A well-designed syllabus featuring strong and achievable learning objectives is the key to a successful course. A complete and engaging syllabus represents both a contract and an instructional road map outlining what students are expected to know and be able to do as a result of having participated in the course. A concise outline of a course of study, it is also the students' introduction to you and to the course's subject matter, assignments, readings, and activities.
This event is for all faculty. We will provide several copies of effective syllabi while discussing the questions that shape an effective course. These issues include the development of course objectives, how to organize course content, how to design appropriate learning activities, and the elements of successful assessment and evaluation.
Event last offered
Jan 30, 2013: Syllabus Design Workshop (12-1pm, DML 233)
- Creating Outcomes-Based & Learner-Centered Syllabi, Nov 05 (video), Bill McComas
- Course & Syllabus Design, Sept 04 (video), Bill McComas
- Creating Effective, Outcomes-Based Syllabi, Sept 03 (video), Danielle Mihram
Sample Syllabi (USC):
- Template for Syllabus Design (Office of Curriculum, University of Southern California)
- Sample Syllabus: French 383 (.pdf), Danielle Mihram
- Sample Syllabus: CTSE 509 (.pdf), Bill McComas
- Charting Your Course: Instructional Design, Course Planning, and Developing the Syllabus, May 07 (.pdf), Danielle Mihram
- Creating an Outcomes-Based Syllabus (.pdf), Danielle Mihram
- Teaching Nuggets: 2.1 Planning and Organizing your Course (.pdf)
- What Syllabi Communicate about Assessment in College Classrooms (.pdf)
- Learning-Centered Syllabi, Iowa State
- Designing a Learning-Centered Syllabus, Delaware
- Haugen, Lee (1998). Learning-Centered Syllabi. April 22 & April 29, 1998
Includes: Thoughtful Preparation; Responsibility for Learning; Critical Thinking; Setting Objectives; Constructing the Learner-Centered Syllabus, References.
- Designing a Learning-Centered Syllabus
Includes: Steps and a checklist for Syllabus Design; Components of a Learning-Centered Syllabus; and Integrating Students’ Learning Objectives into Syllabus Design.
Additional Suggested Readings
- Altman, Howard, and William E. Cashin (1992). “Writing a Syllabus,” IDEA Paper #27 (Sept. 1992)
- Grunert, Judith (1997). “Focus on Learning: Composing a Learning-Centered Syllabus,” Part 1 in The Course Syllabus, A Learning-Centered Approach. Bolton, MA: Anker.
Reproduced in: Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#595 The Function of the Course Syllabus
- Nilson, Linda B. (2007). The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course Syllabus. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. DOH LB2361.N55 2007
Includes: The limits of a text syllabus; How and why graphics enhance learning and benefit course organization; Designing a graphic syllabus; Charting an outcome map;
Reviewed by Frances S. Johnson, National Teaching and Learning Forum Volume 18, Number 4, 2009
- O’Brien, Judith Grunert, Barbara J. Millis, and Margaret W. Cohen. The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach (2008). 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Includes: Setting a Framework for Knowledge; Planning Your Learning-Centered Syllabus: An Overview of the Process; Composing a Learning-Centered Syllabus; Specific activities and the rationale for their use; Tools essential to student success; Examples and a checklist.
- Singham, Mano (2007). “Death to the Syllabus,” Liberal Education 93(4), Fall 2007.
Looks at problems with the standard syllabus and what can be done about it. Reproduced in Tomorrow’s Professor as: Tomorrow's Professor Msg.#834 Death to the Syllabus!
- Wasley, Paul (2008). “Research Yields Tips on Crafting Better Syllabi”, The Chronical of Higher Education, Volume 54, Issue 27, Page A11
See also: Learning Outcomes & Objectives