Before a new term begins, you likely spend a good deal of time focusing on the course syllabus. Whether you’re reviewing and revising an existing syllabus or crafting a brand-new one, the time and attention you pay to this important document can help ensure that it adequately reflects the goals and expectations you’ve designed for the class.
In her presentation “Creating a Powerful Syllabus: Doing What Works!,” Dr. Christine Harrington, author of Student Success in College: Doing What Works!, discusses research that examines the purpose and effectiveness of the syllabus, and she demonstrates how you can apply that knowledge as you construct or revise your own syllabus. You’ll receive a wealth of practical ideas for using your syllabus to set the stage for a successful term, and you will see several examples that illustrate Harrington’s main points of emphasis. In addition, Harrington provides a “syllabus checklist,” which will help you review your syllabus and confirm that it includes the core components that will maximize its effectiveness.
How do you use your syllabus as a teaching tool? Share your experiences and ideas below. For additional suggestions, read Jennifer Hurd, Ed. D.’s post “Elements of a Well-Written Syllabus.”
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