Mindful and Learner-Centered Syllabus Checklist

Checklist Directions: Please use this checklist to determine whether your course syllabus includes the components of a learner-centered syllabus.

Course Information

____ Course Abbreviation and Number
____ Course Title
____ Semester and Year (Start Date to End Date)
____ Number of Credit Hours

Instructor Information

____ Name (and preferred method of addressing)
____ Office Address
____ Office Hours and other contact information
____ Telephone Number
____ Email Address
If the instructor has a teaching assistant, include contact information.

Departmental Information

____Name of Department
____ Location of Departmental Office
____ Preferred contact information for the Department

Course Goals and Learning Outcomes

____ Discuss how the course fits into the overall curriculum. Answer the question, “Why is this course useful?”
____ List 4-5 broad learning outcomes that reflect what the students will learn and the skills they will develop by successfully completing the course.
____ Orient students to the discipline if this is an introductory course.
Learning Objectives
____ List 3-5 major learning objectives. For example: What will students know or be able to do after completing the course? What skills or competencies do you want them to develop? If appropriate, be clear about what the course will not address. 

Course Format

____Specify textbooks and readings by author and editions. When possible, explain connections to the course goals and how the text and readings address them.
____Explain whether you expect students to have completed readings before class sessions and the degree of understanding that you expect (e.g., successfully complete pop quizzes, be able to discuss concepts, or apply reading information to problem-solving scenarios).
____Explain other requirements such as group assignments, individualized consultation, etc.
____ If readings are placed on reserve in the library, discuss library policy.
____Identify additional equipment or materials needed and where students can obtain them. 

Assignments (Papers, quizzes, exams, projects, etc.)

Be as specific as possible about:
____ Types of exams, quizzes, exercises, projects, papers, etc.
____ Expectations for performance

How will Students Be Evaluated?

____ Explain how students will be evaluated and grades assigned.
____ Include components of final grade, weights assigned to each component, information regarding grading on a curve or scale, etc.

Course Policies

Discuss your policies clearly regarding:
____Attendance 
____Late assignments 
____Make-up options 
____Extra credit 
____Deadline extensions
 ____Reporting illness
 ____Cheating and plagiarism 
____Expected classroom behavior
____Expectations for attendance, assignments, and examinations
____ Students’ responsibilities in the learning process
Visit theCMU’s site on grade policies

Course Calendar 

____Provide a course calendar that outlines themes/topics to be covered, reading requirements, assignment due dates, etc. If necessary, revise it and be sure students get an updated version. 
____List important dates such as last drop date, registration dates for the next semester, etc. Visit CMU’s Academic Calendar website for semester detail information.
____ Include dates and times of any exams scheduled outside of class time (If needed, visit CMU’s proctoring site for additional information).
____ Highlight the date and time of final exam
Visit an Interfaith Calendar Interfaith Calendar website when scheduling projects, presentations, and exams to consider any potential conflicts.

Additional Learner-Centered Information

____Provide a glossary of terms, acronym key, and jargon commonly used in the subject area.
____Inform students about sensitive or potentially disturbing information or activities covered in the course.
____Estimate student workload. Give students a sense of how much preparation and work the course requires. But be realistic; they don’t believe either scare tactics or soft-pedaling. (Remember that yours is not the only class that they’re taking.)
____Include information on how to succeed in the course, such the following suggestions tailored for students:
  • ____Check your CMU email regularly
  • ____Log into our Blackboard course daily
  • ____Communicate with your instructor and visit during office hours
  • ____Create a study schedule so that you don’t fall behind
  • ____ Include information about campus resources such as tutoring, study skills help, etc.
  • ____Resources for obtaining additional help, such as tutors, teaching assistants, supplemental instruction (if any).

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Adapted from “Mindful and Learner-Centered Syllabus Checklist” by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Iowa State University.

CMU’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a Unit of Curriculum & Instructional Support is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License