The syllabus provides a vital function for your classes. It acts as the guide for what will happen over the semester, it represents a type of contract that outlines your expectations from your students and what your students should expect from you, and it is, in many ways, your chance to make a great first impression, as the syllabus is typically the first document that students will receive from you at the start of the semester. Due to the importance of the syllabus, we provide some links to help you both craft a syllabus for a new course and to offer ideas for how to revise a syllabus for an existing course.
Crafting and Revising Your Syllabus: Since your syllabus acts as a guide and a contract, it is important to spend time developing and fine-tuning this critical document. There are many websites that provide ideas for how to craft a new syllabus and also how to revise an existing syllabus. We would recommend checking out the following first:
- “Creating Your Syllabus” from the University of Michigan
- “How Do I Create an Effective Syllabus” from Texas Tech University
- “Write the Syllabus” from Carnegie Mellon University
- “If your syllabus were graded, would it pass?” by Brigham Young University
If you prefer, click here to see to watch a video on designing a syllabus from Northern Illinois University.
When developing a new syllabus, it is important to keep in mind the flow and key times of the semester so that you can plan accordingly. Click here to see a great list from the Teaching Center at Berkeley of key points in the semester and how they may affect your syllabus planning.