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Course Mapping and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Course Mapping and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

A course map visually illustrates how the instructional content, activities, and assessments support and align with your course’s SLOs. Like any map, it allows you to see the big picture as well as focus on the components and sequence of your instructional plan. You’ll find it helps keep your course design targeted, facilitates faster development, and creates a reliable reference document if kept updated.

SLOs describes what students must accomplish by the end of a program, course, or module. Align university SLOs, program SLOs, course SLOs, and module SLOs to directly connect to course content and assignments. SLOs should also be aligned to relevant Accreditation Standards and Competencies of external professional and government organizations, as appropriate. This helps ensure the course, curriculum and degree deliver the promised educational outcomes. Outcomes should be directly measurable.

Course Mapping Templates

Student Learning Outcomes Resources

Butler Resources

External Resources

  • National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment. (2018, March). Mapping learning: A toolkit of resources. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) 

For more information locating Butler University and Core Curriculum SLOs, see:

  • Butler University SLOs—Butler has developed four primary university SLOs that describe the skills, knowledge, and abilities students should gain as a result of a Butler University education.
  • Core Curriculum SLOs—Each area of Butler’s Core Curriculum has its own SLOs. (Scroll to the bottom of Butler’s Core Curriculum page and expand the header for each area to view the SLOs).

Outcomes in Canvas

Faculty can add outcomes to their Canvas courses to track student mastery of content. Program directors may choose to add outcomes to a bank in Canvas from which all program faculty can pull consistent program and/or course outcomes; to do this, outcomes are added to a “sub-account” in Canvas. Data tied to these outcomes will aggregate together so program directors can see trends across courses or across semesters. Contact CAT for more details on adding outcomes to a sub-account.

Faculty who do not have a shared outcome bank can still use and track outcomes at an individual course level. When setting up an outcome in Canvas, faculty will not only enter the outcome title and description, but they will also decide on the calculation method for the outcome. 

For more information on calculation methods, see What are Outcomes? To get started creating outcomes in your course, visit the Outcomes section of the Canvas Instructor Guide or schedule a CAT consultation.

After outcomes are set up in Canvas, they can be aligned to whole quizzes, individual quiz questions, and rubrics. For help aligning your outcomes, see:

Canvas MasteryPaths

To support mastery of outcomes, Canvas created a tool called MasteryPaths which allows faculty to differentiate content in response to students’ current knowledge of a topic. Students first take a pre-assessment, and their score on the assessment opens up course content based on their score. For example, students with scores below a certain threshold may receive remedial content. Assignments and quizzes within the MasteryPaths can be aligned with outcomes to track growth and learning. For more information about MasteryPaths, visit How do I use Canvas MasteryPaths?

Because of the complexity of MasteryPaths, CAT encourages consultations with our instructional designers to map out the paths and subsequent consultations with an academic technology specialist to implement the technology steps. To begin this process, email cat-id@butler.edu.