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Faculty Development: Syllabus Creation

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Creating a Learning-Centered Syllabus

The resources collected on this site are provided as a reference for instructors who may be creating a new syllabus and for those who would like to take a fresh look at their current courses.  In either case, remember that the primary purpose of the syllabus is to communicate course expectations: what the course is about, why it is being taught, what the students will learn, and what will be required to pass the course.  When it comes to creating a course syllabus, more is better!

The first step in creating a learning-centered syllabus is to provide in writing all of the information that a student will need in order to be successful in your course.  It not only contains policies and expectations, but also serves as a “roadmap” or “how to guide” for optimal learning in your classroom.  The tip sheet, articles and web links on this site provide more in-depth information about creating a learning-centered syllabus; several samples from your YCCC colleagues are also available as a reference while you create or revise your own syllabi.

As you review the sample syllabi, take a look at a course that is in a different discipline than your own.  This will help you to stay objective and look at the syllabus as a whole, rather than focusing on specific activities or assignments.  Using the samples as a guide, consider the following questions about your own syllabus:

  • Does my syllabus provide students with the information that they need to succeed in my course?
  • Do I encourage students to take personal responsibility for their learning?
  • Does my syllabus communicate key assignments and due dates allowing students to plan their learning effectively?
  • Does my syllabus provide clear learning outcomes while communicating high expectations for learning?
  • Are there sections in the sample syllabi that will work well for my course?

Do you have more questions or need assistance with your syllabus? Feel free to contact me for a personal syllabus review!


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