Curriculum Map: A Tool for Mapping, Analysis and Planning

On August 30, to support instructors and faculty around B.C. as they began the hustle of a new school year, BCcampus hosted a webinar: Curriculum MAP: Demo for Instructors and Professionals. This offering appealed to 140 registrants (90 attendees) across the province and in other areas of Canada and the United States. 

Post by Gwen Nguyen, advisor, Learning + Teaching, BCcampus

Laura Prada and Dr. Anita Chaudhuri from the Curriculum MAP team at UBC Okanagan demonstrated how to use the open Curriculum MAP website for course and program planning and supporting program overviews and proposals as part of quality enhancement in higher education. 

The Curriculum MAP website was inspired and informed by Curriculum Links (University of Calgary) and customized to meet UBC’s needs and priorities. However, anyone with an email address can use the site and its open-source software for their institution. 

To start, Anita demonstrated how to approach Curriculum MAP as an instructor to ideate and evaluate a course from design and constructive alignment perspectives. With a brief discussion of the theoretical perspectives of backward design, which emphasize teaching content and activities should be derived from learning outcomes (Richards, 2013), Anita illustrated how Curriculum MAP helps instructors plan and develop courses by navigating through seven steps of learning design (Taba, 1962): 

  1. Formulate course learning objectives.
  2. Choose student assessment methods.
  3. Organize teaching and learning activities.
  4. Align learning activities with course objectives.
  5. Connect the course with institutional program outcomes.
  6. Map the course with ministry standards and strategic priorities.
  7. Provide a course summary. 

Laura then demonstrated how to use the tool to visualize mapping a course to a program’s targeted learning outcomes, aligning assessment methods and teaching strategies across disciplines and programs and by year, collaborating, making changes, and seeing impact. Curriculum MAP allows you to identify gaps in course offerings and redundancies by looking at program data presented in bar charts. Although Curriculum MAP is customized to meet UBC’s needs and priorities, the tool is open to anyone with an email account who wishes to find ways to map a program inclusive of streams and specializations.

Developing the tool was a powerful collective learning experience for faculty, staff, and students across the UBC Okanagan campus. Laura and Anita described how the tool invites ongoing human interaction among programmers, leaders, designers, instructors, and students in course mapping, program mapping, review, and development. It can be synced with learning management systems (e.g., UBC’s Canvas) so instructors can easily transfer information. 

We received great feedback on this webinar. BCcampus was proud to support the demonstration of this powerful open digital resource for course and program planning and program reviews and proposals.

If you missed it, a recording is available on the webinar event page: Curriculum MAP- Demo for Instructors and Professionals in Higher Ed.

If you have questions about this or other webinar offerings, reach out to Gwen Nguyen.


Richards, J. C. (2013). Curriculum approaches in language teaching: Forward, central, and backward design. RELC Journal44(1), 5–33.

Taba, H. (1962). Curriculum development: Theory and practice. Harcourt Brace and World. 

The featured image for this post (viewable in the BCcampus News section at the bottom of our homepage) is by Leah Kelley