Syllabus Design

Syllabus as a concept has become more popular with the Bologna process. Syllabus  having numerous forms such as grammatical syllabus, lexical syllabus, skills based syllabus, or task based syllabus etc. ,in fact, is a contract and road map showing what students will be able to do as the result of instruction period between students and the instructor. Fundemental titles to be found in a syllabus are objectives, content, learning-teaching process and evaluation. The answers to such questions as "Which objectives will students attain by using which content and learning-teaching methods and materials and finally which evaluation methods will be used to assess each objective?" will determine the foundation of a syllabus. An important missing point in syllabus design is that almost all objectives include cognitive skills and/or lower cognitive skills. Considering that an average syllabus contains approximately 14 weeks of instruction, it is apparent that affactive skills and higher order thinking skills need to be emphasized. By identifying such verbs as share, show attitude, critique, evaluate, affect, defend, relate, question etc. in the objectives list, one can infer about the affective dimension of the syllabus. Besides, it should be taken into account that content selection, learning-teaching process and evaluation should be aligned with objectives. Syllabus does not correspond to writing objectives for pre determined content in ready made course books  and evaluation methods. On the other hand, it refers to writing objectives first, and then selecting the content, materials, and evaluation criteria accordingly. It is offered to formulate an objectives-evaluation matrix to show alignment between the two. Information regarding syllabus design can be found in links 1 and 2. A sample syllabus being used at Ted University can be found in link 3. A rubric regarding the criteria for evaluating a syllabus can be found in link 4