“If there was one of these graphic representations in the syllabus, on the course website or in a PowerPoint, it would be so easy to haul it out at every major juncture in the course to give some context to where we’re going and how it relates to where we’ve been. It could be used in a very literal sense to help students see the ‘big picture’ rather than experiencing the course as a collection of seemingly separate topics.
“In fact, this exercise need not be about just one course. Say there are two courses in a sequence or that one course is a pre-requisite to another. Rather than just saying that the courses are related, those relationships could be shown. It’s a way of getting students to understand that courses make artificial boundaries between content areas that are inextricably linked. It might also be a way of increasing the number of connections faculty could build between what students learned in one course and what they are studying in the next one. The possibilities are quite intriguing.”
—Maryellen Weimer, Teaching Professor Blog
From the Back Cover
An instructor's topical organization is the basic framework of his or her course as well as the core of the syllabus. A syllabus reflects the instructor's own unique organization of the field or specialty being taught, and his or her student learning objectives and outcomes provide the structure for student learning experiences and assessment activities. Yet students rarely read a text syllabus carefully. Even when they do, they lack the scholarly background to grasp the big picture of the course organization from the week-by-week topical listing and to understand the cumulative process by which they should acquire target knowledge and skills.
This book shows college instructors how to communicate their course organization to students in a graphic syllabus—a one-page diagram, flowchart, or concept map of the topical organization—and an outcomes map—a one-page flowchart of the sequence of student learning objectives and outcomes from the foundational through the mediating to the ultimate. It also documents the positive impact that graphics have on student learning and cautions readers about common errors in designing graphic syllabi.
In addition to more than two dozen graphic syllabi from a variety of disciplines, this book provides information on:
- The limits of a text syllabus
How and why graphics enhance learning
Designing a graphic syllabus
Charting an outcomes map
How graphics benefit course organization