In our discussion this morning, we chatted about our syllabi. The consensus was that (most) students don’t really read the syllabi in their courses.
One strategy to get around this that I’ve implemented this year is having them complete a Syllabus Scavenger Hunt on the first day of class. I briefly introduce the syllabus to the students, then I break them into small groups. Working collaboratively, they discover the answers to the following questions about the syllabus for the course. (I’ve included the Syllabus Scavenger Hunt as a Word doc, also.) Feel free to adapt as needed . . .
- What is your professor’s name?
- Where is your professor’s office located?
- List two ways you can get in touch with your professor.
- What materials will you need for this course?
- When is your first assignment due?
- How will quizzes be conducted?
- When is the final exam?
- How will your grade be determined in this course? (How many points is each assignment worth?)
- What is your professor’s opinion on cell phones and other electronic devices in class?
Check any of the following items which are true regarding doing well in this class.
Attend class regularly
Read the material
Prepare to adequately discuss information and issues
Spend half of each class text messaging your friends and the other half dozing
Devote as much time to developing “creative” excuses why your work isn’t done as actually doing the work
Also, list two questions that you have about this course that are not answered on the syllabus.