Getting Aligned: Outcomes-Based Program Planning for the Enterprise

Streamed Session Leadership

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

Curriculum planning can feel like tackling a 10,000 piece puzzle. Our institution found a way to efficiently assemble the pieces by integrating Coursetune, a curriculum mapping software, into our planning process. In this presentation, we discuss how we outlined the curriculum for four programs using a visual, outcomes-based approach.

Extended Abstract

Topic and Relevance

Curriculum planning is a complex, resource-intensive process for many higher education institutions, particularly when multiple stakeholders are involved and resources are spread thin. Using visual curriculum mapping software can help to make this process more manageable and efficient, while being less resource intensive.

In 2020, to meet the need for improved leader education in the armed forces, the Department of Defense directed that all military education programs adopt an outcomes-based approach to instruction which could be directly measured to determine utility and value for the force. As part of this effort, they introduced a more robust reporting process, in which programs must clearly demonstrate how they meet program learning outcomes across their curricula. Our institution, responsible for more than 100 courses across four programs, knew we would need a better approach for curriculum planning, design, and evaluation to achieve this new goal. With only a small team of designers and subject matter experts, we needed a way to expedite and enhance this process. 

Enter Coursetune. We identified the Coursetune mapping and curriculum visualization software as a potential avenue to save time in identifying and mapping our myriad learning outcomes and requirements and provide flexibility in our program planning, design, and evaluation processes as we transitioned to an outcomes-based curriculum.

This presentation will tell the story of how we selected, tested, and implemented Coursetune at our institution to support these new needs.  Participants will leave with an understanding of our institution’s roadmap for getting started with the tool and how it integrates with curriculum planning to support program design and evaluation processes. 

This topic is relevant to higher education institutions for several reasons. First, they must incorporate various requirements from multiple stakeholders into their curricula, which can be challenging to track in a manageable, consistent format. Coursetune provides a standardized way to visualize requirements and where they fit into the curriculum, making it easier to identify (mis)alignments. Next, higher education institutions must always be prepared to adjust for curricular changes. Using Coursetune, an institution can immediately envision how curriculum revisions or additions would affect a program, even comparing several versions of the program to identify the best option. Finally, higher education institutions have to demonstrate to multiple stakeholders how their requirements were addressed and assessed in ways that align within and across courses. Coursetune provides numerous types of automatically-generated reports that indicate how various elements of course design align across different dimensions of the curriculum.


As this is a Discovery Session, there will be inherent interaction with participants during each discussion round. Our hope is that we can use this time to address institution-specific questions, helping participants from different contexts to tailor our approach to meet their specific needs. 


Participants will leave with an understanding of our institution’s roadmap for getting started with the visual mapping tool Coursetune and how it integrates with curriculum planning to support program design and evaluation processes. Specifically, participants will be able to describe how their institution can use a visual curriculum mapping approach to manage and track requirements/outcomes, inform changes to curriculum design, and demonstrate curricular alignment.