Syllabus Design It seems that most schools will provide


It seems that most schools will provide course materials, such as a book with a syllabus and supplemental teaching aids, however, since this is not always the case, it is important to know how to construct your own. The article from Northeastern University (http://www.edtech.neu.edu/workshops/materials/course/materials/sylla bus/) mainly dealt with constructing a syllabus to include online material, however, the principles it is founded on are universal. Effectively developing a syllabus that is both informational and interesting is a challenge for any teacher. Since the syllabus acts as the backbone to the class there are several things a teacher must consider to make sure that the class achieves its purpose.

The syllabus is the flagship of the class and often the only source of information a student may have sometimes. The first thing a teacher must do when developing a syllabus is step back and understand what goals they want the class to achieve. Once this is done, the teacher can start building learning objectives that will lead to these goals. The best way to set objectives is to simply ask the students or ask previous students. These are the people who will be benefiting most from the course so it is important that they have some input. The teacher must make sure they have a logical flow of class lessons to meet these objectives. Nothing will confuse a student more than lessons that seem out of place. Provide the students with a timeline for activities, assignments, and evaluations. This will promote class cohesion and organization. Once these objectives are mapped out effectively the teacher can begin to think about the most efficient way to teach the material. This is extremely important because difficult or boring lessons must be met with a creative approach that will foster maximum learning. Setting objectives and learning goals are only half of the teacher’s job. After the objectives have been set and teaching methods constructed, the teacher can then develop an evaluation criteria. This can include anything from in-class activities, quizzes, or tests. Evaluations should be sure to test relevant knowledge and challenge the student’s ability to apply the language. Evaluations should not be too difficult or too easy because this does little for the students. Evaluations that are easy do not challenge the student, while evaluations that are overly difficult will discourage the student and hinder further progress. Going hand in hand with evaluations is grading criteria. The students must have a concrete guide to understand what is expected of them to receive certain grades. Remember that these criteria are not set in stone, however, and can change if the dynamics of the course change. Also, the students should be given contact information for the teacher, as well as any office hours or additional time outside of class the teacher is available. This will help the students who struggle individually and who may be too shy to speak up in class. Overall syllabus construction needs to have a solid foundation of objectives and teaching methodology to work off of. Evaluations should be developed to challenge the students, but not discourage them. Above all else, make the syllabus interesting and make yourself accessible. The students should feel like their teacher is truly concerned with their well-being and advancement in the course.