How to Design a Course Syllabus

After acquiring knowledge in learner-centered pedagogy, inclusive pedagogy and problem-based learning, we are at an appropriate stage to design a course syllabus. This video is a good source to learn how to design a syllabus. As is mentioned, a good syllabus should function in three ways:

  • Syllabus as a road map
  • Syllabus as an organizational tool
  • Syllabus as a contract

The structure of the syllabus is what is repeated in our coursework each semester. But the question is how many times did we think about the instructor’ perspective within the syllabus. Apparently, there is an intellectual element within the expressions that just smart students would be able to capture. We, as future contributors to educational systems, should grow this habit to analyze the infrastructures of the issues that we deal with in current interactions. It will help us to broaden our view so we are endowed to be authentic self in the subject. This conveys some sort of problem-based learning, as we receive the knowledge and we try to internalize it as we are interacting with peers. Being more and more organized, it becomes part of our character. Hence, in long term it spontaneously appears in our interactions.

It is what an instructor needs to consider in designing a course syllabus. It is like a road map that fosters such elements in learners’ character in a time period. Therefore, the course timetable should be designed to foster the content as they are progressing. It is important to teach students how to think and organize their understanding at each stage with appropriate time management. Once the scope and expected outcomes becomes clear, course policy can be used as a tool to nurture the learning style. Within these different elements, from course description to references and assignments, a specific learning style is transferred from the instructor to learners. Ultimately, implications of an effective syllabus will help the instructor in transferring the knowledge to learners. It is a multi-scale structure that reflects principles of the educational system in the perspective and attitude of learners and instructors as individuals.

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