Mapping is a process of aligning learning goals, courses, and assignments or activities to ensure that learning goals are addressed in the curriculum or co-curriculum in ways that support students’ opportunities to develop needed skills and knowledge. The map is a simple matrix that illustrates the relationship between learning goals and the plan for student learning (i.e., the curriculum and co-curriculum) in a course/activity, program, or institution. To build a map, each course or activity in a program should be examined to determine which program goals they support and if the outcome is assessed within the course. Curriculum maps can also be used at the course level to document how assignments and activities relate to course-level learning goals, as well as at the institutional level.

Curriculum maps can help in the assessment process by providing immediate evidence to implement continuous improvement efforts:

  • clarifying the relationship between program objectives and course content, as well as illuminating gaps or clusters in the curriculum
  • characterizing the levels of learning (i.e., introduction, reinforcement, mastery) in course progressions
  • facilitating the identification of course-embedded assignments that can serve as evidence of learning outcomes at each level


  • Program-level curriculum map template – this is a MSWord document; an Excel worksheet is another option
  • Course-level curriculum map template
  • The COT Departmental Curriculum Map maps the required curriculum to the program-level learning goals, indicating where learning goals are introduced, reinforced, and where mastery is expected – as well as an adaptation to reflect specific communication goals.
  • Linking Program and Course Learning Goals – a worksheet to map course-level objectives and evidence to program-level goals
  • Linking Academic and Program Learning Goals – a worksheet to map program-level goals to the JCU Academic Learning Goals
  • At the course level, a graphic display of student learning goals is a powerful way to use the information contained in a course-level curriculum map by visually depicting the relationship between learning goals and course activities for students. See here for a faculty perspective on graphical displays and examples.

Once you have articulated how the curriculum and learning goals fit together, the next step is to identify your measures and determine assessment methods to gather evidence of student learning.