New teaching assistants and new faculty members often start learning about the values of and problems of a syllabus when they are handed a syllabus and told, “Here’s what you’ll be teaching.”
Sometimes that’s literal — As a teaching assistant, you are given a syllabus and that’s what you are to follow. Having the syllabus already prepared can save you from making literally dozens of decisions about the course.
Sometimes you are given the syllabus to serve as a foundation for the syllabus that you will be developing for the course.
You want to be able to develop your own syllabus — recognizing how your course fits into the curriculum and bringing your own strengths to the course.
As part of your teaching portfolio, you are developing course materials for an undergraduate communications course — the syllabus, an assessment activity and evaluation criteria, and two lesson plans.
You’ve already been thinking about what course you’d like to develop. What you need to do for class for Sept. 17 is to develop a written proposal for your course. Here’s a Word document that provides a structure for your proposal — mmc6930_course_proposal
Download the form, type in the needed information, and bring the printed proposal to class on Sept. 17.
Once you have the course determined and the proposal written, you can begin thinking about planning your syllabus:
- Identify syllabi online for similar courses.
- Answer the questions (above — in image) about how a syllabus can help your students and help you.
- Check the links I’ve provided on the blog (UF resources) for information that you will include in your syllabus.
- Read the chapter in McKeachie’s Teaching Tips about developing a syllabus.
- Read a post I wrote about creating a syllabus.
- Develop a list of questions you have about creating a syllabus.