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+ The Course Syllabus as an Effective Communication Tool Dr. Pam Brown, College of Education Dr. Steve Damron, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural.

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Presentation on theme: "+ The Course Syllabus as an Effective Communication Tool Dr. Pam Brown, College of Education Dr. Steve Damron, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural."— Presentation transcript:

1 + The Course Syllabus as an Effective Communication Tool Dr. Pam Brown, College of Education Dr. Steve Damron, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

2 + 7 purposes of a syllabus Sets the tone for the course Motivates students to set goals Serves as a planning tool for faculty Structures students work over time Helps faculty plan and meet goals Serves as contract between faculty and students Is a portfolio artifact for job application, tenure, promotion From: Slattery & Carlson, 2005

3 + Examples of syllabus language: Brown NETIQUETTE: I expect each class member to follow these basic rules of online conduct: Keep discussions professional, not personal. Disagree with ideas (if needed), but don ʼ t denigrate another person. Avoid profanity altogether. Use standard English, not text-speak. Design your online entries to stimulate further discussion rather than to serve as a final word. We are all learners. Before posting to a discussion board, please read all questions and responses already posted on that topic in order to avoid repetition. I will take roll at each class meeting. Attendance includes not only physical presence, but also mental engagement.

4 + Examples of syllabus language: Damron GRADE VERIFICATION POLICY. There are no exceptions to the following policy. Various student groups ask students to have instructors verify attendance and/or grades in their classes. I will not do this. If you are asked to do this, then please show the asker this syllabus. Grades will always be available on D2L. Share them with whomever you wish.

5 + The syllabus as a teaching tool It can be more than a standard contractperhaps a compact? A deal? A bargain? A covenant? Think about including explanations imbedded in the syllabus about why you include various sectionsgive students a glimpse of your decision-making processes Your syllabus could reflect principles you are teachingfor example, an art class may have an artistic format If you use a standardized syllabus, consider adding a personal syllabus addendum to give the students some information about you, their instructor

6 + What to include in the syllabus: Basics Course title, number, semester, meeting location, times Instructor contact informationemail, phone(s), office location, office hours, other (social media, blog, etc.) Necessary information for online course components Rationale Goals and objectives Required readings Assignments Evaluation/grading scheme Academic policies: for example, academic integrity, student disability services (OSU Syllabus Attachment for current semester) Class scheduledate(s)/assignments/readings/activities/topics

7 + You could also include: Extras(?) Instructor beliefs, philosophy, assumptions Specific assessment informationfor example, rubrics or assessment methods Teaching methods (life beyond the lecture) Plans for feedback on student learning Opportunities for students to provide course input (formative and summative) Accreditation information

8 + Syllabus evaluation rubric CriterionBeginningEmergingExemplary Overall toneMechanical, dictatorial Teacher- oriented Student/learnin g oriented (first person) Instructor beliefs, assumptions Little or no info regarding teaching philosophy, beliefs, or assumptions about learning Section describing instructors beliefs or assumptions about teaching and learning that guide course Well articulated rationale including values, experiences that guide the instructors teaching practice

9 + Syllabus evaluation rubric CriterionBeginningEmergingExemplary Course outcomes Not articulatedStated in general, but vague and unmeasurable Listed with appropriate, descriptive verbs; measurable Class scheduleLittle or no info on weekly topics Course topics broken down by class period Fully articulated and logically sequenced; chronological topics listed with associated required readings and necessary preparation by students

10 + Syllabus evaluation rubric CriterionBeginningEmergingExemplary Assignments required Listed without due dates Listed with clear due dates Listed with due dates, along with explanation of late policy and other grade implications Academic policies and procedures Little or no information Description of academic integrity policy All pertinent academic policies, including academic integrity, accommodating students with disabilities, class attendance

11 + Syllabus evaluation rubric CriterionBeginningEmergingExemplary Assessment of students learning Little or no info about how students will be graded; reinforces only a grade-focus Each graded assignment is clearly described with its relative value towards the overall course grade Each assignment includes rationale for inclusion in the course and what the students should gain; use of rubrics with quality criteria specified Diversity of teaching & assessment methods All similar; for example, all lectures + all tests Evidence for diverse set of teaching & assessment methods Evidence instructor has considered diversity of students in choosing methods

12 + Other considerations How will students be able to reach you? How will you use the Desire to Learn online platform? How do you know students will read and use your syllabus? Perhaps a quiz (Damron) Perhaps a creative format (Brown) Dont be afraid to refer students to the syllabus as long as you are certain it answers their questions fully and clearly

13 + What questions do you have for us?

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