Designing syllabus for various courses

Designing syllabus for various courses

Teaching students is much more complicated than what it appears to be. Also, it is a great responsibility which is shouldered by every teacher around the world. After all, students of today are the citizens of tomorrow, and have the great potential to make a difference to the world. The job of a teacher is one that entails a multitude of tasks. The teacher not only has to teach, he or she also has to prepare for the subject, design the syllabus keeping the mind the abilities of the children, and also execute various other things like managing student projects, examining them etc.

The very first step with which teaching a particular subject or a class commences with, is the designing of the syllabus. A syllabus can be defined as a detailed plan according to which the classroom teaching of a particular subject is executed. The objective of designing syllabus is to meet certain instruction goals keeping the capabilities of the students, the time available and the extent of subject matter in mind. So the syllabus has to be designed very carefully so that all students learn the entire syllabus within the stipulated time yet there is some scope for clarification of concepts as well as doubts, if any.

The first step is to design the course. The course design should be focused at the outcome of the entire learning of the course. There are several things a teacher should consider before beginning to design the course; the objective of the course, the capabilities of students and the outcome expected from the students. These are very important points of consideration as it will not put any undue pressure on the students by forcing large amounts of unorganized data in a short time.

Learning about the students before you begin with the class can give you a clear picture of how to do the course design. The level of the difficulty of the course and the level of students who are taking the course are very important to be understood. If it is the first time for a teacher is  teaching a particular course, some useful insights can be taken from teachers who have taught the same course previously. Before designing the course consider what you want your students to achieve after the completion of the course. To understand how well the students have understood and grasped the course and to test the level of their understanding you can design the course to include some activities or assignments. Some goals may be achieved through listening and reading, while others may require the students to be theoretically examined and quizzed. Every course design needs to include a core activity in addition to understandable subject content. Weekly quizzes or assignments at the end of every module are very helpful in giving an evidence of the students understanding of the course.

Designing a syllabus

To set the checkpoints of learning within a course, syllabus design is equally important as course design. It lays out a level field for students and the teachers and it is imperative to let the students know about the syllabus before the course begins.

Though design a syllabus depends upon the type of course, the department, the instructor etc. but every syllabus should contain some very basic components. A list of the topics that will be covered along with a description of the course, the expected outcome and a broad list of the assignments, projects and quizzes that the students will have to take during the course. A description of the course will involve the contextual relevance of the course. The relevance of the course in the present job market must also be taken into account. The students should be given an idea about the level of preparation that they should come to the class with. Also, information about the instructor with their contact information should  be given. A schedule of the topics to be covered in a particular week or month along with the reading that needs to be done beforehand, should be handed to each and every student. A table describing how each assignment and each test will be marked, along with their value in the total annual score, should also be included along with the course description.

Some important points while designing syllabus for various courses include some consideration of the varied demographic of students. The syllabus has to be designed to ensure active participation from all students and also include them in all activities. The students should also be advised about how much responsibility is expected out of them. They should be informed about an instructor’s policy about assignment submission, submission of assignment beyond the deadline, scoring and performance in the tests etc. Students should be encouraged in making active suggestions about what can be done to improve the learning outcome of the students in terms of pace of teaching, the depth of study material etc.

Dr. Mitalee Shome is a top English Language Expert, based in Mumbai, India. Dr. Mitalee is a PhD in English literature, with over 30 years of rich and varied teaching experience. Dr. Mitalee has made syllabi for many universities in Mumbai & India. For all your syllabus requirements, please contact us at English Expert India.