05 August, 2010

Syllabus Subdivisions

Syllabus Subdivisions

Course information
  • What do students need and/or want to know about the course?
  • What pre-requisites exist?
Course description

  • What content will the course address? How does the course fit in with other courses in the discipline? Why is the course valuable to the students?
  • How is the course structured? Large lecture with discussed sessions? Large lecture with laboratory and discussion sessions? Seminars?
  • How are the major topics organized?
Course objectives

  • What will the students know and be able to do as a result of having taken this course?
  • What levels of cognitive thinking do I want my students to engage in?
  • What learning skills will the students develop in the course?
 Instructional approaches

  • Given the kind of learning the teacher would like to encourage and foster, what kinds of instructional interactions need to occur? Teacher-student, student-student, student-peer tutor?
  • What kinds of instructional approaches are most conductive to helping students accomplish set learning objectives?
  • How will classroom interactions be facilitated? In-class? Out-of-class? Online? Electronic discussion? Newsgroups? Chatroom?
Course requirements & assignments
  • What will students be expected to do in the course?
  • What kinds of assignments, tests do most appropriately reflect the course objectives?
  • Do assignments and tests elicit the kind of learning the teacher wants to foster? Assignments (frequency, timing, sequence)? Tests? Quizzes? Exams? Papers? Special projects? Laboratories? Field trips? Learning logs? Journals? Oral presentations? Research on the web? Web publishing? Electronic databased?
  • What kinds of skills do the students need to have in order to be successful in the course? Computer literacy? Research skills? Writing skills? Communication skills? Familiarity with software?
 Course polices

  • What is expected of the student? Attendance? Participation? Student responsibility in their learning? Contribution to group work? Missed assignments? Late work? Extra credit? Academic dishonesty? Makeup policy? Classroom management issues? Laboratory safety?
 Grading evaluation
  • How will the students work be graded and evaluated? Number of tests? In-class? Take-home? Point value? Proportion of each test toward final grade? Grading scale?
  • How is the final grade determined?
  • How do students receive timely feedback on their performance? Instructor? Self-assessment? Peer review? Peer tutors? Opportunity for improvement? Upgraded assignment?
  • What kinds of materials will be used during the course? Electronic databases? Course Webpage? Software? Laboratory equipment?
  • What kind of instructional technologies will be used?
 Course calendar

  • In what sequence will the content be taught? When are major assignments due? Fieldtrips? Guest speaker?
 Study tips/ learning resources

  • How will the student be most successful in the course?
  •  What resources are available? Online quiz generator? Study guides? Lecture notes online? Lecture notes on reserve in library? Guest speaker to explain/demonstrate online resources? Study group? Academic Services Center? Writing Center? Evaluation of online resources? Citation of web resources?
Student feedback on instruction

  • Anonymous suggestion box on the web? Email?
  • Student feedback at midterm for instructional improvement purposes?
  • End-of-term student feedback? Supplement to departmental student feedback form?