Creating a Course Map

September 18, 2023

A course map is a visual representation of the ways in which your course components and objectives align. It is generally broken down by module with each activity and assessment listed alongside its corresponding module-level learning objective. Alignment with specific course learning objectives is also shown. 

In addition to being a helpful resource for students, a course map is a great tool for ensuring alignment as you design, revise, or review your course.  

Benefits of Course Maps:

  • Provide a roadmap with clear expectations for learners
  • Aid in evaluating the alignment of your materials, activities, and module and course learning objectives. 
  • Help ensure learning builds appropriately as the course progresses 

If you’re designing a new course, we suggest creating a course map as a first step after writing your course learning objectives. However, the process of creating a course map is also useful in reviewing or evaluating an existing course. You may find areas you can clarify or improve upon as you create this visual. 

Alignment refers to the direct link between course components and objectives. In a well-aligned course, all the components (materials, tools, activities, assignments, assessments, and module objectives) support overall goals of the course – the course objectives, leading students directly to the desired outcome.

If you’re working toward getting your course Quality Matters certified, note that a course map is now required for external (official) reviews. The reason for this is that it helps reviewers easily see the connections between all of your assessments, activities, materials, and objectives. 

You’ll find a template and a sample course map in our QM at Clemson Canvas site. 

If you’d prefer to begin with a less linear approach, you might consider a mind mapping tool to help you brainstorm and make connections before creating the map. 

For more information on course maps, visit The Online Course Map Guide

To consult with one of our experts on your course map, or to learn more about Quality Matters, book an appointment

Upcoming Events

Building Your Course in Canvas (BYCC)

Fridays 1-3PM, September 29 – October 20

Are you planning to teach a new online course or convert a face-to-face (or synchronous) course to an online asynchronous version? Do you want to learn best practices for building a course in Canvas? We have a few spots available for our upcoming workshop Building Your Course in Canvas (BYCC)!

Each session will be divided between the presentation of pedagogy and design principles and hands-on workshop time for instructors to develop their Canvas courses. We will discuss course alignment, engaging learners, and connecting course components while empowering you with the tools you need for a successful online course. Participants who complete the workshop will receive an online badge. 

If you are interested in joining us, please email Jana Radley ( by Thursday, September 21. 

Quick Hits – Turnitin and ChatGPT

Thursday, September 21, 3:30-4:00 PM

Join this training to have your questions on Turnitin’s new AI chat text detection feature answered. Whether you have a specific question or want to see this feature demonstrated, this training opportunity is your time to work with one of our Turnitin admins. When registering, choose whether to have a specific topic covered, enter your question, or both. 

Facilitated by Gray Jackson, Learning Technology Specialist.

Modality: Virtual and synchronous—an Outlook Calendar invite, with the Zoom link, will be sent.
Registration: Quick Hits: Turnitin & ChatGPT on September 21st .

Engaging Discussion Boards

Wednesday September 27, 1:30-2:30 PM

Discussion boards can be the bane of your teaching experience and your student’s learning experience. But with a little care, they can be a compelling source of online engagement that encourages active peer learning. Join this presentation to learn about designing quality discussion board structures and prompts that translate to meaningful learning for your students.

Facilitated by James Butler, Digital Learning Strategist.

Modality: Virtual and synchronous—an Outlook Calendar invite, with the Zoom link, will be sent.
Registration: Workshop Wednesday: Engaging Discussion Boards on September 27th .  

Clemson Online Fall 2023 Events Calendar

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Review our Fall 2023 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust Summer lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on inclusive practices for online education, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact James Butler with any questions regarding these sessions. 

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