Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Making the Most of the Syllabus

Inside Higher Ed
August 17th, 2015

A common complaint from professors concerns students’ endless questions about topics that are covered on the syllabus. I have been teaching for over a decade and recall only one such incident. So while I appreciate that such questions would be irritating, I cannot relate to them. As with many aspects of teaching, it is possible to approach the syllabus in a myriad of ways. Here I share my related practices with the hopes that others can end up with fewer questions about issues that are already addressed on their syllabi.
My caveat here is that most of my classes are relatively small, creating the types of classroom settings that lend themselves well to conversations between students and the instructor much more than big lecture classes. That said, some of the points I discuss should work regardless of class size. For those that do not, I offer some alternatives.

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