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One of the challenges in curriculum development/review is to make sure that clear objectives for knowledge, skills and attitudes are aligned with intended outcomes/competencies, assessment, as well as lectures/ courses/ units/ modules within and between different departments/ schools/ faculties. Web-based curriculum mapping ensures this alignment and structures the vast amount of available information in a transparent way. This is essential for all accreditation processes.

Two years ago, SMU (Medunsa at the time) started to collaborate with the Charite Medical University in Berlin, Germany, to adapt their “Learning Opportunities, Objectives and Outcome Platform” (LOOOP), an online tool for curriculum mapping. Three SMU programmes (MBChB, B.SLPA and BNSA) are currently being “mapped” within this platform and this process should be completed soon. SMU will be the first South African University with online mapped curricula.

At SAAHE/ Network TUFH conference held in Johannesburg during September 2015, Dr. Olaf Ahlers and Firman Sugiharto (both from Charite, Berlin, Germany), Prof Ina Treadwell (SMU) and Prof. Ben van Heerden (Stellenbosch University), presented a workshop on curriculum mapping. One of the aims of this workshop was to present the experiences of curriculum mapping at SMU and to motivate other faculties to map their curricula. This was also the aim of a similar workshop presented at the AMEE 2015 conference in Glasgow five days before, presented by Prof. Ara Tekian (UIC, Chicago, USA), Dr. Olaf Ahlers and Martin Dittmar (Charite, Berlin, Germany), Prof. Ina Treadwell (SMU) as well as Dr. Jan Becker (University of Munster, Germany).

In total, 56 colleagues from South Africa (NMMU, TUT, UCT, UFS, UKZN, UP, US and UWC) and 34 other universities in 23 countries from all continents (Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malawi, Malaysia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, UK, United Arabic Emirates, USA and Zimbabwe) participated.

The positive feedback on both workshops was overwhelming and SMU was able to present itself as one of the forerunners of online curriculum mapping.