Appendix D

Curriculum mapping

Kansas City Kansas Community College is an urban community college in Kansas City, Kan., serving a diverse student body of approximately 7,000 students. In June 2011, KCKCC was invited by the Higher Learning Commission to join the DQP pilot project. KCKCC began by mapping existing 21st Century Learning Outcomes with DQP outcomes, combining both in one institution-wide document. Faculty then aligned their course competencies with the DQP proficiencies.

Subsequently, KCKCC personnel created an extensive curriculum-mapping database that revealed how and where each of the course competencies aligned with DQP items. The mapping generated a series of reports that revealed strengths and weaknesses at the course and program levels, as well as transcript analysis of graduates. Simultaneously, faculty reported assessment data on individual student learning outcomes, which informed reports documenting student performance in several different ways, as follows:

  • On a course-by-course basis.
  • As a compilation of all sections of the same course.
  • On courses within the same field of study, in a program and/or by academic division.
  • College-wide. 

As they become available, these reports are disseminated to faculty, academic deans and the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Faculty close the loop on assessment by reviewing the reports on their courses, setting goals, devising action plans to improve student learning outcomes based on the data provided, and documenting the activity in a course assessment form.

KCKCC officials say participation in the DQP pilot has helped establish a culture of assessment at the institution with increased faculty engagement. For more information, visit KCKCC DQP project.

Utah State University melded the DQP and Tuning processes into a model for institutional change. The work originally began in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences but soon was taken university-wide. The DQP was used to examine the alignment of the various components of the curriculum and the outcomes specified in the Utah State University degree profile, referred to as the USU Citizen Scholar.

Working with faculty focus groups, student services and library staff, and campus-level administrators, Utah State integrated its First Year Program, General Education (GE) and majors to delineate clear degree pathways by mapping backward from specific degree proficiencies and outlining the areas addressed by major field coursework and the potential contributions of other university units.

The First Year Program emphasizes the skills students need to become lifelong learners and provides information that students can use to navigate the curriculum and attain the degree profile proficiencies. Further, GE faculty have developed rubrics for GE courses that identify the essential content of courses, along with what competence and mastery look like in each of the courses.

The knowledge of GE “deliverables” is used to help majors determine the necessary preparation for upper-division coursework. Advisers have helped to build interactive “mind maps” to help students understand the skills and outcomes that feed into the Citizen Scholar profile from the majors, GE and the co-curricular aspects of the institution.