Breakout Session

Connecting Students to the Syllabus

Track: Learning Innovations

Friday, November 30th, 12:00pm-12:55pm

We all have standard syllabi that we loosely adjust each year. They are extensive and overwhelming to students, who often don’t read them in their entirety. Using technology, like a class wiki, or a visual syllabus on a site such as Prezi can help students understand the connection between lesson, assignments, learning and assessment. By creating a visual reference for students, faculty can break the barrier that many students raise when confronted with a five (or more) page document while still fulfilling the requirements of administration.

 

Katherine Sauchelli
County College of Morris

Bio / Expertise:
I am an adjunct professor in New Jersey and have been teaching with technology for eight years. This includes teaching for online Universities, and teaching online, hybrid and regular classes in community colleges. No matter what the format of the course, I incorporate technology, from class wikis to Blackboard.

Presentation Content

I will present the problem of a static, lengthy and jargon-filled syllabus and different ways we can re-think what is arguably the first impression student’s receive of our course.

The solution rests in an interactive or visual syllabus. A recent edition of Inside Higher Ed spoke of the value of a visual syllabus; I will guide the attendants through some ways to achieve such a syllabus. I also feel that a syllabus that students can physically interact with, such as one on an editable class Wiki can help students understand the importance of their activities. There are ways to make a visual syllabus on a Wiki, too, and I will review those methods.

The intended outcome is to help students understand the significance of lessons and assessment in their learning and overall academic goals.

This idea is not discipline specific and can be used in any course, as well as any institution that benefits from a syllabus, and even for grades that might not use a syllabus yet.

 

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