Preparing Meaningful Syllabi: Going Beyond the Required Elements


When we think about course syllabi, we often think about the required information they’re expected to contain. This information is certainly important - the syllabus does represent something of a contract between us and our students, and it is important that we convey course and university policies accurately and clearly. With this said, the syllabus is also a vital tool for introducing ourselves and our course to our students - and for welcoming them into the course. Ideally, a syllabus helps students feel excited about the course they are taking and eager to work with their instructors. We also want our students to feel welcomed and supported in our classes. A good syllabus does all of these things and can get the semester off to a strong start.

Jeffrey Bernstein (Professor of Political Science and Director of the Faculty Development Center) and Hannah Bollin (Doctoral Fellow for Educational Studies) collaborated to bring together a syllabus workshop to kick off the fall 2023 semester. During this event, we offered participants new ideas and language for your syllabi, both to ensure the requirements are met and to inspire, encourage, and better support our students.

To view the PowerPoint slides or the Zoom recording from this session, please click the links below.

View the Slides from this Session

View the Zoom Recording from this Session