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Step 1: Mapping the Curriculum (Structure)

The Office of Teaching & Learning began work with the Council on Professional Education, the Associate Dean of Professional Programs and faculty across disciplines to map the college’s core curriculum in May 2015. The process was highly effective and received strong support from faculty. Mapping of contact hours by learning outcomes, species, discipline, system, keywords, professional skills, mode of delivery, instructional approach, program goals, and AVMA outcomes was complete in the autumn 2016 and a baseline report generated.

The curriculum map is designed to accomplish the following:

  • To ensure coherent and meaningful presentation of program content.
  • To support student learning and development.
  • To learn more about how the curriculum is taught.
  • To document faculty professional responsibility and foster faculty collegiality.
  • To address accountability issues related to assessment, standards, quality, and budget.
  • To meet accreditation requirements.
  • To make curriculum refinements or enhancements
  • To support research-based strategies of curricular design and scholarship of curriculum.

Data was collected using a homegrown curriculum management tool (CMT). The process was supported by 15 faculty development sessions on the technology and data collection method, as well as individual consultation with curriculum map consultants during the map process.

In addition, faculty serving on the Council for Professional Education (CPE) reviewed entered map data to further ensure standardization and worked with faculty to improve or clarify learning outcomes for the next offering of the core. It took CPE six months to analyze the map, with small groups of specialists reviewing data in light of disciplinary and teaching and learning research, and presented resulting recommendations in a final report.

Since completion, map data have been available to faculty and valuable in identifying content and delivery points across the DVM core curriculum. Individual faculty have used the information to plan/revise lectures and to inform creation of learning modules and elective courses. Programs have also used the data to determine sufficient depth and breadth of material relevant to their disciplines.


Tips for other colleges or programs seeking to map the curriculum include the following:

  • Ensure curriculum map content can be used the lecture hour, course, department, and college levels. In other words, be ready to articulate the value of the map to instructors, departments, and administrators.
  • Make strong use of your curriculum committee to discuss and vet map categories and subcategories. This is not a quick conversation but requires several pilots of map categories and discussion with subject matter experts across the college or program.
  • Develop map directions and tips, and build those into the application used to collect data so that information is accessible when faculty need it.
  • Encourage faculty to map in teams or groups and set up specific work hours during which consultants familiar with the categories and learning outcomes construction are available to assist.
  • Encourage mapping to take place with all contact hour lecture presentations, assignments, and assessments available for reference.
  • Consider how the resulting course map might be useful to instructors as they plan for the next offering, transforming the data into a component of assessment.