Goals

Goals of the Curriculum Mapping Toolkit for Sociology (CMTS) project are to provide sociology departments with resources to help them understand their undergraduate program’s strengths and areas for growth, as well as document prevailing approaches to teaching sociological concepts and skills to students. Users of the CMTS are guided to understand the elements of a robust curriculum, as well as ways to collaboratively work with colleagues to design programs best suited to their students and institution.

The CMTS is designed by Stephen Sweet, Ph.D. and Susan Ferguson, Ph.D.. Development and dissemination is funded by the American Sociological Association and the National Science Foundation. The CMTS is informed by the Learning Systems Paradigm (Jankowski and Marshall 2017), the recommendations of the American Sociological Association (Pike et al. 2017), the Sociological Literacy Framework (Ferguson and Carbonaro 2016), and the investigators’ many years of experience serving as program reviewers and their research on curriculum design and development (Sweet, McElrath and Kain 2014, Sweet 2016). 

Process

The CMTS is designed to help departments perform a comprehensive self-study in the span of one academic year, and possibly within a single semester. It is also designed to enable departments to identify potential areas for growth and strategically prioritize efforts moving forward.

Central to the CMTS process is collaboration and consensus. Departments and programs benefit when colleagues share knowledge and listen to the perspectives of their peers. The process is also forward thinking, focusing on strategies to meet anticipated challenges and opportunities. And the CMTS prioritizes fact-driven decisions and the benefits that come from systematic analysis.

We advise that departments interested in a self-study work through all of the steps below. The CMTS provides short videos to explain the process of accomplishing tasks and tools that will ease the work involved. Usually any task can be completed in a single department meeting with limited work performed in advance or following that meeting. Click on the steps below you will be guided to more detailed instructions, as well as tools and resources that will assist your efforts.

Protection of Data

As individuals complete the CMTS, they provide the investigators with information on program design decisions. No individual, department, or institution will be identified in any reports produced by the investigators and all data are held in confidence. Use of the CMTS is voluntary. A permissions question in the CMTS allows individuals to use the tools and request that any information provided not be used in any research stemming from this study. This project has been approved by the institutional review boards of Ithaca College and Grinnell College.

Access and Dissemination

Any individual can access the CMTS and use its resources. To enhance prospects of application in other disciplines (including STEM fields), upon request the investigators will make accessible, to any interested party, the programs and documents integral to the CMTS.

Contact

Any questions about the CMTS can be directed to the investigators Stephen Sweet ssweet@ithaca.edu and Susan Ferguson fergusos@grinnell.edu.