What is a Learner-Centered Syllabus?
The syllabus, often the first document read by students each semester, establishes the tone for a course. Often viewed as a contract, the traditional syllabus is focused more on behavior, content and university policies. This authoritative tone can unintentionally create an adversarial relationship between instructor and student. The learner-centered syllabus, on the other hand, is focused on learner success and is more conversational in nature. Instead of a formal sounding document, the learner-centered syllabus uses language meant to generate interest, increase engagement, and to guide the student toward resources that may contribute to their success.
Syllabus template for a seated class (Updated 7-14-2021)
Syllabus template for an online class (Updated 7-14-2021)
Bart, M. (2015). A learner-centered syllabus helps set the tone for learning. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/a-learner-centered-syllabus-helps-set-the-tone-for-learning/
Weimer, M. (2002). Learner-centered teaching: five key changes to practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Fulmer, S. (2017). Weekly digest #64: Preparing a learning-focused syllabus. The Learning Scientists. Retrieved from https://www.learningscientists.org/blog/2017/6/18/weekly-digest-64
Ambrose, S., Bridges, M., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. & Norman, M. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Grunert O’Brien, J., Millis, B. J., Cohen, M. W. (2008). The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach, 2nd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
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