Normed Topic

Concept description

A normed topic is defined, for the purposes of curriculum content analysis, as a body of subject matter learnable by an average MPP or MPA student in one course-week of study, typically 3 hours of in-class instruction and 7 hours of outside-class study.

As described in Normed Topic Model, each normed topic is described on the Atlas in a standard format that includes its assignment to a particular subject (see Subjects in Public Management), its associated concepts (see Concepts and Terms), readings and one or more MPP/MPP courses that cover the subject matter in the topic, and a learning outcome and assessment questions to describe what the student should know after studying the topic. Normed topics are intended to be non-overlapping in their subject matter so that the subject matter covered in a course can be characterized in terms of the sum of the normed topics taught.

One of the principal aims of the Atlas project has been to identify those normed topics that can be considered core for leading MPP and MPA programs. On the Atlas, 120 normed topics have been identified as core, constituting the subject matter required to meet the MPP/MPA Core Competencies. These are listed in the Topics database and are aggregated into Atlas Courses.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 24 May 2016.

Image: Your Voice Matters, at, accessed 15 December 2015.