Increasing Voice and Education - Creating a Learning Centered Syllabus
Aug 26, 2009 Teaching Methodology 2813 Views
American higher education is shifting from a focus on what teachers teach to what learners learn. The role of teachers is shifting from one of disseminator of knowledge to facilitator of learning. One of the ways that we can encourage the shift to occur is in the construction of learning centered syllabi.
In many ways the shift is a response to the explosion of knowledge which places a greater emphasis on the learners responsibility for their own education as guided by skilled scouts.
A way to facilitate this shift as an instructor, is to create learning centered syllabi which can act as comprehensive knowledge maps for your courses. Here are some basic goals to help you develop your learning centered syllabus:
The syllabus should:
1. define the instructors classroom roles and responsibilities
2. defined the students roles and responsibilities
3. describe in detail the course goals and intended student outcomes
4. defined the standards and procedures for assessment and evaluation
5. provide a one-stop shop for all course administrative notes
6. establish a benchmark for professional communication between students and faculty
7. provide a rich resource of required an additional readings and links to course resources
8. describe the degree to which student initiative and flexibility can shape the process and outcomes of the course
9. describe the mechanism by which student feedback, both formal and informal, to faculty and administration can have programmatic effects
10. act as the course blueprint and master map for the conduct of the course
In a sense, the syllabus provides a learning contract between faculty and students and provides a flexible framework for the organization of the course. In this view of the learning environment, students and faculty together create a learning space with students becoming a much more active participants in the overall conduct of education.