Building a Better Syllabus

Universal Syllabus Components

Every college seems to have overlapping as well as unique nomenclature that supports the existing institutional structure and represents school and department level labeling. Intellidemia, the developers of Concourse, an online syllabus solution, studied thousands of syllabi to determine what the most universal components of a syllabus are. Check it out in the sidebar.

Syllabus Template

Building on the Bain philosophy that people would rather be in control than manipulated by someone else’s demands, we have concluded that schools who generate syllabus templates are presented with a win-win when it comes to control.

Traditionally, academic administrators generate syllabus templates that outline the major syllabus components, provide policies and requirements, and often place notes and suggestions on the template. Administrators do this to increase consistency across courses and decrease error and omission.

Administrators understand the need and requirement for department and institutional policies to be present on the syllabus. This requirement is scrutinized during syllabus approval and curriculum development processes. Having policies present and up-to-date in the syllabus is critical to accreditation as well.