How to align syllabi to the curriculum map
The purpose of the curriculum map is to identify the courses within which program learning outcomes are addressed. Based on this purpose, it makes sense that the syllabus (including the instructor’s syllabus and the “master” syllabus or “syllabus or record” for the course) would clearly contain connections to the program learning outcomes covered in the curriculum map. If the syllabi do not align with the Curriculum Map, then either the map or the syllabus will need to be revised. Syllabi (both instructor syllabi and the “master” syllabus or “syllabus or record”) can certainly contain more learning outcomes and experiences then are identified in the curriculum map, but they MUST, at a minimum, contain learning outcomes connected to the program learning outcomes identified in the curriculum map.
Here are a few of the approaches faculty have used at NAU to ensure it is clear to a student, a faculty member, or a reviewer that a course addresses the learning outcomes identified in the curriculum map:
- Numbering or lettering the Program Learning Outcomes, then placing that number of letter in parentheses next to the course learning outcome. Here is an example from Engineering, where they have “lettered” their Program Learning Outcomes “a through k.”
- Outcome 1: Know the basic concepts and the principles of vibration analysis and design. (LO a)*
- Outcome 2: Formulate and solve a wide variety of real engineering problems by solving a representative number of homework problems. (LO a,e)*
- Outcome 2: Apply your knowledge of matrices and computers to solve a variety of engineering problems, and to simulate real systems with many degrees of freedom undergoing free and forced vibration. (LO a,e,k)*
- Outcome 3: Apply vibrations concepts in designing some basic vibration instrumentation and vibration systems. (LO a,e,c,i)*
- Write the course learning outcome in a manner that it is clear that it connects to the program outcome(s) identified in the course. In the following example, you can see how the course learning outcomes focus on technology. Notice that it is not always possible for an “external reader” to know that the course outcomes are linked to the program outcome. Keep this in mind if you choose this route:
- Program Outcome: Students will understand the major developments in the history of communication technology so that they understand how innovation and institutionalization occur in different settings.
- Course Learning Outcomes:
- You will be able to write an analysis comparing, contrasting, and evaluating different technologies across different cultural contexts.
- You will be able to summarize the major technological developments in communication from prehistory to the present.
- You will write a research paper on the uses, strengths, and weaknesses of one modern communication technology.