Middlebury College faculty must use a syllabus for every regular course that they teach. Beyond that basic policy requirement, it is important to recognize that syllabi hold real value within this educational enterprise.
Creating a syllabus prompts faculty to engage in serious thinking and planning about their pedagogical objectives and the path to reach them. Even more importantly, the creation and timely distribution of a syllabus makes clear to every student what those pedagogical objectives are, how those objectives contribute to their intellectual growth, and what is expected of them in that learning process. Simply put, a syllabus is an essential guide. It conveys to students a clear understanding of the grand vision for each course, while also providing the specific information students need to proceed step by step through the entire semester. It is a necessary component of students’ academic success at Middlebury.
In support of students achieving academic success, CTLR staff work closely with students throughout the semester to use the timeline and due dates outlined in each of their course syllabi to create a schedule that will allow them to complete all required readings and assignments by the listed deadlines. CTLR staff also guide students in working backwards from the deadline for major papers and projects to map out a timeline for completing each stage of these assignments. Thus, the syllabus plays a critical role not just for the students, but also for the staff who work to support student development and success.
Full syllabus templates are available under Advising and Planning, with class meeting dates and school breaks included, are available for your use. Faculty who teach courses on a schedule other than MWF or TR should feel free to take one of these templates and tweak it as needed.
The staff at the CTLR are here to help review and explain the components of syllabus design in advance of the semester’s beginning. Please reach out to us to make an appointment. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For a more comprehensive explanation of Middlebury’s syllabus policy and best practices for syllabus creation, please see the information outlined on the Dean of Curriculum’s Course Syllabus page.
Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Davis Family Library, Suite 225
Middlebury, VT 05753