ILO Alignment Matrix
The purpose of assessment in higher education is to evaluate and improve student
learning. Institutional mapping of student learning outcomes offers a diagrammed
space to explore how and to what extent the university mission extends to both the
classroom and its students. A comprehensive assessment plan requires measuring student
learning from the institutional level down to the course level, examining the relationships
that exist at each level along the way. The ability to see the parts as a whole
(through a holistic view) allows one to view the path
as well as the final outcome, thus making the process more transparent.
"Mapping" provides a view of the path while also capturing curricular coherence
through the exploration of alignment between learning outcomes, courses, programs,
syllabi, curriculum, instructional activities (pedagogy), and assessment of learning
(Cuevas, Matveev, & Miller, 2010; Allen, 2004, 2006; Driscoll & Wood, 2007; Maki,
2004). "Mapping is a practical tool that works to achieve transparency and intentionality
in program curriculum, general education competencies, institution-wide learning
outcomes, and courses. Mapping tools are simple, straightforward, immediately engaging
to faculty, and provide visual, easily interpreted...data" (Driscoll, 2012).
The mission, values and institutional learning outcomes (ILOs) are shared criteria
that all students are expected to achieve during their educational experience. Mapping
identifies, for both students and faculty, where this may occur in the curriculum.
An alignment matrix helps to make the connections and curriculum more transparent,
while demonstrating the journey. The use of outcomes defines the level of sophistication
and complexity of the expectations and helps to evaluate the integrity of the curriculum.
A curricula matrix at the institutional level provides a holistic view of the student
experience and demonstrates the relationships and progressions (Borrego, 2006).
Developing a matrix to demonstrate program alignment with the institution’s mission
and outcomes allows for examining the student experience beyond one’s discipline.
Interactive Alignment Matrix
To follow an interactive alignment matrix, beginning with the University’s Core
Commitments and ending with a course and its outcomes, please click the Interactive
Alignment Matrix button.
For more information about institutional alignment and curriculum mapping, please
Meaningful Assessment: The Benefits of Institutional Alignment.