curriculum mapping

Curriculum Mapping: An Overview

Guest blog by FSU Student, Carolyn Dang.

Curriculum mapping is a method of analyzing an academic program to find important motifs between courses (Buchanan et al., 2015). Based on the analysis, a support system can be created to help students achieve the learning objectives. Curriculum mapping seeks to answer three main questions:

  • What is taught?
  • How is it taught?
  • When is it taught?

By collaborating with faculty members and identifying core skills, the perception of the library can also change. The library is traditionally seen as giving scholarly products. However by using curriculum mapping, students can begin using the library for scholarly processes (Booth and Mathews, 2012).

Curriculum mapping + Student = ?

For most courses, I print out the two most important pages of the syllabus; the first and the last. Why? As a student, I care about the grading scale, textbook requirement, and the list of due dates. I think those are the three main pillars a student needs to be successful in a class, but what are supporting those pillars? How do we connect those pillars to create a better foundation for students?

The daily schedule for a student may include (1) attending lecture, (2) finding the assignment/exam that is due, (3) crying in the library trying to figure out what they don’t know, (4) going home, (5) rinse and repeat.

FSU libraries provides resources to students such as late night tutoring, software tutorials (through Lynda.com), and research assistance. Having worked at the Learning Common’s circulation desk for the past two and a half years, I have noticed that some students are more reactive rather than proactive. Students tend to run into major problems closer to the deadline. For instance, not understanding how to use a program or cramming five textbook chapters before the night of an exam.

I think that curriculum mapping will have positive effects on students academically and professionally. By providing resources that are catered to student’s classes, students have the opportunity to be more prepared for deadlines. This may help alleviate a burden on technology and tutoring staff with an influx of students the night before. By curriculum mapping courses, library staff have more time to prepare resources based on the course schedules and provide higher quality services to students. As mentioned by Moser et al. (2011), curriculum mapping is a method to help students connect the dots between the skills they have learned. A tight collaboration between librarians and faculty will help staff identify gaps within the student’s learning. Therefore, the library can provide supplemental resources and events to help students.

One of the resources created can be workshops. Although the main reason for workshops would be to teach students different resources, it can be an additional networking opportunity. By clustering students from the same departments in a workshop, this gives students a chance to create connections with their peers.

As a student, I think that curriculum mapping has the potential to create positive outcomes. It would construct a more collaborative, in-sync learning and teaching environment for students, faculty, and library staff. It will be interesting to see how curriculum mapping will work with a diverse set of courses and number of departments.

Sources: 

Booth, C., & Mathews, B. (2012, April 7). Understanding the Learner Experience: Threshold Concepts … Retrieved from http://www.carl-acrl.org/conference2012/2012CARLproceedings/Understanding%20the%20Learner%20Experience_BoothMathews2012.pdf

Buchanan, H., Webb, K. K., Houk, A. H., & Tingelstad, C. (2015). Curriculum Mapping in Academic Libraries. New Review Of Academic Librarianship21(1), 94-111. doi:10.1080/13614533.2014.1001413

Moser, M., Heisel, A., Jacob, N., & McNeill, K. (2011, April 2). A More Perfect Union: Campus Collaborations for Curriculum Mapping Information Literacy Outcomes. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/2011/papers/more_perfect_union.pdf