August 19, 2020

Syllabus Tweaks: Things to Keep and Things to Delete

Abstract

The shifts in higher education that came as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused all of us take a closer look at our courses and delivery methods and ask ourselves what to keep and what to delete. Simple changes – starting at a syllabus level – can help us to better connect with and retain students as we transition to a system of teaching that’s more inclusive and effective. Although a syllabus is often highly regarded by instructors, many students report feelings of disconnection, confusion, overwhelm, and intimidation as a result of traditional syllabi (Pacansky-Brock, 2017). This session will focus on simple and practical ways to give your syllabus a quick "make-over" so that it will be functional and useful to you (the instructor) but also more warm, welcoming, and user-friendly for students. Examples will be provided. The benefits of the ETE SCOTs Program will also be discussed.

*Participants will be introduced to new syllabus ideas, examples, and formats that are effective and evidence-based
*Participants will learn how to enhance the functional elements of their syllabi and improve parts that are confusing or irrelevant
*Participants will learn more about the ETE SCOTs Program and how student collaborators can help instructors


Lisa GabbertMarlene Graf

Professional Practice Associate Professor

Marlene Israelsen Graf is a registered dietitian and Professional Practice Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences at USU. She has taught courses in a variety of formats since 2007 and was the recipient of the Eldon J. Gardner Teacher of the Year Award in 2013.