Since the introduction of OfSTED’s Education Inspection Framework, the subject of curriculum planning has obviously been a hot topic. However, as part of this, there has also been a deeper debate about curriculum mapping. A recently published article, “Are curriculum maps a waste of valuable time”, prompted some interesting ideas. As the developers of Stedfast, we think curriculum mapping is important but not at the expense of “valuable time”.
OfSTED Curriculum Review
The OfSTED document, An investigation into how to assess the quality of education through curriculum intent, implementation and impact, makes clear reference to curriculum mapping. As part of the research, when gathering first-hand evidence of curriculum implementation, they used:
Curriculum mapping and assessment materials to help identify the extent of knowledge and skills coverage and depth in the curriculum
Importance of Curriculum Mapping
Teachers and trainers don’t want to “waste valuable time” on this. Spending hours with spreadsheets or highlighter pens creating works of art is time-consuming when so many other priorities exist. But there are benefits to the process:
It increases the coherence of programmes
It helps teachers and trainers visualise the curriculum plan
It supports the discussion of curriculum planning
It helps staff reflect on the curriculum plan
It creates opportunities for cross-curriculum planning
Most importantly, it aligns curriculum activities with the curriculum intent
Stedfast Curriculum Mapping
One of the core features of Stedfast is curriculum mapping. This can be conducted in both the assessment and curriculum planning modules.
Teachers and trainers can map outcomes in the same or different assessment plans in the assessment plan module. Using the outcomes mapping report, they are able to see how one set of outcomes maps across all other assessment plans.
Curriculum maps are created automatically in the curriculum plan module. This means no late nights or wasting valuable time drawing or planning curriculum maps as Stedast does this. When curriculum activities are added to the curriculum plan, teachers and trainers align them with the outcomes. This produces a curriculum map showing which outcomes have aligned with each activity. We have also added the ability to easily see the learning, practice and assessment activities by simply clicking on the L, P and A icons.
Curriculum Gap Analysis
Organisations should conduct a regular curriculum gap analysis. Curriculum gap analysis is the divergence between what needs to be taught and what is planned to be taught. It demonstrates where learning outcomes have not been or are only partially covered by learning activities.
The curriculum mapping reports in Stedfast provide a visual curriculum gap analysis, and users are able to drill down to see the learning, practice and assessment requirements for each activity.
Curriculum mapping is an important feature of curriculum design. It provides greater programme coherence and increases learners' likelihood of covering all of the intended learning outcomes. It also drives greater communication amongst teaching and assessment staff. It encourages delivery staff to be more reflective about their programmes and design them. Finally, it ensures that teaching and learning activities are aligned with the intended learning outcomes.
Learn more about Stedfast
If you would like to learn more about Stedfast, please go to our contact page and book a free, no-obligation online demo. We would be delighted to show you the key curriculum planning features.