Mapping the curriculum at MIT through OCW

Mapping MIT's courses for learners to explore in a visual way

What is curriculum mapping?

In this example, curriculum mapping is the mapping of courses (subjects) linked by prerequisite and corequisite relationships.

three courses linked by prerequisite and corequisite links

Curriculum mapping courses and learning material

MIT OpenCourseWare publishes materials of MIT classes online, enabling millions of learners around the world to freely access MIT subject material. Over the past 15 years, OCW has amassed an incredible coverage of MIT classes. Learners wanted to know:

What courses are offered at MIT online?

How are these classes connected?

What is OCW's coverage in computers, energy, environment, or any other topical area?

Here, OCW used Rhumbl to map courses in the curriculum and visualize its course coverage. The resulting interactive curriculum map gives learners a visual interface to browse, search and access learning resources.

Mapping relationships: classes, resources and prerequisites

The MIT undergraduate curriculum was mapped as a graph — nodes are classes, and a directed edge between two nodes means that the first class requires the second (has a prerequisite). Corequisite relationships were mapped as undirected edges. Classes are grouped into departments, and all the departments were grouped under the MIT umbrella.

In mapping this curriclum, this Rhumbl curriclum mapping template was used.

We added attributes as columns to the spreadsheet. For example: a course's OCW publication information, the topics and subtopics it addresses, the link to its video page, etc. These attributes appeared in the pop-up pane of the Rhumbl curriclum map. We colored a course blue if the class is offered on MIT OCW. The interactive curriculum map allows users to search by keyword. Classes with keywords are highlighted, along with their prerequisite and corequisite relationships.

This example shows the role of Rhumbl as a curriclum mapping tool, and how Rhumbl can help draw connections for educators and learners.

For education designers looking to map in finer-grained detail, visit our other examples of making concept maps and mapping skills and outcomes.

Rhumbl curriculum mapping software showing prerequisite tree Rhumbl curriculum mapping tool spreadsheet Rhumbl curriculum mapping tool search for courses

Rhumbl curriculum map

Browse the interactive curriclum map below:

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