Syllabus Construction

RGyure rgyure at
Fri Sep 30 18:58:08 EST 1994

In article <PIGAGEHK%DFB.24 at>,

>Did you receive any assistance in the preparation of syllabi for your 
>courses, especially when you were new to teaching?  
>Did (Does) your institution have any part of faculty orientation devoted 
>to syllabus construction or development?
>Is there any mentoring program regarding syllabus construction >available
>your institution for new or returning faculty?
>How have you attempted to produce better syllabi for your courses? 

Hi. No, we never received any instruction as to how to prepare syllabi.
I never thought about this a an exercise in syllabus writing-- that comes
after all the course planning has taken place. Course planning is the big

What's difficult is deciding what topics you will cover, how you will
assess students, how to structure lab, how to incorporate current
pedagogy, etc. The syllabus itself is a mechanical exercise in scheduling.

I do try to be creative in preparing my syllabus-- I explain my teaching
philosophy, and also have to explain my methods of evaluation, etc.
Scheduling of topics and activities is a rather trivial process once all
the real thought has been done. I guess I'm not sure I understand what you
mean by "syllabus writing." I think this is something that comes with
teaching experience. No one can tell you how to write a good syllabus the
first time-- you learn by doing it. And the syllabus is not what's
iimportant anyway-- how you teach IS. 

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