How do I construct a syllabus?

“Start with a good model.  Do not re-invent the wheel here.  Find a course whose goals and/or textbooks are the same as yours and try to work within its parameters.  Be clear and to the point.  Have due dates and brief assignment descriptions.  Have the readings listed.  Include your grading scheme, late work policy, attendance policy, office hours, contact information, etc.  Use a decent font.  Make it visually effective.  (Again, base yours on one that you like.)”

“Map things backward from where you want the students to be at the end of the unit (the term, the upcoming major assignment, the week, the day).  Determine what you want them to know (really, what you want them to be able to do) at the end of the time frame in question in as specific terms as you can devise.  Then back up to figure out how you will get them from where they are to where you want them to end up, one baby step at a time.”

“Ask for many examples from teachers you admire and then steal what you like—it’s okay.  We all do it.”

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