- Writing a course description
- Creating a course schedule
- Outlining course policies
- Adding grading criteria
- Summarizing the objectives and outcomes
- Distributing an online syllabus
Skill Level Beginner
- [Voiceover] There's an old joke in academic circles that goes something like this. A student walks up to a professor one day and says, "How are you today, professor?" And the professor looks at the student, shrugs his shoulders, and says, "I don't know. "What does the syllabus say?" Okay, so it's not the funniest of jokes. But the point is that a syllabus is pretty important to both students and the professor. Unfortunately, the topic of writing an effective syllabus is often overlooked. Yet to run a successful class, it's critical to get the syllabus right.
In my 20-year career as a professor, one of my jobs has been to write an effective syllabus for each one of my courses. While I didn't always write the perfect syllabus, I had learned through trial and error what should be on a syllabus and what should be left off. Taking a critical eye to the various elements that make up a typical syllabus will enable you as a professor to create a document that is helpful, easy to use, and provides the right information for your students. One more thing to keep in mind.
Your academic institution may have a required syllabus format or even a syllabus template. Seek out any required documents or templates so you have the right format for your institution. The tips in this course will just enhance what your institution already provides. Now please join me as I share with you my experiences, insights, and tips for creating a top-notch syllabus that will serve both you and your students.