Using the Atlas to Detect Curricular Gaps and Overlaps

… one way of Using the Atlas

curriculumreviewAn easy early step in a curriculum review

If a program were interested in determining the extent to which its curriculum provides instruction in what we posit to be MPP/MPA core content, it is relatively easy to compare the topics in the program’s syllabi with the list of 120 core normed topics.

First cut

A first cut can be conducted simply by aligning each week’s class topic with normed topics as illustrated for the Toronto PPG1000 Governance and Institutions:

Alignment between class topics and Atlas core normed topics
PPG1000 Class Topic
Closest Normed Topic
1 Introduction The Study of Governance and Institutions
2 Constitutional Framework Constitutional Framework
3 Democratic Reform Electoral Systems and Democratic Reform
4 Machinery of Government Machinery of Government
5 Institutional Dynamics within Government Institutional Dynamics within Government
6 Federalism Federalism
7 Federal-Provincial Dynamics Federalism
8 Cities in the Federation Municipal Governance
9 Indigenous Governance Indigenous Governance
10 The Courts and the Charter Courts, Tribunals, and Commissions
11 From Government to Governance Modernizing Government
12 Judging Canada’s Institutions The Study of Governance and Institutions

This could be repeated for each of the required courses to see which core topics are taught in more than one course, perhaps for more than one week, and which core topics are not taught in any required course.

More detailed look

If a program were interested in determining the rigour with which the courses teach the core topics, a more detailed comparison at the concept level could be undertaken. As well, comparisons of workload demands of typical courses could be made by comparing week-by-week content (see Comparing Course Workload – Economic Analysis and Comparing Course Workload – Quantitative Methods).

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 28 January 2017.

Image: Yale Student Government, at, accessed 26 April 2016.