Enroll

Don’t Skimp on the Syllabus

Let’s face it. Students very rarely read syllabus from cover to cover, so why should we instructors put so much time into developing it? Students reference it. When you were a busy undergraduate, did you spend your extra time reading every syllabus that was handed to you? Many students, especially your top students, reference the syllabus throughout the semester. What should you include for these top performers?

Contact Information

Every instructor should include their contact information and contact preferences. Students need to know how to contact you, in case of emergency or questions. If you would prefer to be contacted by phone, email, or Morse code, let students know. Students will likely follow your wishes which will help you manage your time and you won’t feel bad if you have to skip checking your least favored form of communication.

Course Outlines

Course outlines are nice reference tools for today’s busy student. A good outline provides concept overviews, assignments, materials required, as well as due dates for each section. Students can flip to this one page and plan their weeks. No digging required.

Assignment Descriptions

Assignment descriptions are another nice addition. Students enjoy seeing their assignments details in advance. If they have these details and due dates, students can pre-plan their entire semester, which will lessen the number of missed and late assignments. In all honesty, I had never thought about detailing assignments in my syllabus. I thought that students would not care. When I made the shift, I also noticed higher levels of engagement from the students. They felt trusted and a part of their learning.

Syllabi are an overlooked classroom tool that instructors can use to engage with their learners. Instructors who provide contact information, course outlines, and details about assignments will likely get better engagement and higher levels of buy-in. What instructor does not want that?

Photo:  Bigfoto.com

 

mh

About mh

All photos are from bigfoto.com unless otherwise noted.

mh

Top Posts | Lesson Plans & Activities

Swim4Sadna Is Truly an Inspiring Journey

This story of one Jewish mother’s courageous mission to help others is indeed inspiring. It is about British-born Vivienne Glaser’s decision to help a special education center in need of money and resources. She decided that it was time to give something back to a school which has alrea ... ...

5 Easy Tips for Making Lesson Plans Great

Teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and the methods they use vary greatly. There are some that plan meticulously, and others that prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. I believe that a mixture of both is the best way to a smooth, stress-free lesson. Here are a few tips:A good lesso ... ...

Building Better Reading Habits

There are some things that never go out of style or become obsolete, and one of these things is reading. Needless to say, reading is not only a practical part of life but also a means to escape the pressures we encounter on a daily basis.The medium we use for reading may have evolved over the years ...

Is Your K-6 Child Struggling with Science?

Searching for an innovative but fun method to maintain your child's attention for science? Luckily, science has the potential to become one of the most involved subjects, depending on how it is taught. If your child is struggling to enjoy science in school, you can try a few fun projects at hom ... ...

Schools Experiment with Tech Blend

The Grant Beacon Middle School in Denver has adopted a new teaching procedure for its students. Children studying there get to spend a lot of time in a blended learning scenario. They are allowed to use Chromebooks to access digital curricula and are also offered traditional classroom education tha ...

Fun & Easy Valentine Crafts for Kids

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, many teachers will be on the look out for crafts their students can make to celebrate the holiday. Unfortunately for teachers, holidays can also mean room parties, unfocused students, and the pressure to send cute and creative gifts home with students. ... ...

An Inspiring Youth Rises from Orem

The youth is the future. That’s definitely true. And it is only right to educate the young people properly and encourage them to learn new things; and that is what this inspiring young lad from Orem tried to point out.He is not your average 15-year old for he is a rising specialist in compute ... ...