, and helps the program plan future changes and enhancements to maintain the integrity and coherence of the program. Analysing the program map in light of other PPR data points (e.g. student, alumni, and employer feedback; industry trends, advancements in the field; program advisory council feedback, etc.) also helps to identify and prioritize opportunities for program enhancement.
Contact your Curriculum Specialist for these resources and guidance with curriculum mapping and analysis.
Curriculum mapping should be used when planning for and designing major curriculum modifications. Curriculum Insights (CI) can be used to map and assess potential changes to a program’s curriculum.
Major modifications should be made following a program’s Periodic Program Review (PPR). All modifications must follow the (PDF file) guidelines for the development, review and approval of undergraduate curriculum modifications (opens in new window) , and meet the requirements outlined in Policy 127 (opens in new window) .
Please contact the Vice-Provost Academic (opens in new window) and the Calendar Office (opens in new window) if your program is planning significant curricular modifications. Curriculum Specialists are available to provide resources and support.
When designing a new program, it is useful to map the curriculum to ensure that the intended program learning outcomes are integrated effectively throughout the curriculum. Curriculum Insights (CI) can be used to map and design new program curriculum.
For more information on new program development, see the guidelines for developing new programs, and related policy:
- Undergraduate Guidelines (external link, opens in new window)
- Graduate Guidelines (opens in new window)
- Policy 112: Development of New Graduate and Undergraduate Programs (opens in new window)
Please contact the Vice-Provost Academic (opens in new window) for undergraduate programs or the Vice-Provost and Dean, YSGS (opens in new window) for graduate programs if you are interested in developing a new program. Curriculum Specialists are available to provide resources and support.