About this Skill
At the start of their college careers, students may not know how to use the syllabus as a guide to the class. In this lesson, they will learn how to navigate through the course syllabus and find important information, including schedules and deadlines, assignments, how to work with the instructor, and how to get help.
Please cover this lesson at the start of the semester—it will help students get their bearings.
If you use the Time Management lesson in this series (suggested as the next lesson), students will enter key dates for assignments and tests into their planner, working from the syllabus. They’ll get more practice working with the syllabus.
Students will be able to:
- State why a course syllabus is important.
- Explain what information they can find in a typical syllabus.
- Answer questions about this course, including:
- How to get support
- Instructor expectations
- Ground rules
The basic lesson is about 45 – 60 minutes:
- Introduction/Purpose of a Syllabus – 5 minutes
- Small Group Activity to explore the syllabus – 15 minutes
- Small Groups “Teach-Back” to the Full Class – about 3 – 4 minutes per small group; if 10 small groups allow 30 minutes.
You can cover the lesson in one class period or spread it over a couple of classes. Variations are offered on the lesson plan.