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Syllabus: A New Look at a Traditional Practice: Home

Session Presenters

Dr. Lynnan Mocek
Provost's Office

Dr. Theresa McDevitt
IUP Government Information/Outreach Librarian
110 Stapleton Library

Why have a syllabus?

  • Establishes an Early Point of Contact Between Student and Instructor
  • Helps Set the Tone for the Course
  • Acquaints Students with Course Logistics and defines Student Responsibilities
  • Describes the Role of Special Teaching and Learning Practices (Active Learning, Technology, etc.)
  • Helps Students Assess Their Readiness for the Course
  • Describes Available Learning Resources and Models Good Planning and Organization
  • Represents a Learning Contract Between You and the Student

Woolcock, 1997 

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Resources

Bart, Mary. (July 29, 2015)  A Learner-Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone for Learning, Faculty Focus

Eberly, M. B., Newton, S. E., & Wiggins, R. A. (2001). The syllabus as a tool for student-centered learning. The Journal of General Education50(1), 56-74.

Glass, R. g., & Spiegelman, M. (2007). Incorporating Blogs into the Syllabus: Making Their Space a Learning Space. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 36(2), 145-155.

Hess, J. L., & Whittington, M. S. (2013). Developing an Effective Course Syllabus. NACTA Journal, 57(3), 67-71.

Ludwig, M. A., Bentz, A. E., & Fynewever, H. (2011). Your syllabus should set the stage for assessment for learning. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(4), 20-23.

Matejka, K., & Kurke, L. B. (1994). Designing a great syllabus. College Teaching42(3), 115-117.

McDonald, J., Siddall, G., Mandell, D., & Hughes, S. (2010). 19. Two Sides of the Same Coin: Student-Faculty Perspectives of the Course Syllabus. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching3. ojs/leddy/index.php/CELT/article/viewFile/3249/2626 

Parkes, J., & Harris, M. B. (2002). The purposes of a syllabus. College Teaching50(2), 55-61. login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=507758496&site=eds-live

Riley, C. C. (2012). Learning from the Learners: a student centred syllabus in preparation for the real world. Quality Assurance Review, 4(1), 50-60.

Saville, B. K., Zinn, T. E., Brown, A. R., & Marchuk, K. A. (2010). Syllabus Detail and Students' Perceptions of Teacher Effectiveness. Teaching of Psychology, 37(3), 186-189. doi:10.1080/00986283.2010.488523

Slattery, J. M., & Carlson, J. F. (2005). Preparing an Effective Syllabus: Current Best Practices. College Teaching, (4). 159. 

Snyder, J. A. (2010). Brief history of the syllabus with examples. Dereck Bok Center for Teaching, Harvard University.

Sulik, G., & Keys, J. (2014). “Many Students Really Do Not Yet Know How to Behave!” The Syllabus as a Tool for Socialization. Teaching Sociology,  42(2):151-160.

Wedell, K. k. (2010). Evaluating the impact of the Hampshire agreed syllabus: 'Living Difference' on teaching and learning in religious education. British Journal Of Religious Education, 32(2), 147-161.

Weimer, M. (2017) First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning​