Though faculty committees can prove efficient in mapping program sequences, conflicts over committee leadership can pose residual challenges. Faculty tend to advocate for the courses they teach, often without considering the broader aims of the program. They also have a limited understanding of the general education and prerequisite courses included in their program.
On the other hand, deans are often unfamiliar with the content knowledge provided by all of the courses within their departments and struggle to optimize program efficiency while maintaining departmental morale.
Traditional approaches to curricular development often result in a single faction being charged to lead, resulting in suboptimal program development and diminished engagement across the board. Therefore, effective program mapping must allow for shared ownership of the sequencing process across campus knowledge bases.
Linn-Benton Community College relies on a crowdsourcing technique to elicit participation in program-map construction across campus. Using a simple web tool that has program courses preloaded, Linn-Benton faculty are invited to submit proposed program maps to advising staff, who use this input to construct the final maps. This allows for widespread participation in the mapping process while avoiding the contentious question of who will “lead.”
Faculty have the option of constructing part-time (9 credits) and full-time (15 credits) maps, as well as offering alternative course suggestions in an open-field text box. This flexible and easily implemented format gives all faculty at the college the opportunity to be involved in the program-mapping process and to leverage their program-specific knowledge.