"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That's depends a good deal on where you want to get to."...
 - "Alice in Wonderland," by Carroll

"The syllabus is a small place to start bringing students and faculty members back together.... If students could be persuaded that we are really interested in their understanding the materials we offer, that we support their efforts to master it, and that we take their intellectual struggles seriously, they might respond by becoming involved in our courses, by trying to live up to our expectations, and by appreciating our concern."
- Rubin, "Professors, Students, and the Syllabus," Chronicle of Higher Education

Early reviews of 4faculty.org reveal that "Building Your Syllabus" is one of the most popular sections offered. That said, we hope you'll read it and share your ideas for making it even more helpful.

What is the module about? It's about legal requirements first, but much more importantly it's about creating a syllabus that promotes you, your class and your students' success. Ask yourself as you read this lesson what are you really doing when you write a syllabus. Aren't you trying to sell ideas, change behavior, encourage students to read and then act in a certain way? Isn't the syllabus by its very nature a persuasive document? Or, did you just think it was about text book names and assignment dates?

If we are truly student centered and if we understand community college students, we know that the syllabus needs to motivate. We need to move beyond instructor centered documents to learner centered syllabi that capture the students' imaginations. We want them to go home, show it to their friends, tell them about the exciting class in which they are enrolled. We want them to "see" that we carefully planned for their learning.

You'll find templates for syllabi in this lesson. Please come back soon as we add new ideas and examples all the time.

- by Kristina Kauffman


This module contains the following main readings:

  1. Course Outlines and Descriptions
  2. Building A Learner Centered Syllabus


Learning Outcomes
By the end of this module you should be able to:

1. Discuss the purpose of the course outline and its relationship to your syllabus.

2. Describe how learner centered objectives are developed.

3. Build a learner centered syllabus using the standard course outline as a tool.


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Knowledge Check

The official document that defines the fundamental, required components of a course that the institution expects the faculty to teach is known as the:

A. Lesson Plan.
B. Course Outline.
C. Course Syllabus.
D. Curriculum Plan.