A syllabus is the basic document developed by instructors to reflect their planning for a course. Syllabi seem to vary in two fundamental areas—the apparent reason for writing the syllabus and the material that it contains. The purpose of the syllabus should drive the decision as to what content to include (Parkes & Harris, 2002).
Three major purposes that a syllabus should serve are described by Parkes and Harris:
- Syllabus as a contract
- Syllabus as a permanent record
- Syllabus as a learning tool
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Eberly, M. B., Newton, S. E., & Wiggins, R. (2001). The syllabus as a tool for student-centered learning. Journal of General Education 50 (1), 56-74.
Grunert, J. (1997). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. Bolton, MA: Anker.
Parkes, J., & Harris, M. B. (2002). The purposes of a syllabus. College Teaching, 50 (2), 55-61.
Woolcock, M. J. V. (2003, May). Constructing a syllabus.