Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC | UTHSC News

Syllabus Design


Last Updated:
April 24, 2023

First Published:
April 22, 2022


Course syllabi provide students and faculty with a road map for successfully navigating a course including details about content, requirements, assignments, assessments, policies, resources, schedule, expectations, and responsibilities. In addition, syllabi act as an agreement (invitation) between the faculty and students about how the course will function including promises of what students will learn during the course and how they will demonstrate learning. Syllabi should be valuable, succinct, and accessible to your students. 

Use the comments section below to let us know your ideas and thoughts about effective syllabus design.

  1. When creating your syllabus ask yourself these questions: what do the students need to know?; what do you want the students to know about the course?; in what way will the syllabus be useful to the students?; and what information and tools can you provide for your students to promote learning and intellectual development?

  2. When writing your syllabus be explicit and transparent about expectations.

  3. To encourage students to read the syllabus, hide an “easter egg” in the syllabus, e.g., somewhere in the syllabus ask the students to send you a picture of a specific cartoon character or offer to buy lunch to the student who emails you first.

  4. When writing the syllabus, use a positive, respectful, and inviting tone to address the students.