What Is a Syllabus?

A syllabus is a document that summarizes and outlines the most important information about the course. It includes your name and the title of the class, its learning outcomes, the course content, and a schedule of activities. It also includes detailed information about attendance policies, grading standards, and supply and/or reading lists.

The exact contents of a syllabus vary widely from teacher to teacher. Some faculty hand out syllabi of many pages, some are only one or two pages long. Regardless of length, a syllabus sets the contract between teacher and student for the duration of the course and, as such, should be adhered to.

Any changes you make to the syllabus in the middle of the quarter should be given to students in writing and announced at least twice verbally during class. This is very important in case a student should later have a grievance.

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This entry was posted in Creating a Syllabus, Preparing to Teach and tagged by Jane Alden Stevens. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jane Alden Stevens

Jane Alden Stevens is a photographer and educator who is Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati. An active artist, Stevens has exhibited and published her work extensively both in the US and abroad. She is the author of “Tears of Stone: World War I Remembered” (2004). In the course of her teaching career, Stevens taught courses in film, photography, and professional practices for fine artists. Her interest in teaching practices was deepened when she started teaching the "Graduate Teaching Workshop", a required graduate level course for fine artists and art historians that prepares them to teach the courses they will later be assigned. She was also involved in the Preparing Future Faculty program at the University of Cincinnati, which prepares masters and doctoral students across all programs for teaching at the university level. She has conducted pedagogy workshops for a variety of universities, as well as participated in academic practicum panels at educational conferences. The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Stevens was honored with the all-university Cohen Award for Excellence in University Teaching at the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and Professor of the Year honors in her college in 2011.

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