30 Nov Six Must-Haves in a Curriculum Mapping System
By Anna Murphy, Rubicon International
Your school sees the value in curriculum mapping. The sense of urgency is there, and the beginning stages of this new task are underway to document your curriculum. Maybe there is an upcoming accreditation, a new initiative to improve student test scores, a need to establish a more concrete vertical scope and sequence, teacher turnover to mitigate, or any number of other reasons. Regardless, the need for curriculum mapping exists.
Once you choose to undertake a curriculum mapping initiative, it’s time to identify HOW and WHERE your school will do this.
There is a slew of products that can support curriculum mapping, but each comes with different prices, different capabilities, and different levels of ease of use. So, what do you weigh when deciding on a curriculum mapping platform? Here are the value adds you should be looking for:
1. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…comes configured to your school’s specifications.
Curriculum mapping systems can be robust and nuanced. Having a pre-configured system with bespoke unit planner templates and unit calendars as well as course and teacher lists is a massive timesaver.
Atlas comes configured to your school. In addition to color schemes and logos, we set up your school calendar, input the list of teachers, create and assign courses according to your school, and build out unit planner templates. Log in and you are ready to go!
2. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…supports cross curricular collaboration.
Students learn best when they see how different subjects relate to one another, when they can see the bigger picture. If you are using a system without analytical capabilities, teachers have to trudge through each other’s unit maps to find opportunities for collaboration. It’s laborious and time-consuming.
Atlas allows you to run reports designed to find opportunities for collaborations among classes. With 30 seconds of your time and a few selections, you can compare units from different classes you choose. It’s quick and easy for teachers, and in the end, students benefit from this integrated learning experience!
3. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…provides you a support team versed in changed management and process planning.
Undertaking a curriculum mapping process is no small task! It requires generating staff buy-in, organizing the tactical and strategic plans, overcoming road blocks, and much more.
The purchase of Atlas pairs you with a consultant dedicated to helping your school succeed in its mapping initiative! Our consultants are experts in change management and process planning, and cumulatively have hundreds of hours of experience working with schools just like yours. They are ready to offer you best practice tips, training, and ongoing support throughout. Atlas’s team is dedicated to helping your school succeed.
4. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…allows easy alignment to and reporting of standards.
Teachers often use standards—whether school, state, or country-created—to inform their instruction. Sets of standards are often long and intricate. How are you finding relevant standards for alignment? How do you know if you are aligning to all the standards you need to? What about power or priority standards?
Atlas is connected to a database of over 1300 sets of standards that are regularly updated as new updates become available. That latest state or provincial created set? They’re ready for alignment. Not only that, you can search all standards within your school by using the quick search feature. Does your school use power or priority standards? Flag those with ease in Atlas!
Take standards alignment a step further with Atlas analytics! As you check off each standard within your unit maps, Atlas allows you to track it. Run a Standards Analysis report to gauge how well you are aligning to standards in your units!
5. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…allows for school’s to easily implement new curricular initiatives.
Curriculum is constantly changing, and therefore the school’s approach to mapping and enhancing it, likewise, evolves over time. New initiatives and new pedagogies cause curriculum to shift—as they should! So, how does your school manage this?
The support team with Atlas provides you the chance to make changes to your unit planning template. Want to add transfer goals? You can do that. Want to create a category for teacher reflection? You can do that. Is there a new set of standards you plan to use? We can add those. We want your mapping template to evolve as your approach also does. Changes to your Atlas template not only ensure all teachers see these changes in their maps, but past information is always archived so nothing is lost.
6. Get yourself a curriculum mapping system that…documents assessments.
Students love to hate them, but assessments are how we gauge student learning. If assessments are a part of your school curriculum, you likely want to be able to meaningfully track them.
All your assessments can be tracked in your Atlas system. Not only can you see how many times students are assessed, but also how they are being assessed. Instead of just being written onto a curriculum document, Atlas allows you to make meaning of assessments. Run an Assessment Methods report to see all the ways your students are assessed in your course.
As your school considers a new curriculum mapping initiative and explores options for HOW and WHERE they plan to do this, we encourage you to consider Atlas. With Atlas, curriculum evolves with your school and you can make meaning of the curricular information. Whatever the driving purpose behind the curriculum mapping initiative is—accreditation, student achievement, or best practice—make it easier with Atlas.