Creating a Curriculum Map

Faculty Assessment Toolkit

Create a Curriculum Map

Curriculum maps show how learning outcomes at various levels are connected to each other and indicate the types of assignments (formative or summative) that will be used to measure student performance of those learning outcomes.

Program-Level Mapping

Map course outcomes to program-level outcomes: This type of map/chart/matrix shows:

  • Which courses are considered the main courses in a program
  • Where program-level learning outcomes will be assessed
  • Where Core Learning Outcomes are assessed or linked throughout a program

Course-Level Mapping

Map course outcomes to Core Learning Outcomes: This type of map demonstrates how student learning at the course level contributes to student growth in the broader competencies embodied by the Core Learning Outcomes.

Good practices for course mapping

  • Map only to the CLO dimensions (e.g., 1.2, 3.4) not the top-level outcome (e.g. "Think Critically")
  • Less is more: Consider which 5-6 dimensions are really focused on in the course.
    • Ask yourself:Which CLO dimensions do you cover consistently and deeply enough to know that you have several formal assessments in the class that really cover that dimension?
  • You do not need to connect a CLO dimension to each course outcome.
  • Include only the assignment(s) for each outcome that are explicitly used to assess student knowledge or skills related to the outcome.

Example of a curriculum map

Core Learning Outcome dimensions

Course Learning Outcomes aligned with CLO dimension

List Specific Assignments that evaluate students’ attainment of each course learning outcome; provide a brief description of the assignment.

CLO 1.2 Determine information need, find and cite relevant information Describe and explain general plant structure and function in relation to plant growth and development Digital video project and written analysis of plant structures


National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2018). Mapping learning: A toolkit of resources. Information retrieved from Learning Outcomes Assessment