Curricular Mapping Using Data Analytics to Align a Hybrid Physical Therapy Curriculum


Curricular mapping enables the connection between the physical therapy programÕs mission, goals, and required accreditation standards and elements. During curriculum meetings, decisions on assessment and teaching effectiveness are often based on perceptions rather than data analysis and interpretation. Data analytics utilizing visual pivot charts, graphing, and radar plots provide a clear visual map that presents objective data patterns, trends, and gaps within curriculum. In addition, as studentsÕ needs rapidly change in todayÕs current climate, there is a need for an efficient and effective mapping method. There is a gap in the literature that describes a simple method for curricular mapping in a dynamic physical therapy environment. The purpose of this research is to share the outcomes from a curricular mapping strategy used by a hybrid Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT) in development. Data analytics helped show alignment between the program mission, goals, course objectives, and curricular threads.


The researchers selected Microsoft Excel to catalog 661 curricular course objectives from 35 courses. Each objective underwent review of grammar, content, and verb usage. The researchers assigned each course objective the appropriate BloomÕs Taxonomy domain, level of skill performance, and CAPTE standard/required element. The researchers used the built-in COUNTIF function in Excel to return a numeric value(s) for each category. Numeric data was transferred onto a PivotTable to show frequency trends in each category. PivotCharts provided visual representations of the data collected, identification of relationships, and trend analysis for each category as it related to each course.


Data analytics from the PivotTables and PivotCharts enabled the researchers to quickly identify gaps, overlaps, and trends in the DPT curriculum. For example, the use of these tools allowed the researchers to quickly audit the prevalence and the number of objectives as well as the incidence of each BloomÕs domain, level of skill performance, and the assigned CAPTE 7D standard for each course in the curriculum. Radar, area, histogram, and bar charts suggested the DPT programÕs curriculum level of rigor gradually progressed from the beginning to the end of the program in the domain and level of skill categories. The radar charts also revealed a high incidence of knowledge learning objectives within the first through fourth semesters.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme:

As world-wide events affect the physical therapy profession; educational programs need to quickly assess the current curriculum to ensure it meets the needs of its graduates. There is a gap in the literature that describes a method for curricular mapping in a dynamic physical therapy environment. The adoption and value of radar plotting enhanced program curricular decisions by visual observance of distinctive data patterns, trends, and areas for improvement rather than perceptions alone. The results from the curricular mapping process can help engage faculty, foster evidence-based informed decisions, and satisfy CAPTE requirements through the use of data analytics for visual representation of a DPT curriculum. Strategies used may be helpful for new or existing DPT programs during the curriculum assessment process.

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  • Control #: 26711
  • Type: Poster Presentation - Research Type
  • Event/Year: ELC2020
  • Authors: David Denton
  • Keywords:

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