Winter Teaching Week Workshop: Designing a Syllabus


Thursday, January 21, 2021, 9:30am to 11:00am



Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming, Derek Bok Center

As an experienced TF, how do you reflect on your teaching experience, and prepare job market materials that tell the story of the teacher you are and the teacher you want to become? Specifically, how can a syllabus function in this way? Most tenure-track job postings request a sample syllabus. How do you go about creating one? This workshop introduces a method of curriculum planning called backwards design. The idea is simple: you can’t start planning how you’re going to teach until you know what you want your students to learn. Together we’ll brainstorm learning goals for our courses, then work backwards and discuss appropriate methods of assessment and instruction to help reach them. What kinds of assignments will let you measure your students’ learning? From here we will create a syllabus outline that you can fill in with the kinds of lectures/readings/experiences that students need to prepare for the assignments. We’ll also talk about how this process helps you reflect on your own values and priorities as a teacher. Participants should come prepared with ideas for a course in their discipline and expect to leave with at least the outline of a new syllabus.

This session is part of Winter Teaching Week, which is designed to prepare new and experienced graduate student teachers for their roles as Teaching Fellows in the FAS. Pre-registration is required. Learn more here.