Module Two: Preparing a Syllabus

The syllabus can be defined as a contact established between instructor and learner. The primary function of the syllabus is to provide the learner with details about the learning objectives and associated assessments for the course. The syllabus also defines the roles and responsibilities of both the instructor and the learner.

The syllabus is a descriptive outline that guides the learner through the steps necessary to be successful throughout the course. Altman and Cashin (1992), “suggest that the primary purpose of a syllabus is to communicate to one’s students what the course is about, why the course is taught, where it is going, and what will be required of the students for them to complete the course with a passing grade. The syllabus should provide sufficient information to guide the student through the required learning activities, communication processes and assessment measures. The syllabus should be written in such a way that anyone, learner, reviewer, alternate instructor, or accrediting agencies, can easily understand the course content, expectations and flow. Not unlike the course description the syllabus should stimulate and motivate the learners’ interest in the course.
Typically the instructor for the course is responsible for creating and disseminating the course syllabus. However, department, school, or institutional requirements may provide the base framework for the syllabus or associated components.
Syllabus Guidelines
Examples from different schools at University of Houston-Clear Lake
Writing a Syllabus
Center for Faculty Evaluation and Development, Kansas State University. Writing a Syllabus. Retrieved August 3, 2012 from
Steps in Preparing a Syllabus

A course syllabus traditionally provides students with an overview of the course, such as topics that will be covered. All course syllabi should contain course goals/objectives, a textbook or reading materials, course schedule and university/school policies procedures. In short, it provides the "big picture" to your students. The steps in preparing a syllabus illustration explains the steps in preparing a syllabus using different delivery modes.

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