Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What is Daedalus?

I only have a minute to figure this out...
Daedalus is an Open-Source curriculum mapping software based in the widely used Drupal web platform. It requires a minimal set of information, but does its best to make this information count as much as possible.

Usually, each course, lab or tutorial is broken down into 10-20 key students learning outcomes. That's the set of tasks that will be evaluated in one way or another. Each learning outcomes are labeled to organize them in a course independent manner. It is also valuable to keep track for each learning outcomes which other learning outcomes are good pre-requisites to master.

All this information is stored into a database, you control who can work on the map and who can view it. Students and instructors gets to find out how each course fits into the big picture.

Here is an example of a course mapped with Daedalus: CSCI 1101 (Dalhousie University)

OK, you got my attention. My school is trying to figure out which software is out there. What can Daedalus do for us?
Usually, one of more editor, or project leader, will brief instructors about mapping, its use and the process in general. Our prime design principle is that one course should be mapped in about 1 hour of work in between the editor and instructors. The data is either input through a simple web form, or imported from a spreadsheet saved in the so called tab-delimited format.

Because the maps are websites, it is simple to make them available to your students and instructors. This means that the data will be useful to many people and for many different purpose. University instructors do not have a lot of time to spend on pedagogical issues, whether we like to admit it or not. However, mapping can be done if the workflow is straightforward,streamlined and the results impacts students, instructors and academic units.

To get more information on trying it out, consult this page.

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