As an assessment professional, I have a deep appreciation for many elements of education that aren’t discussed, understood, or used to their full potential as much as they deserve.
One such thing is outcome mapping.
What is an outcome map?
An outcome map shows the alignments, relationships, and connections between learning outcomes and interventions. Since learning outcomes can exist across multiple levels of every higher education environment, mapping the alignment of outcomes helps students and staff visualize the connection and fit between educational experiences.
Academic affairs professionals, including faculty, often use outcome maps to indicate the connection and progression of outcomes in relation to their programs. Mapping can demonstrate:
- the connection of course-level outcomes to a class assignment (indicating what is measured from the course)
- course-level outcomes to the program-level learning outcomes (demonstrating how a course fits within the overall program sequence)
- program-level outcomes to the institution’s broader learning outcomes (illustrating program contributions in a larger framework).
Outcome maps are relevant for student affairs professionals, too. Maps can help show the connection between ongoing services and co-curricular programs to learning outcomes within a department while showcasing how content can roll up to divisional or institutional levels.