In the summer of 2016, both the Assessment and Curriculum Committees at Bates Technical College approved a syllabus template for use college-wide. This template includes all recommended categories, required college legal language and meets accessibility guidelines.
Making changes to courses or programs for review by the Curriculum Committee is a perfect opportunity to update syllabi but instructors may update their syllabi to the new template at any time. Some instructional deans require their faculty to update all their courses to the new template.
There are some elements of the syllabus that instructors are encouraged to personalize and others that should be left as-is:
- The formatting and table of contents should not be changed because they are designed specifically to be more accessible for people with low vision.
- The major headings should not be changed because there are some things the college definitely wants instructors to cover in every syllabi. That said, there are some things that won’t apply to every class. Things that don’t apply may be removed.
- The text under headings should remain unless it specifically doesn’t apply. For instance, instructors could remove the section of ‘Netiquette’ for classes that have no online interactions.
Program faculty may choose to place material from the Course Policies and College Resources sections in a program handbook that is distributed to students when they enter the program – instead of quoting these two lengthy sections in each syllabus.