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Syllabus: Home

Your syllabus guides students through your class by outlining expectations, timelines and rubrics. But does it get the student excited? This guide explores the basic tenets, current theories & best practices for college-level syllabi.

Your students' destination

Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illustrator Sir John Tenniel, image out of copyright.

The Purpose

"A syllabus has several functions:

  • To invite students to your course--to inform them of the objectives of the course and to provide a sense of what the course will be like.
  • To provide a kind of contract between instructors and students--to document expectations for assignments and grade allocations.
  • To provide a guiding reference--a resource to which students and instructional staff can refer for logistical information such as the schedule, as well as rationale for the pedagogy and course content"


The Plural


n. pl. syl·la·bus·es or syl·la·bi (-b)

An outline or a summary of the main points of a text, lecture, or course of study.

World English Dictionary