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How to Write a Syllabus

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How to Write a Syllabus

مُساهمة من طرف ايمان في الأربعاء أبريل 03, 2013 9:34 pm

How to Write a Syllabus
By Tara Kuther, Ph.D., About.com Guide

If you're teaching a class next semester, preparing a syllabus (and reviewing and revising it) should be your top priority. During my college years syllabi varied dramatically across professors. Some prepared 8-10 page packets of objectives, expectations, assignments, and policies. Others distributed a single page with wide margins and large type merely listing readings that might be assigned (with no dates) and an announcement that there is a midterm and final on a to-be-announced date. As a student I found the lengthy detailed syllabus stressful but the one-page syllabus overly ambivalent and useless.
Now, as a professor, I like to provide details but attempt not to overwhelm. It's likely that I'm unsuccessful. My syllabi have expanded and contracted over the years based on my experiences and goals. I admit that the boilerplate syllabus in most of my classes is 6 pages long. The syllabus I distributed for my online classes this summer totaled 8 pages in length. Student-me found a lengthy syllabus scary, but Professor-me finds comfort in knowing that I have relayed information about the course, my goals, assignments, and policies. Many of the administrative and policy questions I receive over the semester can be answered with, "It's in the syllabus." Does this mean that a lengthy syllabus is always the way to go? No. As with student papers, take as many or as few pages as you need in order to achieve your goals.

Identify Goals
What is it that you want students to learn? Identify the principles, concepts, and competencies that you wish students to learn and acquire.

Choose Assignments
Consider how to achieve your goals. What readings are essential? How will students demonstrate mastery? Will you administer exams? In what format? Will you assign a paper or other project? How will you grade student work?

Syllabus as Contract
Many view the syllabus as a contract in which professors explain their expectations so that there are no surprises later. Detailed and well-explained policies make it easier to manage common issues like absences, tardiness, and missing work.

Syllabus Content
What should your syllabus cover? The basics include:

Reading assignments and due dates. Are all readings required?
Late-work policy. Is late work accepted? Are points are deducted for late work? If so, how many points are deducted each day? When will late work not be accepted?
Attendance policy. Is attendance required?
Policy on academic dishonesty. What are the consequences of plagiarism? Cheating?
Grading policy. How will students' work be evaluated? How much weight does each assignment carry?
Test dates
Makeup policy
Classroom behavior (e.g., texting, cell phone use, laptop use).
Consider your syllabus a work in progress. As the semester advances, you may encounter issues not addressed in your syllabus. Take notes on these incidents and incorporate what you've learned into the following semester's syllabus

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رد: How to Write a Syllabus

مُساهمة من طرف المدير العام في الخميس أبريل 11, 2013 5:36 am

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