This book demonstrates how, rather than being a mundane document to convey policies, you can construct your syllabus to be a motivating resource that conveys a clear sense of your course’s learning goals, how students can achieve those goals, and makes evident your teaching philosophy and why you have adopted the teaching strategies you will use, such as discussion or group activities.
Developing or revising a syllabus also presents you with a perfect opportunity to review the learning possibilities for the semester. Well-designed, it can help you stay focused on achieving the learning outcomes, as well as determine if the class is on track and whether adjustments to the schedule are needed.
The authors show how, by adopting a welcoming tone and clearly stating learning outcomes, your syllabus can engage students by explaining the relevance of your course to their studies, create an all-important positive first impression of you as an instructor, and guide students through the resources you will be using, the assignments ahead, as well as clear guidance on how they will be assessed. Referred to frequently as the course progresses, an effective syllabus will keep students engaged and on task.
Christine Harrington and Melissa Thomas lead you through all the elements of a syllabus to help you identify how to present key messages and information about your course, think through the impressions you want to create, and, equally importantly, suggest how you can use layout and elements such as images and charts to make your syllabus visually appealing and easy to navigate.