Course Mapping

Knowing the terms related to ID, and how to apply them, is a first step toward efficient collaboration in open course design. However, it is really important to align course outcomes, course topics, and the content that students will interact with in order to meet learning outcomes. Alignment is the term used to describe how instructors define what students will be able to do (course objectives) and how they will learn to do those things (activities). The following video provides a breakdown of course alignment.

“Alignment Video” by Carl E. Nestor is licensed under CC BY 3.0

If alignment is ensuring that the learning objectives, assessments, instructional activities, resources, and course technologies are all working together to ensure that students demonstrate the appropriate learning for the course, the best way to reach alignment is to develop a course map. Course maps are the organizational framework to show how learners will get from point A (before the class starts) to point Z (having met all course objectives). The course map sets out all the steps in between (points B through Y).

The OE Librarian’s Role in the Course Map

As an open education librarian, your role in the course map is to ensure that the course content, or resources, will be sufficient to help students complete assessments which demonstrate learning outcomes. The best way to do this is to work with the instructor to define course topics for each of the outcomes, and then find content that fits the topics defined. If possible, find out what the assessments will look like, and imagine using the materials that you use to complete the assessments. An important question to ask yourself, as you search for materials, is, “How would I use this material to complete the task in the assessment?” Remember, you are making suggestions to the instructor about what material is important for her course, so it is important to speak with the instructor about what types of materials she is hoping you will find. Also, it is a really good idea to talk with the instructor about how much time and effort the students should be putting into interacting with course materials. You don’t want to provide seven hours of reading on a topic that the instructor usually covers in a fifteen minute lecture. Work with the instructor often, and revisit the course map together, to ensure that you are meeting the instructor’s expectations, and the needs of the learners.

This page was written by Quill West for Library as Open Education Leader, it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license and contains content from a variety of sources published under a variety of open licenses, including:
  • Content created by Carl E. Nestor, originally published at “Alignment Video


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Librarians as Open Education Advocates Copyright © 2015 by Library As Open Education Leader Grant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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