August 17, 2007

Developing a Learning-Centered Course Syllabus

The process of teaching and learning requires detailed preparation. One of these important steps in preparation is developing a course syllabus. There are many methods for syllabus creation and a great resource for such a task is the book The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach by Judith Grunert. This manual is intended to assist instructors in planning and constructing a learning-centered course syllabus that incorporates tools and information to aid students' learning.

In the book, Judith notes that "...[A] syllabus can serve a wide variety of functions that support and challenge students as they engage in their educational activities" (p.14). Some of these functions are: Establishing an Early Point of Contact and Connection Between Student and Instructor, Helps Set the Tone for Your Course, Describes Your Beliefs About Educational Purposes, Acquaints Students with the Logistics of the Course, and Provides a Conceptual Framework.

Below is a checklist designed to help an instructor develop a learning-centered course syllabus. This checklist was taken from page 81 in Judith's book.

Grunert, Judith. The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach.
Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc., 1997.

For a more detailed description of the Judith Grunert's book visit:

See these web sites for more syllabus examples:

How are Judith's tips helpful to you in developing a syllabus?
What other methods for syllabus development have you used?
Are there any other important functions of a syllabus you would like to share?

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