Instructors are required to design a course syllabus to be distributed to students during the first week of classes. You should submit a copy to the department chairperson each semester (or as required by the department) AND an electronic copy to the Deans office. The instructor’s syllabus will be the basis upon which a student may appeal a grade.
A course syllabus serves a number of functions, some of which are mentioned in the following definitions: “A syllabus is the instructor’s job description. It details instructional responsibilities.” I. Davies, Instructional Techniques (1981, p. 84)
“[The syllabus is] a concise statement of the main points of a course of study or subject. The syllabus is the official document for the course. The lesson plan is an instrument of the instructor for the day-to-day operation: the course outline is a specific guideline for the course content. The syllabus to some degree is a combination of the two.” D. Grieve, Teaching Strategies & Techniques (1986, p. 26)
“A syllabus constitutes a legal written covenant between faculty member and students. It binds students, who wish to succeed in a course, to a path they should follow, and also binds the instructor to the same path. It achieves its purpose only when it provides sufficient information to followers: the path they are on, the obstacle they must overcome, the requirements they are expected to meet and the kinds of evidence which documents that they have ‘wound up’ where they were supposed to.” H. Altman, Syllabus Shares What the Teacher Wants (1989, p.1)
While you are encouraged to employ originality and creativity in developing syllabi, you will typically want to include some basic information such as course title, course and section numbers, instructor’s name, instructor’s office location and office/departmental phone numbers (include a home phone number only if you want students to contact you there), course goals course texts, grading criteria and procedures, major assignments and exams, class calendar and due dates. In addition, here are a few guidelines and considerations to keep in mind as you prepare your syllabus:
In stating the content of the course, you might include course outline, general concepts to be covered, and the scope of material to be covered, and the following statement:
“Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the office of Learning Support Services at 787-0800, extension 8270/8553 as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.”