Your syllabus reflects the art and science of course design — it expresses your unique teaching style and philosophy as well the principles of effective teaching and learning. A well-written syllabus provides students with important information about the course, outlines the skills and knowledge they will acquire, and motivates them to prepare for class.

Click on the links below for more information and resources developed to help you create effective syllabi for your Georgia Tech courses. Use our syllabus template, or create your own with best practices and Georgia Tech policies in hand. 

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Function of a Syllabus

A syllabus serves three main purposes: it is an agreement between you and your students, it is a permanent record of your teaching (and your students' learning), and it is a tool to facilitate student learning.

Syllabus as an agreement. As an agreement, the syllabus shares what you expect of your students during the semester. Establish clear policies regarding attendance, grading, make-up and late work, academic dishonesty, and accommodation of disabilities. Clearly articulated policies and expectations help students plan their work during the semester. In addition, explicit, written policies will help settle student grievances, if they arise. Syllabus as a record of teaching and learning. Your syllabus documents your learning objectives, the topics covered in your course, and assessment measures. You should also include information like your course title, credit hours earned, prerequisites, required reading assignments, and grading procedures. Administrators often use syllabi for accreditation purposes, for program evaluation, and for faculty review. Syllabus as a learning tool. A learning-centered syllabus motivates students, encourages them to take responsibility for their own learning, and promotes deeper, more meaningful engagement with course content. You can guide students’ learning behaviors in and out of class by including information about how to plan and prepare for class, how to study effectively, how to monitor one’s performance, and how to do well on exams. Providing models of acceptable work and suggestions about academic support resources help students use their time and energy well.

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