Purpose of a Syllabus

A syllabus is a written agreement between the professor and the students taking the course. Students benefit from a syllabus that lays out clear goals and expectations and other information that helps them succeed in the course and capture the overall view of the course from the beginning.

As you develop your syllabus, consider the student's perspective. Let the syllabus set the stage for the course, providing answers to the obvious questions:

  • Why do I need this course?
  • What will this course enable me to do that I can't do without it?
  • What are the course requirements and how do I meet them?
  • How will I be evaluated?
  • How will the final grade be determined and what is the grading scale?

In the syllabus establish policies that will minimize problems later:

  • attendance,
  • unexcused absence,
  • late work,
  • academic dishonesty,
  • grading,
  • participation, etc.

Provide or point to resources that may include:

  • glossary of relevant definitions,
  • bibliography of related sources,
  • other resources available to students (people, materials, technology, facilities, etc.).

Any syllabus submitted to academic councils with a new course application should incorporate all items on the ACU syllabi list

If you have questions related to syllabus development or this site, contact:

Dwayne Harapnuik
Director of Faculty Enrichment
Adams Center for Teaching and Learning
(255 Brown Library; phone ext 2883)

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