Syllabus: your course road map
"Syllabus: a brief statement of the main points of a course of study" -- American Heritage Dictionary
"Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new
grass, like abundant rain on tender plants." -- Deuteronomy 32:2
Dictionaries often use the phrase "brief
statement" in defining syllabus. In reality, most course syllabi (at least mine) tend to be
multi-page documents. A good syllabus is a gold mine of information about assignments, due
dates and grading expectations.
A good description of syllabi1 at schools like Southern Nazarene University
appeared some time ago in the Journal of Education for Business. In describing a
syllabus, Greg Kearsley and William Lynch wrote:
"The single most important instrument of structure in a course is the SYLLABUS, [a
document] which outlines the goals and objectives of a course, prerequisites, the
grading/evaluation scheme, materials to be used (textbooks, software), topics to be covered, a
schedule, and a bibliography. Each of these components defines the nature of the learning
- "Goals and objectives identify the expected outcomes and scope of the course as
determined by the instructor or course designer, restricting the domain of knowledge for the
- "Prerequisites limit the student population to those with certain kinds of learning
experiences, usually other courses.
- "The grading or evaluation scheme tells students what kind of learning activities are to be
valued (e.g., assignments, tests, papers, projects), that is, the currency of learning in this
- "Topics to be covered specify the content that the instructor feels is important.
- "The schedule provides a timetable for learning, usually with milestones in the form of due
dates or tests."1
1Greg Kearsley and William Lynch, Journal of Education for
1Note: Syllabi is the plural form of syllabus.
-- Howard Culbertson
Syllabi on this website
For courses at European Nazarene College
For course at Nazarene International Language Institute (Quito, Ecuador)
For a course at Nazarene Theological Seminary
For a course at Northwest Nazarene University
For courses at Southern Nazarene University
For course taught at Trinity International University
Are you one of these characters?
Online students I've met -- Caricatures of annoying behavior in
-- Howard Culbertson,
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