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« This Week's Last Month or So's Acquisitions | Main | Confession: A Tale of the Stars and Clouds »

August 11, 2014



I've been trying a compromise regarding paper copies of syllabi. I don't hand out the full thing, but I do hand out a 1-page highlights version that directs them to the full version online and says repeatedly that that is where the details are about policies, deadlines, etc. It saves a lot on copying but still gives them something concrete to start with.

Our Thanksgiving break is earlier than yours but students are advocating for an additional full week fall break (like spring break) so next year's syllabi may need serious revisions.


Your first bullet point is one reason I got super-mad at my boss last semester. Also, the additional students were a last-minute surprise. As for syllabi, I haven't printed them out for most of my classes in years!

The timing of break is horrendous because you desperately need a break before then, and it's hard to get anything done after then. I feel for ya!


I've thought about going paperless with my syllabi, but the one thing stopping me is a concern that very few will ever look at it. If I hand it to them in paper on the 1st day and spend some time going over it, I at least know they've looked at it once (though probably the only time).

A commenter mentioned a fall break. I push for that here as well. In part because spring break is so darned useful for catching up as a faculty member, but also because as a result of not having one, my fall classes usually have more meetings in them than my spring ones. That creates certain problems in teaching. Sure, I can find extra material for two more class meetings, but if I don't teach that material in spring semester is the material really all that important?


The first day's assignment is to go online and read the syllabus. The second day of class, I give them a (very easy) quiz on what the syllabus said. I don't even grade it. I also tend to answer any and all of their questions with "Did you check the syllabus?"

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