Can Curriculum Mapping be done in a Learning Management System?

Last week, I had an hour-long meeting with our K12 curriculum director and curriculum mapping expert. In essence, we stared at our learning management system (LMS) side-by-side with our curriculum mapping system and asked ourselves the following questions:

1) How much of the structure and content of LMS already overlaps with curriculum mapping, and vice versa?
2) Would the LMS allow all content uploads or additions be tagged with standards and benchmarks?
3) How much does not overlap at all (especially the search and reporting and timeline features of the curriculum mapping tool)?
4) If the LMS has no unit structure, is it because the faculty build their LMS pages using any format (one long page, one page per assignment, one page per unit)?
5) If we are always going to need to have two systems, would it be best just to keep them separate and iFrame or SSO the curriculum mapping tool into the LMS?
6) Could we structure the use of the LMS (one page per unit, units on calendars tied to a unit timeline report, standards and benchmarks assigned to content as loaded, essential questions in a tagged content box that makes it appear in a curriculum map search and display module, year to year curriculm map transference) or not?
7) Is there a way to transfer existing curriculum map information into the new structure in the LMS?
8) Are we being too single minded thinking that the current curriculum mapping pardigm is the only or best way to do curriculum mapping, instead of doing something new or more simplistic in the LMS?
9) Is it our goal to share all or most of the curriculum mapping information with students to make it more meaningful (and maybe even parents)? (If so, it doesn’t seem like public access to the curriculum mapping tool does this very well.)

As usual, there’s a fear of losing features when we talk about going from two systems to one (or 1.5). I’d like to think that we could say the current overall approach to curriculum mapping is X percent effective, so even if we lose some features, that’s okay as well as the effectiveness increases significantly (especially in the area of sharing with a larger audience).

That’s it for now. Our next step is to bring some tech coordinators and teachers into the next meeting, and white board what our essential goals are. We will find out if it looks like two systems are required or if the training or compromises of using the LMS (even if adapted and enabled with a reporting interface) might be worth the hassle.

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