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The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24

TAPP Radio Episode 24

The Syllabus Episode | BONUS

Quick Take

0:58 | Introduction
3:03 | Do students read the syllabus? What is a syllabus?
11:09 | Reading and raiding the syllabus
25:36 | First-day activities | A syllabus quiz?
44:24 | Basic elements of a syllabus
57:47 | More things to put in a syllabus
1:09:38 | Study strategies, extra topics, & FAQs
1:18:07 | Conclusion

Listen Now!

There is a peculiar aesthetic pleasure in constructing the form of a syllabus, or a book of essays, or a course of lectures. Visions and shadows of people and ideas can be arranged and rearranged like stained-glass pieces in a window, or chessmen on a board. (A. S. Byatt)

1 | Introduction

2 minutes

woman leaning forward It’s a BONUS episode, meaning that you get bonus minutes, meaning that it’s a really, really long episode!

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2 | Do Students Read the Syllabus?

8 minutes

Do students read the syllabus? Maybe half? It’s the other half who drive us nuts. Wait! do we always read the directions before asking questions?

What is a syllabus? It can be different things, right? Why do administrators seem to love the syllabus so much?


3 | Reading & Raiding the Syllabus

14.5 minutes

Some general considerations when designing a syllabus include make sure that students can both read the syllabus through, and raid the syllabus for key information when they need it. The key is simplicity and logic in syllabus design.


4 | First Day Activities

18.5 minutes

lecture hall

Is it just “here’s the syllabus; see ya next class”—or is it an engaged look at important syllabus elements? The first day of class is key to starting things off on a good foot. What I learned from Krista, Michael, and Richard—and my own sideways twist on those first steps. What about a syllabus quiz? Is that a good or bad idea?


5 | Basic Elements of a Syllabus

who needs a syllabus?

13.5 minutes

What exactly goes into a syllabus? Who decides? What are the essentials? This isn’t comprehensive, but it gets you


6 | More Things to Put in a Syllabus

12 minutes

Frank O’Neill recommends video walk-throughs, which have the added benefit of letting students know that you really do care about them. Consider also a table contents, abstract/summary, and/or index if the syllabus is long. How about a disclaimer, some playful tidbits, and links to external resources. And make sure your supervisors know what’s in your syllabus!


7 | Links to Other Resources

8.5 minutes

Consider putting hyperlinks or URLs in the syllabus to take students to other resources. Consider linking to a FAQ page, wher you explain your rationals for doing things the way that you do them in your course.


8 | Conclusion

1 minute

Final thoughts. Okay, no real thoughts. Just be glad you made it this far!

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Last updated: February 2, 2024 at 15:06 pm

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