Learning Plan 10
Writing a syllabus
A syllabus provides an overall picture of the course. It is a written agreement between instructors and
students that communicates competencies, class expectations, the grading plan, course guidelines and
information, as well as a schedule for the entire learning experience. In short, it provides the "big picture" to
your students. In this learning plan you will create a syllabus.
Create a syllabus.
Linked Core Abilities
Write clearly and concisely
You will demonstrate your competence:
o by creating a syllabus for one of your courses.
Your performance will be successful when:
o Syllabus contains syllabus development or revision date.
o Syllabus contains title and number.
o Syllabus contains course description.
o Syllabus contains course goals.
o Syllabus contains day and time class meets.
o Syllabus contains location of classes.
o Syllabus contains required text / study guides.
o Syllabus contains course policies.
o Syllabus contains general information.
o Syllabus contains instructor name.
o Syllabus contains office location.
o Syllabus contains office hours.
o Syllabus contains contact information.
o Syllabus contains competency statements.
o Syllabus contains performance standards.
o Syllabus contains list of learning activities.
o Syllabus includes due dates.
o Syllabus includes week sequence.
a. Describe the purpose of a syllabus.
b. Indentify components of a well-developed syllabus.
c. Generate information and / or guidelines to include in your syllabus.
_____1. PREVIEW the learning plan for this lesson.
_____2. VIEW the presentation on writing a syllabus. FOLLOW ALONG in your text.
_____3. COMPLETE Practice Handout 10.1
_____1. COMPLETE Assessment Sheet 10.1 to create a syllabus for your own course. Use the scoring
guide included to check your work.
Preparing a Syllabus
*What is the purpose of a syllabus?
A syllabus serves many different purposes. Here are a few of them:
It serves as a compass, directing you and your students as you travel from
the beginning to the end of a course.
It informs the students of the final goal.
It tells the students the path to take to meet the goal, the obstacles to
overcome, and the requirements to reach the goal.
It tells the student what kind of evidence will document that they reached
It binds students, who wish to succeed in a course, to a path to follow.
It binds the teacher to the same path. If instructors wish to change the path,
they may, but the change must be communicated to the students, preferably as a
revised syllabus, or at least in some written form.
*What should be on a syllabus?
A syllabus contains more than just an outline of course topics, a calendar of
dates, or a reading list.
An effective, well-developed syllabus has seven components:
1. Instructor information
Instructor information lets students
know who you are and where, when, and how they can access you for coaching or
information. Include the following:
o Your name
o Location of your office, if applicable
o Office hours or time you are
available for one-on-one assistance
o Phone number or other means of
2. Course information
The following information should be
included for the course:
o Syllabus development or revision
o Course title
o Course number, if applicable
o Number of clock hours, and
number of credits or lessons, if applicable
o Course description and goals
(similar to your catalog)
o Class meeting times
o Location of class meetings
o Required textbooks or study guides
o Other reference material
o Supplies (indicate who is furnishing
3. Performance expectations
This section presents the
competencies, related core abilities, and performance standards for all learning
plans comprising the course
4. Time line or schedule of
The construction of this section can
vary according to the complexity of your course. If you have many learning plans,
stating each and every assignment may be too much detail. A table showing the
dates during which each learning plan will be covered, along with dates for major
assignments or assessments will suffice.
5. Grading plan
This section tells the student on
what basis you will assign grades. If you use a point system, then a chart showing
how points are accumulated, and how many points equals what grade would be
Look at your school catalog at the
grading system information you included there. The grading plan on the syllabus
may be the same information.
Be sure to include a description of
what each score in your grading system means.
If students must pass all
competencies in order to pass the course, you should state that here.
If students must pass all
competencies in order to pass the course, then you will need to have a re-testing
policy that specifies time between assessments, maximum number of re-test
opportunities, required additional learning activities before re-testing, any
limitations on the re-test score, etc.
If your organization has pre-set
policies around grading, be sure you follow them.
6. Course expectations
If you have a satisfactory progress
standard, either academic or attendance or both, they should be included in this
Policies for participation, personal
conduct, cheating, meeting deadlines, etc. are areas to consider including in this
7. General policies and information
This section is for you to include
any other policies you have, and other general information, such as:
o Equity / inclusiveness statements
o Instructions for students with
o Statements regarding philosophy of
core abilities and performance-based instruction
o Lab, shop, or worksite procedures
o Small group procedures
o Information about tools or supplies
o Any other items needed to
complete the course
Practice Handout 10.1
Directions: Assess the following syllabus for on on-line course called Personal
Decision-Making. Use the syllabus checklist provided.
Syllabus… Yes No
1. contains syllabus development or revision
2. contains title and number.
3. contains course description.
4. contains course goals.
5. contains day and time class meets.
6. contains location of classes.
7. contains required text / study guides.
8. contains course policies.
9. contains general information.
1. contains instructor name.
2. contains office location.
3. contains office hours.
4. contains contact information
1. contains competency statements.
2. contains core abilities.
3. contains performance standards.
1. contains list of learning activities
2. includes due dates
3. includes week sequence
Directions: For this assessment, create a syllabus for your course. Use the
checklist provided to check your work.
Syllabus… Yes No
10. contains syllabus development or revision
11. contains title and number.
12. contains course description.
13. contains course goals.
14. contains day and time class meets.
15. contains location of classes.
16. contains required text / study guides.
17. contains course policies.
18. contains general information.
5. contains instructor name.
6. contains office location.
7. contains office hours.
8. contains contact information
4. contains competency statements.
5. contains core abilities.
6. contains performance standards.
4. contains list of learning activities
5. includes due dates
6. includes week sequence