Curriculum mapping as a tool to facilitate curriculum development: a new School of Medicine experience

BMC Med Educ. 2018 Aug 6;18(1):185. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1289-9.


Background: Every curriculum needs to be reviewed, implemented and evaluated; it must also comply with the regulatory standards. This report demonstrates the value of curriculum mapping (CM), which shows the spatial relationships of a curriculum, in developing and managing an integrated medical curriculum.

Methods: A new medical school developed a clinical presentation driven integrated curriculum that incorporates the active-learning pedagogical practices of many educational institutions worldwide while adhering to the mandated requirements of the accreditation bodies. A centralized CM process was run in parallel as the curriculum was being developed. A searchable database, created after the CM data was uploaded into an electronic curriculum management system, was used to ensure placing, integrating, evaluating and revising the curricular content appropriately.

Results: CM facilitated in a) appraising the content integration, b) identifying gaps and redundancies, c) linking learning outcomes across all educational levels (i.e. session to course to program), c) organizing the teaching schedules, instruction methods, and assessment tools and d) documenting compliance with accreditation standards.

Conclusions: CM is an essential tool to develop, review, improve and refine any integrated curriculum however complex. Our experience, with appropriate modifications, should help other medical schools efficiently manage their curricula and fulfill the accreditation requirements at the same time.

Keywords: Accreditation; Curriculum; Curriculum development; Curriculum management; Curriculum mapping.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Advisory Committees
  • Curriculum / standards*
  • Learning*
  • Schools, Medical*