Designing a Motivational Syllabus
Creating a Learning Path for Student Engagement

Foreword by Kathleen F. Gabriel
Paper: 978 1 62036 625 7 / $24.95
Published: May 2018  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 624 0 / $95.00
Published: May 2018  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 626 4 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: May 2018  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 627 1 / $19.99
Published: May 2018  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
204 pp., 6" x 9"
8 tables & 10 figures

Series: The Excellent Teacher Series
A thoughtfully constructed syllabus can be transformative for your students’ learning, communicating the path they can take to succeed.

This book demonstrates how, rather than being a mundane document to convey policies, you can construct your syllabus to be a motivating resource that conveys a clear sense of your course’s learning goals, how students can achieve those goals, and makes evident your teaching philosophy and why you have adopted the teaching strategies you will use, such as discussion or group activities.

Developing or revising a syllabus also presents you with a perfect opportunity to review the learning possibilities for the semester. Well-designed, it can help you stay focused on achieving the learning outcomes, as well as determine if the class is on track and whether adjustments to the schedule are needed.

The authors show how, by adopting a welcoming tone and clearly stating learning outcomes, your syllabus can engage students by explaining the relevance of your course to their studies, create an all-important positive first impression of you as an instructor, and guide students through the resources you will be using, the assignments ahead, as well as clear guidance on how they will be assessed. Referred to frequently as the course progresses, an effective syllabus will keep students engaged and on task.

Christine Harrington and Melissa Thomas lead you through all the elements of a syllabus to help you identify how to present key messages and information about your course, think through the impressions you want to create, and, equally importantly, suggest how you can use layout and elements such as images and charts to make your syllabus visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Table of Contents:
Foreword by Kathleen F. Gabriel
Series Preface by Todd Zakrajsek

1) History, Value, and Purpose of the Syllabus
2) Applying Course Design Principles to the Syllabus
3) Core Components
4) Policies and Resources
5) Design Considerations
6) Evaluating the Syllabus
7) Using the Syllabus

Appendix: Sample Syllabus
About the Authors

Related titles:
Chapter 1

Reviews & Endorsements:
"Harrington and Thomas insightfully apply principles from the motivation research literature to demonstrate how course syllabi can be powerful tools for stimulating students' enthusiasm and motivation to actively engage in course activities. While the book is an invaluable resource for designing a syllabus that maps out a path for student success, it also provides information on course design, assessment, and teaching approaches. It is a must-read for all faculty who want to construct a syllabus that is sure to increase student engagement and learning!"
- Saundra McGuire, Ph.D., (Ret) Assistant Vice Chancellor & Professor of Chemistry, Director Emerita, Center for Academic Success , Louisiana State University
"Designing a syllabus is a task that faculty often give little thought to. However, in this engaging and thoughtful book, the authors have crafted a guide that is both helpful and a teaching tool. The authors weave student learning throughout the book and have developed a resource that will help both new and seasoned faculty. And, because the book is so well written, it is accessible to all, regardless of discipline."
- Chris Hakala, Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship , Springfield College