Course and Syllabus Design
CTAL offers course and syllabi design consultations. We welcome you to take a moment to review and discuss your courses with a CTAL staff member. It’s an ideal time to discuss and refine your courses and syllabi for intentional planning of your students’ learning experiences as well as to satisfy your department’s learning goals.
Your syllabus documents the expectations you have of your students and their (initial) expectations of you and your course. It is an important learning tool that will reinforce the intentions, roles, attitudes, and strategies that you will use to promote active, purposeful, and effective learning.
Suggested Steps for Planning Your Syllabus :
- Develop a well-grounded rationale for your course
- Decide what you want students to be able to do, demonstrate, or represent as a result of taking your course, and how their work will be assessed
- Structure your students’ active involvement in learning, considering how these activities are linked to the learning outcomes
- Identify and develop resources
- Compose your syllabus with a focus on student learning (Refer to this checklist for guidance)
- Include statements that ensure an inclusive learning environment
- Be explicit about course goals, student responsibilities, criteria for assessment.
Explore Select Resources
- UD Online Syllabus Template
- Study Abroad Course Syllabus Design
- Designing a learning-centered syllabus
- Suggested Syllabus Statements for learning, inclusion, and resources
- Learning-centered syllabus checklist
- Graphic display of student learning objectives, The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 19, 2010. Graphic displays of student-learning goals in a particular course can help students understand the rationale behind assignments, and graphics can help faculty members clarify and modify course design.
- Suggested syllabi statements that address issues of academic integrity, University of Delaware, Office of Student Conduct.
- Sample online syllabi (problem-based learning), University of Delaware, Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education.
- Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching Course Design Resource based on the backwards design model developed by Wiggins and McTighe in their book, Understanding by Design
- A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning by L. Dee Fink, based on his book Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses, 2003. Posted with permission.
- Guiding questions to ask when planning your course/class session by L. Dee Fink adapted for educational purposes with permission of the publisher.
- Teaching Goals Inventory, University of Iowa