Anyone who has had apprentices go through an endpoint assessment may have been asked to submit a showcase portfolio that maps to the apprenticeship standards. Interestingly, unlike the old-fashioned NVQs or Diploma programmes, the showcase portfolio does not need to be as packed with evidence as portfolios used to be. The introduction of apprenticeship standards has meant that education and training providers have had to rethink the types of evidence that they want learners to gather for their EPA portfolio. Education and training providers also have to rethink how they deliver their training as the new OfSTED Inspection Framework has introduced the Quality of Education judgement. Like the EPA portfolios, providers are going to have to rethink how they develop new or update their existing curriculum plans. We have already written about the curriculum plan design, but we thought it might be helpful to talk about apprenticeship curriculum mapping.
The first thing to consider with curriculum mapping is the actual purpose. Curriculum mapping is a process that allows providers to consider what is being delivered on apprenticeship programmes, how it is being delivered and most importantly which standards are being covered. Providers need to remember that a curriculum plan is not a lesson plan. Curriculum plans, under the new inspection framework, are to demonstrate the intent, implementation and impact. Curriculum plans are the overall framework of what is being delivered and when. A curriculum map is traditionally a graphical interpretation of the elements being delivered in the curriculum plan.
Apprenticeship Standards Curriculum
The new standards give providers a clear structure of the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours expected to be demonstrated by the apprentice at the end of their programme. This standards-based delivery leads to an increase in the purpose of curriculum maps as they show what is happening against each standard but, more crucially, what is not. If you haven’t planned delivery activities for one or more standards, then there will be an expectation that the learner will not successfully complete their programme. Missing standards in the delivery can be mitigated by using curriculum maps.
Stedfast Curriculum Mapping
We have built curriculum mapping tools into Stedfast, which is an important part of curriculum planning. Users are able to create multiple activities that make up the curriculum. Each activity has 3 steps:
The first step in adding curriculum activities is to give the activity a title and description. In this step, users are also able to add when this will take place within the overall programme. If the activity is, for instance, a stand-alone course that is credit-bearing then this can also be recorded.
Users are then able to select if the activity involves learning, planning and/or assessment.
In step 2, the user is then able to select the standards that this curriculum activity will cover. This is the driver of the curriculum map.
In the final step, users are then able to add the detail of the activity. Only the sections will be displayed which have been selected in Step 1. Once the activity detail has been created, the user can upload curriculum resources to each section.
The result of adding curriculum activities is that a curriculum map is automatically generated, which can then be used to check that all of the standards have been addressed by curriculum activities.
Users can hover over each of the apprenticeship standards codes to see the full description. They can also click on the activity icons to see the underlying details: