The EECS Curricular Goal Map is intended to document the equivalent of
an API specification for each subject: the contractual
relationship between the subject and the surrounding curriculum.
It sketches a shared universe of curricular goals, each of which
reflects some documented level of understanding of a topic or
sub-topic of a course.
Each such goal has a unique name (identity), a brief description,
a detailed description, a list of subgoals, and a list of rubrics.
Each subject will document its curricular
role by the specification of two sets of goals:
prerequisite goals, reflecting assumptions about the
level of understanding of incoming students; and
outcome goals, reflecting expectations about the
level of understanding of students successfully completing the subject.
The EECS Department is in the process of documenting curricular goals
for key undergraduate courses, a project that we expect to extend to
our entire curriculum over time.
Exploring the goal map
On the left is a dynamic graph whose nodes represent
subjects and goals, and whose edges represent relations
between them (e.g., prerequisite or outcome relationship).
The right portion of the screen contains a tabbed text
display area, typically conveying information about the
portion of the curricular map that is currently displayed
on the left.
You may notice the graph moving to rearrange its nodes
and edges. The site uses one of several popular packages
that does graph layout via a simulated physics model
involving spring tensions and node repulsion; you can
tweak the layout by dragging nodes around on the screen.
Click on a node (a subject or goal), and you'll see
its description on the right. You'll also set that node
as the focus of the graph, effecting the subset of the
curriculum selected for display. At any point, the graphical
display includes only nodes that are in the immediate
neighborhood of the focus node. You can set the size of
the neighborhood displayed by incrementing or decrementing
the Horizon control at the top of the right screen panel.
Another abstraction mechanism that may provide useful control over the
amount of displayed information is support for the decomposition of
complex goals into component subgoals. A goal may specify a set of
subgoals, each of which can be viewed as being contained by the parent
goal. These containment relationships may optionally be represented by
fat edges on the graph. A second control, called Detail, may be
incremented or decremented to control the number of levels of subgoals
displayed. In low-detail displays, subgoals are folded into their
parent goals. At the low extreme of the Detail setting, intervening
goals between subjects are not shown, leaving just the graph of
prererquisite subjects (hopefully reflecting our listed prerequisite
requirements for each).
Subjects, Goals, and Topics lists
Clicking the Subjects, Goals, or Topics tab at the top of the right-hand screen
panel selects a list of subjects, goals, or topics respectively. These lists
can be scrolled if necessary; clicking on a subject or goal sets the
focus of the map to that node and displays its particulars in the
right-hand panel. Over time, we expect to add new tools for browsing
the growing universe of curricular goals and EECS courses that relate
Click on a subject to map it.
Click on a goal to map it.
Topics and subjects:
Click on a node in the graph to recenter the graph on
that node, and display its details here. The horizon
and detail controls, above, can be used to determine
the extent and depth of the displayed portion of the graph.