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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

Syllabus Statements

Library Support Statement

Remember that students who use the library and its resources are more likely to do well academically and librarians can help your students to find quality sources for research projects so you will not have to. You might wish to include a library support statement like the one below in your syllabus:

Need library sources but don't know where to start? Searching for a book, article, or data to support your argument? Not sure how to cite a source in your bibliography? Ask a librarian!  Research help is available in person at the Reference Desk, by phone at 724-357-3006, by email at or even text at(724) 401-1984.  Extended assistance by appointment is also available through our Bring Your Assignment Service
. You can also contact the library specialist assigned to your subject area directly

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​