syllabus design

Planning a course (SLATE)

The Strengthening Learning and Teaching Excellence (SLATE) initiative at Harvard Kennedy School offers insight on designing a course and building a syllabus.

Syllabus Explorer

Syllabus Explorer, a web-based application developed by VPAL-Research, allows FAS community members to search, explore, and download FAS course syllabi.

Transforming your syllabus to reach and engage students

Katharina PiechockiWhen Katharina Piechocki, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, prepares for a course she has taught before, she significantly changes the syllabus to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing world, respond to students’ (and her own) growing interests, and take advantage of events outside the classroom.  



Research: Should syllabi communicate expectations regarding appropriate classroom behaviors?

Students poorly predict instructor expectations, according to an analysis of student and instructor survey responses about in-class behaviors such as arriving late, talking to other students, not taking notes, and monopolizing class time. The authors underscore the importance of clearly defining...

Read more about Research: Should syllabi communicate expectations regarding appropriate classroom behaviors?

The hidden curriculum: Engaging students on another level

Bernard Nickel Into Practice profile PicBernhard Nickel, Professor of Philosophy, engages students in his introductory College courses about the “hidden curriculum”—defined here as the social and disciplinary norms often invisible to both students and the teaching staff, including expectations about class preparation, in-session focus, respectful discussion behavior, and the role of feedback.

Syllabus guides (Canvas)

Instructors have multiple opportunities via the Canvas learning management system to provide week-by-week course updates to students, including syllabus updates.

Communicating course culture: Beyond the syllabus

Karen BrennanKaren Brennan, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, designs her syllabus for T550: Designing for Learning by Creating to not only communicate the plan for the course, but to introduce students to the course culture.