Reading the various articles made me recognize the importance of the syllabus for my online course, as one author noted: “Your syllabus is one of THE most important documents you create for your class” (University of Minnesot’as Syllabus Tutorial).
I found three reasons that highlight the importance of a syllabus:
- The syllabus should provide a road map to guide students through the class.
- The syllabus should use a conversational style so students are more aware of your presence in the course.
- The syllabus should be a good way to communicate.
Some of the guidelines I consider really useful in my work with syllabus are:
From the University of Minnesot’as Syllabus Tutorial (thanks Jim!)
- An effective syllabus conveys what the class will be like, what students will do and learn, as well as what they can expect of you.
- It tacitly records and transmits your teaching philosophy.
3 aspects of an online syllabus to emphasize, from Teaching Online, Ko and Rossen.
- the contract: between students and the instructor (participation and grading criteria, student expectations,
- the map: course URL, used tools, assignments, document format, contact information, sequence of learning activities.
- the schedule: week organization (start, due day)
Some recommendations deepened too much in details, which could result in a very extensive syllabus. I think it is appropriate to build a model that best suits the particular course you are preparing. Each course syllabus may be slightly different.