Curricular Mapping

Curricular Mapping

In May 2015, the University of Delaware Faculty Senate approved new General Education (GenEd) objectives. Afterward, the senate charged the GenEd Committee to “assist departments and programs administering undergraduate majors in ensuring full opportunity for all students to attain competency in the Objectives of General Education.” As described in detail elsewhere on this website, part of this resolution required all units to review their undergraduate degree programs by creating curricular maps linking their undergraduate curricula to the GenEd Objectives. With the assistance of colleagues in the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning, this process began in 2015 and was completed nearly two years later.

On October 2, 2017, the Faculty Senate charged the GenEd Committee and the Committee on Undergraduate Studies to update and finalize the GenEd curricular mapping data. Working once again with CTAL, the committees are asking UD departments and programs to review the data they previously submitted and make any necessary corrections and updates. In January of 2018, CTAL compiled these data and submitted them to the Registrar so the data could be incorporated into the university’s course catalog. These data are now available in the Courses Search webpage which allows everyone, particularly students and academic advisors, to search for courses that provide significant opportunities to achieve specific GenEd objectives.

The video below provides an overview of the first round of curricular mapping undertaken in 2016 and 2017.  The second round of mapping was very similar differing primarily in that (a) the coding scheme was simplified, (b) codes were applied at the course level (whereas the first round allowed codes to be applied at more granular levels), and (c) programs began the process with the codes they submitted during the first round which they verified or updated.

Reports and Resources

Curriculum Map

This Excel spreadsheet (access limited to University of Delaware) contains the first iteration of the complete mapping of undergraduate courses to the Gen Ed objectives.  The original list of courses included all courses in levels 000-400 that were taught in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 academic years.  Most courses were mapped UD faculty but some were not; current details about the number and type of courses mapped and unmapped are provided in the technical details document.

As the full spreadsheet is only available to UD colleagues, we have created a public version of the curriculum map populated with example data.


The results of the first round of curricular mapping were used to create reports for each undergraduate major that had at least one student graduating in the spring semester of 2015. Each report contains background information, a major profile for the specific major on which the report focuses, a comparison profile with information about a larger comparison group of students in related majors (usually the programs in the same college or portfolio), the profile for all UD students who graduated with an undergraduate degree in that semester, the complete list of courses included in the major profile, and the complete list of courses excluded from the major profile because they were not mapped.

Like the curriculum map, these reports are only available to UD colleagues but we have created a sample report populated with example data.


To introduce the reports and generate productive discussion using the reports after the first round of mapping, we developed this worksheet that groups can use when preparing to view and discuss reports. The first page of the worksheet provides a brief definition for each Gen Ed objective.  The second and third pages ask participants to first rank the objectives in order of priority or importance for one specific program and then to graph those rankings.  The graph that is produced is very similar to that included in the curricular mapping reports so participants will be able to make comparisons between (a) the expected or desired prioritization of the Gen Ed objectives and (b) the actual experiences of students who have graduated from the program.

Technical details

Each report begins with a 2-page overview of the curricular mapping project, including the data sources and limitations.  Further details about the project can be found in this technical details document. It discusses the background of the project, how the Gen Ed objectives were defined, the initial student and course data compiled for the project, the process of creating the curricular maps, assumptions underlying the project, and its limitations.  It also includes logs that describe changes made to the reports and data as they are further refined and updated.

Curricular Mapping Guide

The General Education Committee developed this 8-page Curricular Mapping Guide to introduce the curricular mapping process and provide directions for faculty who were asked to participate.  A link to this document was included in the original e-mail messages to department chairs and directors with their blank curriculum maps in 2016.  The guide was updated for the second round of mapping.

Further Information, Corrections, and Assistance

Please contact the Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning <> to request additional information, submit corrections, or ask for assistance in using these reports to understand curricula.

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