What Role Does Your Syllabus Play?

syllabus as road map
I sometimes worry that we don’t think about the syllabus as expansively and creatively as we could. We focus, almost exclusively it seems to me, on what should be on it—the information and details it should contain. We do much less thinking about the role of the syllabus—how it can or might function in a course, how it is or could be thought of, and how we do or could make better use of it. So, here’s an attempt to broaden our thinking.

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[dropcap]I [/dropcap]sometimes worry that we don’t think about the syllabus as expansively and creatively as we could. We focus, almost exclusively it seems to me, on what should be on it—the information and details it should contain. We do much less thinking about the role of the syllabus—how it can or might function in a course, how it is or could be thought of, and how we do or could make better use of it. So, here’s an attempt to broaden our thinking. Different roles of a syllabus The syllabus doesn’t have to be all of these things. It can serve few or many functions. What role does this all-important teaching artifact play in your courses? Think about it—the syllabus is relevant for the entire course. It has everything all in one place; in print and accessible online any time during the course. What promise and potential! Is your syllabus all that it could be in your courses?