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The Boring Syllabus

Editor's Pick Syllabus

The Boring Syllabus

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The writing style of the standard syllabus is frequently flat, emotionless, and formulaic. It's made so in part by the list of things that faculty are required to put in the syllabus: contact information, learning objectives, course description, ADA and other policy information, etc. These policy guidelines are considered necessary for a variety of good reasons. Even so, I have yet to see a policy on syllabi that demands they bore the reader! Much like first impressions of individuals, the course description in the catalog and the syllabus are the “official” first impressions that a student will have of a course (though many now turn to RateMyProfessors.com for “real” course information). What kind of impression do they make?

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