If you are as lucky as I was, you were given your first adjunct English instructor position from someone who handed over a few example syllabus documents and expressed the importance of syllabus policy. If not so lucky, you could be putting your professional reputation and precious time at risk.
If you’ve read our Syllabus and Course Development post you already know that a useful and well-crafted syllabus is the most powerful document of your entire course for 3 reasons:
- It tells students exactly what to do to be successful in your class.
- It communicates competence to both the student and your dean/department head.
- It protects you in the event of a student complaint/dispute.
First, let’s discuss the elements of that list with a bit more depth, and then we’ll provide both a download example syllabus and a customizable template with some other additional resources.
A syllabus is a contract between you and the student. Begin the semester by going over your syllabus, explaining to students “a syllabus tells students what to expect of their instructor and what the instructor expects of students.” Here are some of the minimums that will help students succeed in your class: