A syllabus is an outline of, or plan for, a course of study that is shared with students on the first day. For instructors, its development is a way to design a course that will take place over a set period of time.
The traditional syllabus is often viewed as a contract, or agreement with, the student. As such, it should contain accurate information about the sequence of topics, course requirements, texts & materials, grading policy, assignments, exams, and behavior policy. It should also furnish teacher contact information, including office hours.
Today syllabi are more individualized and often creative. Technology has made it easy to illustrate and design documents that reflect the spirit and intention of the area of study. It is valuable as a planning document for the teacher and a guide for students.
Deborah Belcher, Teaching Excellence workshop on Syllabus Preparation (November 2007)
O'Brien, J.G., Millis, B.J., & Cohen, M.W. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach (second edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Tips for Creating a Syllabus
, IUPUI Center for Teaching and
Learning Centered Syllabi Workshop, Iowa State University Workshop
Syllabus Becomes a Repository of Legalese, Chronicle 2008
Research Yields Tips on Crafting Better Syllabi, Chronicle 2008