Syllabus Design

A successful course depends on the planning that precedes it. The articles and links in this section serve as planning guides for both faculty and GSIs. They provide instructions for creating a syllabus.

Preparing to Teach

This section of CRLT's website includes a variety of resources to help with syllabus construction. The first is a brief discussion of the purposes of a syllabus and important items and policies to include. The other three include examples drawn from the various settings in which GSIs teach.

  • Creating Your Syllabus (pdf): This document provides information about how to compose a course syllabus, including what kinds of general and institutional information should be included. This checklist is particularly useful to new instructors designing syllabi for the first time.

  • Sample Section Syllabi (pdf): This document provides two sample syllabi for courses with multiple sections. The first sample is from a sociology course, and the second sample is from a psychology course. This document, in tandem with the "Creating Your Syllabus" resource, is useful for new instructors designing syllabi for the first time.

  • Sample Course Syllabus (pdf): This document provides a sample of a full syllabus and course schedule for a section of English 125. This document is useful to new instructors because it demonstrates many of the suggestions outlined in the "Creating Your Syllabus" resource.

  • Sample Lab Syllabus (pdf): This document provides a sample lab syllabus for multiple sections of GS 223 (Introductory Oceanography Lab). This document is useful for instructors who are teaching labs.

Writing a Syllabus (Cornell University)
This site includes advice for creating useful, learner-centered syllabi. Resources include a course planning decision guide, a syllabus template, and a rubric to help evaluate a syllabus.

IDEA Paper #27: Writing a Syllabus (IDEA Center, Altman & Cashman, 1992)
The authors explore the literature on college syllabi and suggest what information might be included on your syllabus. This resource features an in-depth discussion of the major content areas to consider for a course syllabus.

Constructing a Syllabus: A Handbook for Faculty, Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows (Woolcock, 2005)
Thorough handbook on the topic of course construction, with a special emphasis on preparing a syllabus. Includes practical exercises to help develop your course outline and goals, as well as samples of completed syllabi.