More Than Just a Document: Redesigning the Syllabus for Digital Environments
Concurrent Session 3
If your course is delivered online, your face-to-face syllabus won't work! Learn to compose a structurally and discursively appropriate syllabus for teaching online.
Adding the words "this course is delivered fully online" does not transform your paper-based syllabus for use in an online course. The online syllabus is a relatively new genre in higher education, and requires close attention to how the document changes and evolves when it lives online. The web-mediated syllabus serves many other functions beyond its inherent ones, and becomes more than just a printed text, but a powerful hyperlinked medium to enhance and improve its use as a communication and planning tool to support different methods of online content delivery and online student engagement.
In this presentation, NYU's Instructional Design team will discuss what we discovered as we researched what constitutes an effective online syllabus and how it differs in structure and language for communicating course descriptions, objectives, expectations, requirements, policies and even enthusiasm for learning the course content. Online syllabi should be not radically different from their paper-based predecessor; they need to retain many of the same components included in an on campus syllabus, but there are critical elements which syllabi designers may not be taking into account. We explore what these components are, and share our online syllabus template we redeveloped to fit the needs of our online class format.
We will detail the logistical and procedural components often missing from the syllabus when the face-to-face course goes online, the impact these components have on student engagement in the course, and how to design these components to fit any discipline. Through before and after examples of face to face syllabi from various disciplines redesigned for online courses, participants will be able to understand how to redesign their syllabus for a digital environment.
Audience members will walk away with:
ï Understanding how and why the genre of the online syllabus differs from the face-to-face syllabus
ï Understanding the specific components that should be included in a syllabus for an online course
This presentation will provide the following:
ï An overview of NYU's Instructional Design team's efforts to create a syllabus template and checklist specifically for online courses
ï Suggested guidelines for key components to include in an online syllabus
Engagement with the audience:
Interactive Handouts: online syllabus checklist and template, before and after samples of paper based syllabus converted for online courses; small group moments and partner exercises; interactive live survey tool, and Q & A session