Getting started with curriculum mapping in a veterinary degree program

J Vet Med Educ. 2009 Spring;36(1):100-6. doi: 10.3138/jvme.36.1.100.


The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, UK, recently initiated a curriculum-mapping project to develop a tool that would facilitate curriculum review, improve integration and clarity across the curriculum, and provide a transparent method of demonstrating outcomes for quality-assurance purposes. The key finding from this project was that the curriculum-mapping process is a more resource-intensive undertaking than expected, and one that should not been taken lightly. At the time the project began, no commercial software was available that could be integrated with the program's other online systems or had content appropriate to an outcomes-based veterinary degree program. We recommend that future projects ensure a minimum of one dedicated full-time staff member, plus adequate educational technology support to develop a coherent and consistent format for the curriculum map that is integrated with the rest of the local online environment. Identifying the main focus of the map is also recommended at an early stage, as is the instigation of a small-scale pilot exercise to identify major local issues before starting the full mapping process. Future sustainability and development of a curriculum map also require buy-in from colleagues to ensure that relevant components of the map (e.g., learning objectives) are maintained and developed appropriately. This article is aimed at our colleagues who are considering starting a curriculum-mapping process at their institutions; we provide a brief overview of curriculum mapping, based on current literature, and then illustrate the process using our own experiences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benchmarking
  • Curriculum* / standards
  • Education, Veterinary / organization & administration*
  • Education, Veterinary / standards*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • United Kingdom