Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Creating a Syllabus for Millennial College Students
I am finishing my syllabi for the fall semester and I had to keep a few items in mind when planning for my millennial students. Here is the checklist for my syllabi:
( ) Include a picture of the textbook. I like to include a picture of the textbook that we are using in class because the students know exactly which textbook to choose when perusing the bookstore. In addition, when I was an undergraduate, I bought all of my books on barnesandnoble.com. If my professors would have included a picture of the textbook (or the ISBN) on their class syllabus, the textbook search would have been easier.
( ) Include an explanation of my virtual office hours. Many professors have not adopted virtual office hours and my students do not have any frame of reference for such office hours. As a result, I include my yahoo im username and briefly describe how virtual office hours may help them.
( ) Remind the students that laptops are not allowed in my classroom (except on designated days). Laptops are a distraction in the classroom. As an undergraduate, I used a laptop to take notes in my class (and also to play games and search the internet). Since my lectures are in powerpoint format and I provide these notes for my students, there is no reason for laptops to be present in my classroom (except on designated days).
( ) Include the "Best Practices" Section. Millennial college students want to know how they can make an "A", "B", "C", etc. I provide these best practices for the students in my classroom, because I want them to know exactly what they need to do to make a satisfactory grade.
( ) Include My Attendance Policy. This is my third year teaching and I have always taken attendance. In addition, students have two to three allowed absences (without a doctor's note, etc.) from my class. I hold my students to a very high regard and I remind them that they will enter the post-graduation world in a few years. They cannot miss an extra ordinate amount of days on their jobs without a penalty (reduced pay, etc.).
What do you include on your syllabus?
- Millennial Professor