Tag Archives: syllabus


It’s Not Too Late: Making Mid-Course Adjustments


On many campuses right now, it’s midterm season. Students and faculty are feeling the strain of heavier workloads, colds and viruses are making the rounds, and the enthusiasm that marked the first few weeks of school seems like a distant memory, at least on certain days.

But if things aren’t going as well as you’d like in one of your courses, it’s good to remember that there’s still almost half a semester left, at least five or six weeks, maybe more depending on your institution’s calendar. Tha…


Designing Engaging Course Documents with Piktochart


This is a guest post by Julie Platt, currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She researches and teaches about writing centers, creative writing studies, professional writing, and technical communication. On Twitter, she’s @Aristotlejulep.–@JBJ]

It’s sometimes a struggle to get students to carefully read course documents. Many student questions, especially at this time of year, can be answered with “Please check the syllabus!” However, when I c…


Weekend Reading: August & Everything After Edition

7976509870_fd12524842_z As summer, for many of us, speeds towards its inevitable end, I am reminded of the ebb and flow that marks this time of year: the daylight has begun waning sooner, and our daily habits and patterns will shift (or may have already shifted) to accommodate the demands of a new term, a different course, the same course but on a different day, new or returning service work, and the everyday responsibilities of family, friends, and our own selves.

Like many of you, over the last two weeks, I’ve becom…


Citing Syllabi

5167905071_e42568a44f_zMy first experience in the syllabi bakery was years ago while doing some tech support for a certain well-known scholar. She was staring at the beginnings of a reading list on her office computer while I tried to restore a dead laptop. Suddenly, she jumped to her feet and began to browse through her impressive collection of books, ‘Agency,’ she mumbled, ‘I need to assign something on agency.’ The professor was still on a search for agency when I left.

Wow, that looks hard, I thought. Having read …


From the Archives: Creating Syllabi

We’ve written quite a lot at ProfHacker about syllabus and course design. Check out 2010’s Archives post or the many posts tagged with syllabus or syllabi. This roundup of posts focuses on the basics of syllabus creation.

What Do You Need to Do?

  • In a previous Archives post on Syllabi and Course Design, I said

    Keep in mind, the first rule of productivity is “don’t fix what’s already working.” If you’re satisfied with the assignments, policies, and course plans you’ve used before,…


Weekend Reading: Memorial Day Weekend Edition


Happy Memorial Day Weekend, ProfHackers! Before we launch into the Weekend Reading, we wanted to take a moment a remember those who have served our country both at home and abroad. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.

Laura Miller, writer for Salon.com has broken up with Amazon. Citing the online everything seller’s increasingly monopolistic tactics, she points to the recent scuffle with Hachette books, reported by the New York Times, where Amazon has delayed shipment of certain Hache…


Best Practices for Accessible Print Document Design

I suspect we’ve all been on the receiving end of poorly-designed documents: pages drowning in enormous gray oceans of text with no navigational cues whatsoever; emphasis indicated by text that is bold, all-caps, italicized, and underlined*; color choices that threaten to damage retinas (or that make text practically unreadable); text so small and margins so narrow that it’s obvious the desire to save paper has trumped the desire for clear communication.

As authors, when we create documents for …


Why Use an Online Syllabus?

Online syllabusMost of us are now a few weeks into the new semester, and some among us may already be pointing students to our syllabus for answers to their questions about the course.

Syllabuses aren’t exactly a new topic of discussion. George has explained how to create a syllabus using a spreadsheet and a calendar app, and Jason’s taken up the topic of creative syllabuses on more than one occasion. And those are hardly our only posts on the subject.

For a few years now, I’ve been creating my syllabus entire…


Accessibility Statements on Syllabuses

Accessibility LogoWe’ve discussed accessibility issues before on ProfHacker, including accessibility in the classroom. But as I was designing my syllabuses* for Fall 2013, I realized that we’ve never talked about accessibility statements on syllabuses, which more and more institutions are—happily—mandating.

Many campuses have boilerplate language for accessibility statements (which are, unfortunately, occasionally called “disability statements,” a phrase that itself emphasizes exclusion rather than inclusivity). …


Time Travel to Plan Your Semester

push to travel Whether your institution requires early submission of your syllabus and course materials, or whether you just have to have to be ready for that first day of class, if you are teaching this fall, you will probably soon be spending some time creating syllabi, assignments, and course websites. Preparing your course outline is just one small part of the chaos of the first week of the fall term, which often brings excitement, pressure, or nervousness both for faculty and students. It’s easy to focus…