explain the basic steps of creating a syllabus |My homework helper

Posted: March 12th, 2023


· Review the Learning Resources and Course Announcement.

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· Complete a search online for syllabi in foundational human services courses, which are typically named Introduction to Human Services or Foundations in Human Services. Choose a syllabus.

· Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the syllabus you chose.

· For this Discussion, you should cite the sources you use to support your evaluation. However, APA formatting of those citations will not be assessed as part of your Discussion grade.



Write a  400- to 500-word initial post that is organized into multiple paragraphs in which you:

· Share an overview of your chosen syllabus and provide an attached .doc or .pdf file or link to the original source. Note if the course is in-person, online, or hybrid.

· Evaluate the strengths of the syllabus by pointing out  at least 4 effective features of the syllabus. Use Learning Resources to support your evaluation.

· Evaluate the weaknesses of the syllabus by pointing out  at least 2 changes you would make. Explain how these changes would improve the syllabus. Use Learning Resources to support your evaluation.



The Gannon and Poorvu Center resources explain the basic steps of creating a syllabus. Richmond (2016); Ludy et al. (2016); and Bezzerides et al. (2020) all discuss the role of syllabi in teaching and reaching students. These resources will help with the Discussion and the Week 5 Assignment.

· Gannon, K. (2018, September 12).  How to create a syllabus: Advice guideLinks to an external site. . The Chronicle of Higher Education. https://www.chronicle.com/interactives/advice-syllabus


· Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.-b)  Syllabus design Links to an external site. . https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/SyllabusDesign



· Richmond, A. S. (2016, September).  Constructing a learner-centered syllabus: One professor’s journey: IDEA paper #60Links to an external site. . IDEA. https://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/PaperIDEA_60.pdf


· Ludy, M.-J., Brackenbury, T., Folkins, J. W., Peet, S. H., Langendorfer, S. J., & Beining, K. (2016).  Student impressions of syllabus design: Engaging versus contractual syllabus Links to an external site. . International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 1–23. https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2016.100206



· Bezzerides, J., Daly-Galeano, M., & Payton, S. (2020).  Syllabus as inclusive practice Links to an external site. . Syllabus, 9(1), 1–2. https://www.syllabusjournal.org/syllabus/article/view/297


· Document:  Week 5 Assignment: Create a Syllabus Directions  Download Week 5 Assignment: Create a Syllabus Directions(PDF)


It is the first day of class, and what are you discussing? Yes, the syllabus! You do what you have always done: review certain elements of the syllabus (e.g., grading policies, due dates, assignments, and assessments)—all the important things that you want your students to know. When you are finished, you might even have a little time left to start teaching course content. After class, you reflect on how the first day went, and a few questions surface. You might ask yourself, What is the purpose of my syllabus? My students seemed very disengaged today. Why? Now that I think of it, the syllabus doesn’t match who I am as a teacher. Why not? Ultimately, you conclude that something must change and that you need to investigate how to improve your syllabus.

The good news is that there is an increasing amount of available research on best practices in syllabi construction (e.g., Altman & Cashin, 1992; Cullen & Harris, 2009; Grunert, 2000; Slattery & Carlson, 2005). However, more important, a growing body of research and practice suggests that learner-centered syllabi can have several positive impacts on students (e.g., DiClementi & Handelsman, 2005; Harrington & Gabert-Quillen, 2015; Richmond et al., 2014; Richmond, Slattery, Morgan, Mitchell, & Becknell, 2016b; Richmond, Morgan, Slattery, & Venzke, 2013; Saville, Zinn, Brown, & Marchuk, 2010). Moreover, Cullen and Harris best define a learner-centered syllabus as “an attempt to create community, a sharing of power and control over what is learned and how it is learned as well as a focus on assessment and evaluation tied directly to learning outcomes” (p. 117).

However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Prior to discussing the construction of a learner-centered syllabus, it is important to understand the main purpose of a syllabus as traditionally researched and practiced and the benefits of a learner- centered one.

The Purpose of a Syllabus: A Historical Review The syllabus can take many different forms and serve many different purposes (Altman & Cashin, 1992; Slattery & Carlson, n.d., 2005). First, and in some cases foremost, the syllabus is viewed as a contract (Elberly, Newton, & Wiggins, 2001; Habanek, 2005; Richmond, Boysen, & Gurung, 2016a). Robinson, Wolf, Czekanski, and Dillon (2014) suggest that the syllabus defines and establishes the respective duties, roles, and responsibilities of the students and the teacher. Contractual syllabus elements may include a description of and rules regarding plagiarism and academic dishonesty; a calendar of course events; and policies on grading, exams, revising and redoing assignments, turning in late work, and implementing elements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Parkes & Harris, 2002; Slattery & Carlson, 2005).

Second, the syllabus is also considered a permanent record that contains detailed and accurate information about the course requirements and content (Parkes & Harris, 2002). Examples include the course-catalog description and accurate summaries of student learning objectives (SLOs); evaluation procedures; course content; and required readings, textbooks, and other materials (Richmond, et al., 2016a).

Abstract Educators increasingly agree that a learner-centered syllabus is associated with better rapport between students and teachers and increased student motivation, achievement, and empowerment. Accordingly, in 2009 Cullen and Harris developed a rubric for assessing the degree to which a syllabus is learner-centered versus teacher-centered. To date, however, there has been no such resource to explain how to actually construct a learner-centered syllabus. Therefore, I set out to provide a primer: In the first half of this paper, I review the history of syllabus construction and then discuss the research that assesses the impact of learner-centered syllabi. In the second half, I provide an assessment tool for teachers, based on the work of Cullen and Harris, for evaluating a syllabus to determine its learner-centeredness. I then explain specific elements of a learner-centered syllabus and provide examples of how to include these elements in your syllabus.

Aaron S. Richmond • Metropolitan State University of Denver

Constructing a Learner-Centered Syllabus: One Professor’s Journey

IDEA Paper #60 • September 2016

Page 2

Third, the syllabus can serve as a cognitive map and learning tool for students (Matejka & Kurke, 1994; Parkes & Harris, 2002). That is, the syllabus allows teachers to provide students with a visual layout of the course and, ideally, an explanation of how to succeed. Such a syllabus is student- or learner-centered, in that it includes detailed success tips; common misconceptions and pitfalls students encounter and how to avoid them; a list of campus resources (e.g., writing, disability, counseling, and student success centers); as well as an embedded explanation of course assignments, assessments, and activities (Cullen & Harris, 2009; Parkes & Harris, 2002, Slattery & Carlson, n.d., 2005).

Why Construct a Learner-Centered Syllabus? As alluded to previously, there is mounting evidence that learner-centered syllabi can have positive effects on both students and teachers (e.g., DiClementi & Handelsman, 2005; Harrington & Gabert-Quillen, 2015; Richmond et al., 2013, 2014, 2016b; Saville et al., 2010). First, research suggests that when teachers construct learner-centered syllabi, students are empowered and behave better in class (DiClementi & Handelsman, 2005). A learner-centered syllabus may cause students to perceive the teacher as possessing more exemplary teaching characteristics (e.g., approachability, flexibility) and greater rapport with them. Moreover, students remember more details from a learner- centered syllabus (Richmond et al., 2014; Saville et al., 2010).

In a true experimental design with random assignment, Richmond and colleagues (2016b) asked students to read hypothetical course syllabi that were independently rated as learner-centered or teacher-centered, using Cullen and Harris’s (2009) rubric for evaluating learner-centeredness.

Students then rated the instructor associated with each syllabus on student-professor rapport (Wilson & Ryan, 2013) and the master teaching behaviors outlined by Keeley, Furr, and Buskist (2009). Richmond et al. (2016b) found that students who read a learner-centered syllabus perceived its teacher as possessing more rapport with students (e.g., in terms of student engagement and perceptions) and as exhibiting higher levels of the master-teacher behavioral qualities of “approachable/personable,” “creative/ interesting,” “encouraging/caring,” “enthusiastic,” “flexible/ open-minded,” and “happy/positive.” Additionally, students who received a learner-centered syllabus recalled more elements of the syllabus than students who received a teacher-centered syllabus.

In a similar study, Saville and colleagues (2010) found that students who received a very det



Some potential topics that students could consider for their assignment on law enforcement intelligence include:The legal and ethical considerations surrounding the use of artificial intelligence in law enforcement intelligence analysis, including questions about bias, privacy, and transparency. The impact of social media and other online platforms on law enforcement intelligence gathering and analysis, including issues related to data privacy, access, and accuracy.

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