Document Sample
effective_syllabi Powered By Docstoc
					Creating a University
   Level Syllabus
    Dr. Gayle A. Kearns
    Why An Effective Syllabus?
After today’s session, you will be able to:
 Identify elements that can strengthen a
  course; and
 Describe the 15 points for an effective
Why Do Students Attend College?
 Get a Better Job            81%
 Learn about things of
   interest                   75%
 Make more money             68%
 Gain a general education    58%
 Prepare for graduate work   48%
           Why!! con’t. . . .
 Meet new people         47%
 Learn study skills      33%
 Get away from home      10%
 Could not get a job      8%
 Nothing better to do     2%
     Characteristics of A Good
          Instructor . . .
 Ability to be fair and consistent
 Knowledge of the subject matter (SME)
 Ability to personalize the instruction
 Willingness to be flexible
         Characteristics . . .

 Ability to reflect a positive attitude--
  nods, smiles, humor
 Skill in establishing definite examination
  procedures--objective based,
  instructional sequence
 Willingness to provide study aids
    A Good Instructor has the . . .
 Ability to perceive the material or task
  from the students’ point of view
 Ability to ask questions which allow
  students to think critically
 Ability to present a clear and concise
    What About That First Day of
 Be specific!
 State the name of the
 Identify yourself and
  some credentials
 Let the students
  introduce themselves
  (optional and if
  possible due to size)
That Infamous First Day!

             Review the syllabus
              thoroughly (sign)
             Ask for student
              questions and/or
             Review the course
15 Points for An Effective Syllabus

What is a syllabus?
   A syllabus is the official document of
    the course
What does it show?
   It shows what will be required and
    expected throughout the semester—
    course work, attendance, participation,
         An Effective Syllabus . .
    How does it aide the student?
   It helps to establish boundaries of what
    students can expect from their
    professor/instructor in terms of
    instructional pace, grading, requirements,
    and personal interactions
          Regent’s Policy . . .
 Oklahoma State Board of Regents state:
  “a syllabi will be prepared for all courses
  and filed with the departmental
  Chairperson and the college Dean. Syllabi
  will be distributed to students during the
  first week of class.”
 A syllabus is a legally binding contract
  between the professor and the students
    What to Include on a Syllabus
     #1 - Name of the Course
 Identify the name, number, section and
  meeting times and place
 An addendum may be the prerequisites
  required to insure that the student is in
  the correct sequence of course work
      #2 - Professor’s Name

 State your name on the syllabus (in
  addition to your oral introduction)
 Professional/educational background
 Credentials
 Special interest in the course subject
    #3 - Office Hours and Phone/E-
          Mail/Fax Numbers

 List office hours and office location
  (give location markers)
 List office phone and fax numbers, as
  well as e-mail address (home numbers
  are optional and personally not
 Encourage students to use office hours
  (or make appts)
#4 - Textbook Information and other
 Discuss the benefits of the textbook
 Discuss the strengths of any enhancement
  resources (self-made packets, manuals,
  WebCT, etc.)
 Give a brief bio of the author (optional)
          #5 - Course Objectives
   List a performance outcome for the course
   List all specific course objectives (complete
   Describe what will be learned
   Discuss the importance of learning this
   Relate the importance of this information to the
    students’ educational objectives
    #6 - Nature of the Course

 Discuss the methodologies to be used
  throughout the course, i.e. lecture,
  interactive discussion, webct
  enhancement, projects, service learning
 Describe the importance of student
  participation concerning classroom
  interaction, independent study, lab
  sessions, service-learning etc.
     #7 - Course Requirements
 Be cognizant if it is not stated specifically
  and accurately in the syllabus, a student
  who questions (or files a grievance) will
  have a much better chance in their
 Also, watch undue hardships on students
  with disabilities--ADA does state that
  certain concessions must be made--Be
  Alert and Accommodate!!!
Course Requirements, Point #7

Written assignments:
 State specifically if the written
  assignments are required, suggested,
  extra credit
 State the length expected
 Identify the acceptable format--
  computer-generated, hand-written,
More Course Requirements for #7

Tests, quizzes and exams:
 Be specific on the types--scantron,
  essay, etc
 Material to be covered and sources--
  study packets, readings
 Cumulative or not
 No surprises—test only on identified,
  measurable information
     Course Requirements . .

 Special projects, such as
  independent/group studies, term
  papers, oral presentations, book
  reports, etc
 Specify length (what counts)
 Acceptable format--computer
  generated, handwritten, APA
 Topical areas to be considered
      Course Requirements . .
 Type of lab--meeting times and locations
 Lab requirements, present with syllabus or
  at first lab session
 Location(s) of lab(s)
 Support system within lab(s)
    #8 - Resources, References and
 Be specific on the listing of resources,
  outside readings, bibliographies,
  visitations, etc
 Identify supplies required
 Give specific details on operation of
  special equipment
Point #9 - Grading and Evaluation

  SEMESTER (if you do have to make
  changes, insure that everyone receives
  a revised copy of the syllabus)!!
 Identify what work will be graded
 Explain evaluation of assignments—
  apply rubrics or assessment information
  to insure clarity
                Point #9
 Explain level of comprehension (give scale
  for grades) of tests, special projects,
 Identify what percentage each component
  contributes to the final grade--tests,
  quizzes, exams, special projects, labs,
  attendance, class participation
       Point #10 - Attendance
 This is a very big issue/trouble spot on all
  higher ed campuses
 There is no formal university policy--
  professors set their own
 Take attendance each class (if possible)
 Specifically state what your policy is in
  regard to absences
            Point #10, con’t.
 Be specific on how work may be made up
  in the event of an absence--give an exact
  time line
 State what is expected of students who
  miss class due to extracurricular activities,
  illness, etc. (remember that school
  supported activities are to be excused, but
  the student is responsible for informing
  you of his/her school activity or sport)
           Point #11 - Special
 According to the Americans with
  Disabilities Act, it is the responsibility of
  each student to notify the University of
  his/her disability
 UCO policy states that the following
  statement should be included in your
         Disability Statement
“ADA Statement: The University of Central
  Oklahoma complies with Section 504 of the
  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the
  Americans with Disabilities Act. Students
  with disabilities who need special
  accommodations should make their request
  by contacting Disability Support Services at
    Point #12 - Fees (optional)
 Fees are now included with the students
  tuition statement for extracurricular
  requirements, such as: A fashion trip to
  NYC, purchase of a laptop computer,
  articulation with a professional association
  which requires a membership
 Additional fees for the course may not be
  assessed to the course
    Point #13 - Drop/Add Policy
 State the university policy on dates to be
 List the last day to withdraw from a class
 Refer the student to UCONNECT for
  information on activities on campus,
  enrollment, grades, etc.
 Distribute the information that covers this
  specific point found on the Academic
  Affairs website
      Point #14 - Additional
 Other important information students
  may need to know, such as, other
  duties you perform (Residency
  Teacher/Student Teacher supervision,
  Faculty Senate responsibilities, etc.
 Use of cell phones, IPODS, pagers and
  any other electronic devices during
 Email requirement, instant messaging
       Point #14 - continued
 Other expectations or guidelines for
  student conduct beyond attendance, i.e.,
  habitual tardiness
 Be very specific about: plagiarism and
  academic dishonesty
 Refer students to the Code of Student
  Conduct on the website or distribute the
  information in class the first day
        Point #15 - Course
 Address all major content areas,
  objectives for course
 Include class meetings by date,
  topics/chapters to be discussed
 Address dates for quizzes, exams, mid-
  term and final dates
 Due dates for homework assignments,
  special projects, term papers, etc. (be
               In Summary
 An effective syllabus will establish
  boundaries for student expectation!!
 An effective syllabus will protect you, the
  professor, by validating what is expected
  throughout the semester in terms of
  course requirements!!