Rethink the Syllabus

We often think of the syllabus as a contract between faculty and student. Dr. Lolita Paff, Professor of Business and Economics at Penn State Berks, thinks  this may actually foster a negative learning environment. In Mary Bart’s A Learner-Centered Syllabus Helps Set the tone for Learnings she describes another approach to the syllabus that she thinks creates a better beginning to her classes. Her syllabus is written in a friendlier tone that conveys that she and her students are embarking on an adventure together.

Faculty Focus Setting the Tone

Magna Publications offers a free podcast, “Changing the Conversation about the Syllabus” and offers a copy of her course syllabus. You can listen to the free podcast by signing up at Magna Publications.

sample syllabus here


Here are some other resources (both traditional and more radical) that you might find helpful when considering a redesign of your syllabus.