Evaluating a Syllabus

Once you have written your syllabus, check it against the following questions, which were derived from Gamson and Chickering’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (pdf). How effectively is your syllabus likely to:

1. Encourage contact between students and faculty that is focused on the academic agenda?

2. Develop reciprocity and cooperation among students?

3. Encourage active learning?

4. Give prompt feedback?

5. Emphasize time on task?

6. Communicate high, but achievable expectations?

7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning?

Make changes as necessary so that your syllabus maximizes the above as much as possible.

This entry was posted in Best Practices, 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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