Creating an Abbreviated Syllabus
Due to increasing costs and volume, Gen Ed is no longer able to provide photocopies of full syllabi for the start of term. However, to promote “green classrooms” and reduce paper waste and excessive copying costs, Gen Ed encourages faculty to create an abbreviated syllabus to distribute to students during the first weeks of classes. Consolidated to a single page (which could be double-sided), the abbreviated syllabus should provide the essential information students need as they are choosing courses for the term and refer students to the full syllabus posted on the Canvas website. (See the Gen Ed Syllabus Checklist to see suggested headings and sub-headings for sections to include in a full syllabus.) Tips for creating an abbreviated syllabus and examples are included below.
In drafting a Shopping Week syllabus for your course, you might wish to consider these questions:
- What information do students need at hand when choosing courses?
- What information might pique students’ interest?
- What information is essential to the smooth execution of the course?
You might find it helpful to view these examples:
- Ethical Reasoning 18: Classical Chinese Ethical & Political Philosophy (Michael Puett)
- Science of Living Systems 16: Human Evolution & Human Health (Dan Lieberman)
Tips for Creating a Shopping Week Syllabus
- Course information (course title & number, time & location)
- Instructor information (contact information for course head and Head TF)
- Course description & aims
- Gen Ed statement (why the course is a good fit for Gen Ed)
- Course requirements (overview of expectations & assignments, grading breakdown)
- Required texts/materials
- Course schedule (lecture topics, assignments, exams and key deadlines)
- Link to full syllabus on Canvas
Format & design:
- Make the syllabus easy to skim.
- Don’t sacrifice readability in order to fit in as much information as possible.
- Streamline lecture topics, readings and key deadlines into a single table.