Anyone outside of EdTech would look at you with a blank stare if you told them that you just mapped your correlations. Or if you said that your alignments have all been crosswalked. However, in the K-12 Education industry, this all makes perfect sense.
So what's all of this mean anyway? Let's break it down:
Correlate: We use this term to describe the process that involves matching or tagging education content to the appropriate education standard. We believe that "correlate" is the most accurate description because a correlation is a relationship between two things based on a common trait. So we create alignments using a correlation between two things (e.g. - standard A correlated to content B because they both share concept C, therefore they align).
Align: We sometimes use this term interchangeably with "Correlate." However, there are some hardliners out there that say that "align" is actually the correct term and that the word correlate is misused. We respectfully disagree. An "alignment" is the direct relationship between two things (e.g. - standard A aligns to content B). But we're really not sticklers on this one. Life's too short!
Map: While in the U.S. our clients typically use the words "correlate" or "align", our international clients ask us to map their content to curriculum (curriculum refers to standards or learning outcomes). At the same time, EdGate and our U.S. clients also use the term "map" to mean that the content has already been correlated to one set of standards and now needs to be mapped to an additional standard set.
Crosswalk: Similar to how we use the term "map", a crosswalk means that we are taking an existing correlation to standards and using that it as a basis for creating a correlation to additional standards. Both a crosswalk and a mapping depend on an underlying taxonomy to accurately inform the process.
Clear as mud, right? If all else fails, the team at EdGate will figure it out for you.
By: Gina Faulk