Whether creating a new syllabus or updating the old one, the course syllabus is a crucial tool for you and your students. A detailed syllabus helps to set the tone for the whole semester or year. With a syllabus, you can provide students with all the essential information regarding the course. A syllabus is a document that has all the details of a study program. It talks about the rules of the program. A teaching syllabus is essential for any school or college.
A syllabus not only tells the rules but also specifies the structure of the class. It sets the whole academic year for the teachers and students. A good syllabus is easy to read and understand. It is helpful to both the students and teachers. By referring to the syllabus, students can prepare for exams accordingly. And for teachers, it is a source of structure that they can follow while teaching the course.
For online courses as well, the syllabus plays a crucial part. Because of the pandemic, the classes are being conducted through video calls. With the help of the syllabus, the students will understand the course better.
Advantages of a syllabus in online classes:
● With a defined syllabus, the students will get a clear picture of the course.
● Students can prepare for the class beforehand and get their concepts clear.
● An explanatory syllabus that has all the necessary details will help the students in making an informed decision about the course.
The building blocks of a good syllabus
The syllabus should be able to fulfill its objective. For this, it needs to be created by keeping the following things in mind.
The language of the syllabus should be simple and easy to understand. Most people flick through pages rather than read them. To make people read your syllabus:
- Make sure it's based on simple language.
- Try to use sentences that will catch people's attention.
- Only add relevant information.
Form a structure of your layout. Just don't add information for the sake of adding it. Arrange all the details in order. Mention all the necessary details like office numbers, email ids, and office hours.
- Arrange the details from most important to least.
- Make sure the sentences are short and crisp.
- Use simple and common words.
- Make sure you make the layout attractive by using lists, charts, headings.
In the digital era, digital links have made life easier. Use links for various segments of the syllabus so that students can easily navigate through the syllabus. In addition, this is helpful for online courses, where the syllabus is provided online.
How to build a syllabus?
Creating a syllabus that is interesting and engaging is an art. There are rules that you will have to follow in order to design a good syllabus. To design a syllabus, there are four crucial points to be kept in mind. We will be going through all four in detail.
Part 1- General Information
When creating the syllabus, keep in mind the target for whom you are creating the syllabus. Start by giving general information like course name, classroom timings, and semester. Then mention some details about yourself like your name, contact info, position, and office hours. After this give some in-depth details about the course: what is the course all about?... how many classes would be taken?... what study materials are required?
Starting your syllabus with these things will help in capturing the attention of students. This section tells them about everything they want to know about the course.
Part 2- Description, Expectations, and Objectives
This section is essential so that the student can know what they will get from this course.
● Course Description
Tell them the details of the course. Mention why this course is essential and why students opt for this course. You can also mention some information that will attract the students to this course. You can tell about career prospects after the completion of the program. Make it simple and crisp so that students are attracted to read the further details.
In the objective section, talk about all the things students will learn after the program is over. List the benefits that they will enjoy once the program is over. If possible, talk about the soft skills that the students will learn during the program.
List the expectations keeping in mind the points of view of both students and teachers. This will help in creating a clear picture of the course.
Part 3- Policies and Resources
This section will help you determine the course for the whole year. It will include all the policies, university rules, and resources available for the students. Make sure you spend ample time while developing this section of the syllabus.
List all the rules that you will follow in your class. The attendance requirements, assignment submission timing/procedure/deadline, grading system, rules regarding absentees, holidays, etc. Carefully list all these points. This will help to maintain discipline in the class. Also, mention any other relevant school or college policy.
This is a great place to mention all the students' resources during this program. These resources can be used for academic and non-academic purposes. These are the highlights of your syllabus. You can include information about resources such as health services, academic libraries, online support, and videos relating to the programs.
Part 4- Assignments
This section mentions all the assignments that are a part of the program. It clearly states details about each assignment including their submission dates. Also, state the credits that they hold. Make sure you mention these things very clearly here. Place the grading chart next to the marking system so that it's easy for the students to understand.
The syllabus is an essential part of any curriculum. With a syllabus, it is effortless to understand any program or course. A syllabus specifies every detail of the program. Therefore, it helps in making an informed decision about a course. You will have to keep in mind the points discussed above while designing the syllabus of a program. The main thing is that it should be crafted in simple language. Make sure you follow all the points mentioned above to create a rock-solid syllabus for the course.