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COM 502 Methods of Teaching Communication
Fall, 10

Dr. Marcia D. Dixson









Syllabus Assignment (Due October 1 for Peer Review; Final: December 12)

Your assignment is to create a syllabus and outline the semester for your students.  As you write your syllabus, have a goal for what it should accomplish in terms of student expectations and “setting the tone” of the course and instructor.  Your syllabus should be readable and should explain your expectations for your students.  Be careful not to make things so rigid that you aren’t able to make necessary changes and exceptions, but don’t make things so ambiguous that students become frustrated with its looseness. Requirement: Put your syllabus on the web!

 A good syllabus should include, at least, the following elements:

  1. Course Information
    1. Title, Number, Section, Time, Meeting Place
  2. Instructor Information
    1. Name
    2. Office location, your availability schedule
    3. Contact information
  3. Goal of the Course
    1. Student Learning Objectives
  4. Course Materials
    1. Textbooks
    2. Special Instructions/Materials (if applicable)
    3. Optional Materials (if applicable)
  5. Course Policies
    1. University Policies
      1. Plagiarism
    2. Attendance
    3. Grading Policies
    4. Make-up work
    5. Late policy
    6. Participation (if applicable)
  6. Course Schedule/Topical Outline
  7. Major assignments with in-class structure


A well made syllabus will be appropriate to your specific class and teaching style.  As such, you may opt to leave some of these elements out of your syllabus, or you might want to add things not listed above ().  Either way, you should be able to defend your decision to include or exclude items from your syllabus based upon what tone you are trying to set for the classroom environment.

Other resources for syllabi help:

Excellent manual on syllabus construction: Brown University - Constructing a Syllabus

Illinois State University’s Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology

Indiana University Bloomington: Building a Good Syllabus

University of Minnesota: Syllabus Tutorial

Honolulu Community College: Writing a Syllabus

Illinois State University - Syllabi Checklist

Iowa State University - The Learning Centered Syllabus

University of California, Berkeley - Creating a Syllabus

Writing Effective Learning Objectives

Explanation of Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives for Lesson Plans

General Learning Objective Guidelines and Examples