Additional Components of a Learner-Centered Syllabus
This guide provides an overview of the essential elements of a learner-centered syllabus as a starting point. As you develop your syllabus, consider other components (listed below) that, with slight adjustments and wordsmithing, can have deeper impact on building a meaningful partnership with your students.
|Basic Course Info||Course abbreviation, number, title, semester, number of credits|
|Instructor Info and Office Hours, Preferred Method of Contact, and Response Time (e.g., 24-48 hours)|
Name (If appropriate, include your nickname, preferred method of addressing)
Office address (including another meeting location), hours (include time zone for online courses), and 1-2 sentences about yourself (e.g., teaching philosophy, personal interests), etc.
|Expectations for Instructor and Student||Provide a list of expectations of your students (e.g., behavior, attendance, communication) and yourself (e.g., grade objectively, arrive to class 5 minutes early).|
|Pre-Requisites (if applicable)||List pre-requisites including foundation courses, admission to the respective program (e.g., Admittance to the College of Education).|
|Course Learning Outcomes||Include course-learning outcomes that address the question, “Why is this course useful?” The outcomes should be broadly written to focus on what students will learn and what skills they will develop.|
|Course Learning Objectives/Goals||Outline course-learning objectives that you, as the teacher, will cover in the class.|
|Teaching Methods and Materials|
Describe your teaching practices and activities that you will use in your course (e.g., active learning, interactive lecture), how interactions will take place (e.g., discussion-based learning).
Include details concerning extra supplies, items needed for the course (e.g., graphing calculator, index cards, composition book).
|Course Format||Online, face-to-face, hybrid|
|Textbook and Readings||Designate required versus recommended textbooks. If possible, include the price range for the text(s), if you will allow students to have older versions (to save on costs), and links to cost-friendly retailers (e.g., Amazon, Chegg).|
|Assignments||Provide assignment details, which include descriptions, types (e.g., essay, quiz), deadlines, point value, and expectations.|
|Course Calendar||Provide a comprehensive course calendar that includes assigned readings, assignments, activities, etc. Additionally, include important drop/withdrawal dates.|
|Accommodations, Accessibility||Communicate (and link to) CMU’s services to accommodate students with disabilities.|
|Inclusion||Clarify how your class is a place of inclusion where all students are welcome, your commitment to ensuring that your class is a safe space where exchanged ideas are welcomed and encouraged.|
|Grading||Communicate how students will be evaluated, including a grading scale, weight and value of assignments, and if you grade on a curve.|
Communicate your policies concerning classroom behavior, academic integrity, attendance, late work, extra credit (even to confirm that it’s not an option), make-up work, assignment extensions, etc.
*Always check with your department for specific, required policies.
|Statement of Flexibility||Share a statement that the course calendar, office hours, etc. are subject to change due to inclement weather, student needs, instructional delays, etc.|