Guided Response: Review several of your peers’ posts and respond to at least two analyzing their definitions of a learner-centered syllabus. Offer suggestions to improve our course syllabus that they did not include. Ask them to clarify their argument about accountability with an example or evidence to support their opinion. 

Anthony Patrick

A course syllabus is a student’s first look at what they will be studying. This is the students’ introduction to the course, the subject matter being taught, and you as the teacher. What is your definition of a “learner-centered” syllabus? What should be included in a learner-centered syllabus? How is a syllabus different in an online environment? Describe whether you have found course syllabi useful or not useful? What do you think of the syllabus for this course? How would you improve the course syllabus? Do you believe online students should be held accountable for reading the syllabus? Why or why not?

A learner-centered syllabus is structural documents that provide the outcomes of and learning topic for the student. However,  a learner-centered syllabus is created by the instructors so that they can create a community for learning and an environment that promotes a sharing of power and control of what is being learned ( Richmond, 2016).  This type of syllabus allows instructor an easier approach to establishing assessments and evaluations that are a direct correlation with the course learning objectives and outcomes. In every syllabus, there needs to be informed about the course. Such as its name, the instructor, class meeting time, prerequisite courses, instructor email. This type of information associates a positive rapport between students and teachers and increases the students’  motivation, achievement, and empowerment. The learner-centered syllabus should also state the learning objectives of the course, the overall explanation of the course. Lastly, I think the accessibility of the teacher, the role of collaboration, grades, feedback mechanisms, evaluation, desired learning outcomes, and revision/redoing should be included in the syllabus.

A syllabus for an online learning environment is very similar. The difference a syllabus for an online environment is that the instructor as the ability to make it more creative or come to life (Nilson, 2010). Online syllabi are usually shorter in length and are more resourceful for the students to refer to during the course. In most cases, I’ve found the course syllabi being useful. Before each course, I read through the syllabus to see what this crouse is going to be about, familiarize with the learning goals and the teacher expectations. In the syllabus, the instructor provides the grading rubric as well as assignment due dates.  I think this EDU 662-course syllabus is very useful. It provides a clear understanding of the course. Even though the syllabus states certain deadlines, I am able to work on the various assignments at my own pace to get them complete. I think every student needs to read the course syllabus. No students should be exempt from reading and knowing the syllabus. Online students have an advantage because they can constantly refer back to the syllabus anytime.

References

Nilson, L. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors (3rd ed.). Retrieved from https://www.vitalsource.com (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Richmond, A. S (2016) Constructing a Learner-Centered Syllabus: One Professor’s Journe. Metropolitan State University of Denver. https://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/PaperIDEA_60.pdf (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Jessica Roberts

If the syllabus is structured in a way and the content is delivered in a way that they’re an active part of what happens in the class, and they have some control over how they learn and what they learn, then the random arbitrariness of learning is minimized.”(Paff 2015)

A learner-centered syllabus is having shared decision making and rationale for the course objectives and procedures. Allowing the student to set expectations and how to give constructive feedback about the course. Some key things to include are the policies and procedures that the instruction expects from the students and vice verse. Also, a way to avoid potential pitfalls in the course. By explaining in detail an assignment that is a major portion of the grade, you can give students a chance to know way beforehand and allow for ample questions and answer sessions so they do not fill they have been left hanging with that time approaches. What you expect from your instructor in terms of communication within the class is a very important part of feedback for students in order to learn and gain insight into what you expect and how you are grading. 

The online syllabus is different because there isn’t a way for open communication when going over the course expectations as an online class is pretty fast-paced and may not have the time to go over and change things as you can within a brick and mortar type of classroom. The course syllabus is helpful because it highlights the key points of this class and you are able to get a timeline of events. I think that making an online course syllabus into a learner-centered syllabus you can email it out or post it ahead of time and then allow for feedback, with the limited time you have in an online class it might help to go over details and dates and be able to open the door for communication from the very beginning. Students should always read the syllabus in order to gain helpful information as well as be held accountable for the information. I mean as far as a requirement it is kind of like an unwritten rule that you should read it and understand it and if not then ask the question. 

Reference:

https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-classroom-management/a-learner-centered-syllabus-helps-set-the-tone-for-learning/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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