Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research116 College Avenue
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 http://ctaar.rutgers.edu/
Phone: (732) 932-7466
Fax: (732) 932-1845
A SYLLABUS is a guide to the important information of a course. It is a brief description of the course content, assignments, grading and attendance policies.
“What’s In A Syllabus?” by Michael Shafer, Professor, Political Science
“Preparing a Syllabus” for Teaching Assistants, TA Project
Many functions are met within the syllabus. It provides details for contact information for the instructor, office hours, teaching assistant contact information, course resources in the Library, or online. It may include the instructor’s biographical data, research interests and other activities.
An important feature of a good syllabus is the description of learning goals or educational purposes of the course (link to Rutgers University Learning Goals). Along with the learning goals, there are descriptions of the assignments and assessments of student learning, with guidelines for performance expectations (from the University of Washington) i.e. quality of work that constitutes an “C” grade, “B” grade, and “A” grade.
Useful Rutgers University Links:
TA Project - Excerpts from Learning Effective Strategies for Teaching Undergraduates
- "Think About the Syllabus as a Contract" (MPEG video file) - Jeff Smith
- "Communicating Your Expectations" (MPEG video file) - Jeff Smith
- "Establishing Clear Expectations" (MPEG video file) - Monica Devanas
- "Include All the Compenents" (MPEG video file) - Beth Leech
- "Establishing an Assessment Policy" (MPEG video file) - Jeff Smith
SYLLABUS CONSTRUCTION LINKS at Peer Institutions:
Cornell University - Course Design and Planning — Syllabus Template (.doc), Syllabus Evaluation Rubric (.xls)
"Tomorrow's Professor" Stanford University
Brown University "Constructing a Syllabus" by Michael J.V. Woolcock
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Writing a Syllabus by Howard B. Altman and William E. Cashin
"Draft Handbook" for Departments wishing to develop a handbook for Part Time Lectures