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Building a Better Mousetrap: The Syllabus, the Student, and You - page 2 / 6

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In addition, as at many universities, faculty syllabi must also adhere to a specific Operating Policy (ASU OP 06.14) and legislative requirements.* The current trend toward accessibility and transparency by both the legislature and SACS necessitates changes to our syllabi. We need to show connections between course activities, course learning goals, and university learning goals.

The syllabus, in other words, should not be something we take lightly.

Building a better syllabus requires some self-reflection and some coordination: objectives might be specific to individual classes, but learning outcomes might be shared across departments.

While students benefit from a clear and detailed syllabus, producing a learning-centered syllabus offers the faculty an important opportunity to reflect on his or her assignments, exams, and other classroom activities. Simply put, your syllabus should help students (and you) understand what you want students to understand and be able to do after completing your class.

The CITR has created a Syllabus Template that reflects the best practices and ASU OP. Obviously, there are classes that require unique items on the syllabus. If so, you should add them.

As a final word, we recommend you spend time the first day of class discussing your syllabus with the students. The syllabus offers you an opportunity to begin the learning process and to engage students.

Good luck and have a great semester.

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