May 17, 2022

Curricle, “A New Tool For Exploring the Curriculum” at Harvard University

From Harvard Gazette:

Harvard’s Course Offerings used to take the form of thick paper catalogs, filled with numbers and descriptions of the thousands of classes available in the curriculum each semester. In 1990, the University began offering its current online catalog listing, my.harvard, alongside these physical books, which it finally ceased printing after the 2008-2009 academic year.

Researchers with metaLAB (at) Harvard believe that it is time to update and transform the course catalog again, from my.harvard to a system that displays the curriculum as a network of connections, a continuous landscape that does not segregate courses by departmental divisions.


Source: Harvard Gazette

It is important to view the curriculum not as “a series of discrete objects,” [Jeffrey] Schnapp [founder and faculty director of metaLAB] says, but as “a living, pulsing thing—a kind of organism that reflects the values of a university, the areas of knowledge that it ascribes value to.” To capture the curriculum in this way, metaLAB researchers have created Curricle, an online platform that allows students to explore the curriculum through data visualization and mapping techniques.


Curricle aims to give students the ability to follow intellectual threads and find courses outside of the familiar. “Our attempt was to focus on exploration—not shopping, but exploration,” Schnapp says, criticizing the “course shopping” metaphor that students commonly use to describe the sampling of courses before official enrollment. “When you’re shopping, you usually already know what you want. Exploring is a little different. With exploring, you might find certain things interesting…,” he suggests, and “you’re drifting around, looking laterally, checking out the landscape.”

Learn More, Reading the Complete Article (approx. 1200 words)

See Also: Curicle Info Page

See Also: Curicle Lens Blog

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.