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Understanding the
Academic Structure of
the US Classroom:
Syllabus
Functions of the Syllabus
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It explains the standards by which students’
performances will be evaluated;
It lists the readings students are expected to
complete;
It fixes the dates for a task completion;
It states the rules (absence, cheating, behavior,
etc.);
It addresses the emphasis given to any
particular assignment as a proportion of the final
grade;
It helps students to plan their semester and
organize their studying in the most effective
way.
Structure of the Syllabus
1. Course title, University, Semester, and Year
2. Vital information about the course:
Name of the professor, Office number and Office hours, at least one way to contact
professor (telephone # or email), class days and times, class room
3. Course Description (a paragraph describing what a course will cover, what language
skills will be covered, what students will learn, and how they will participate)
4. Course Objectives (what students will have learned and what they will be able to do by
the end of the course. Objective statements usually begin, “Students will be able
to… ”)
5. Grading Criteria
6. Attendance Policy
7. Required Texts and Materials
8. A Weekly Schedule. This is a calendar of class topics, including the following
· reading assignments
· due dates for written assignments
· dates for quizzes or mid-term exam
· date and time of the final exam
Grading Criteria
Attendance on lectures (conveys critical
information, history, background, theories, and
equations)
 Participation in discussions (helps to clarify what
students learn, and adds to their own
perspectives and experiences)
 Observations (leaning from example by
observing instructors who demonstrate models
and skills)
 Practical application (helps students learn,
understand, and apply new information and
theories)
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Grading Criteria, cont.
Quizzes (shows students their level of
knowledge)
 Oral presentations: individual or group
(gives an opportunity to go into a topic
and to master one’s speaking skills)
 Essays and reflections (let students
formulate their thoughts and questions on
the topic)
 Final paper (final research on the topic)
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References
www.faculty.washington.edu/ktupper
 http://syllabus.syr.edu/CSE/drcolasa/cse69
1/syllabus.htm
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