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The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-0-470-19761-5
160 pages
March 2008, Jossey-Bass
The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach, 2nd Edition (0470197617) cover image
When it was first published in 1997, The Course Syllabus became the gold standard reference for both new and experienced college faculty. Like the first edition, this book is based on a learner-centered approach. Because faculty members are now deeply committed to engaging students in learning, the syllabus has evolved into a useful, if lengthy, document. Today's syllabus provides details about course objectives, requirements and expectations, and also includes information about teaching philosophies, specific activities and the rationale for their use, and tools essential to student success.
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The Authors.


Preparing Students.

Setting a Framework for Knowledge.

Planning Your Learning-Centered Syllabus: An Overview of the Process.

Composing a Learning-Centered Syllabus.

Using a Learning-Centered Syllabus.



Table of Contents.

Instructor Information.

Student Information Form.

Letter to the Students or Teaching Philosophy Statement.

Purpose of the Course.

Course Description.

Course Objectives.



Course Calendar.

Course Requirements.

Policies and Expectations: Attendance, Late Papers, Missed Tests, Class Behaviors, and Civility.

Policies and Expectations: Academic Honesty, Disability Access, and Safety.


Grading Procedures.

How to Succeed in This Course: Tools for Study and Learning.



General Teaching.

Active Learning.

Assessment and Evaluation.

Cooperative and Collaborative Learning.

Course and Curriculum Design.

Critical Thinking.

Information Technology.

Learning and Motivation.

Student Differences.

Online Resources.

Teaching Portfolios.



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Judith Grunert O'Brien has retired from her work at Syracuse University to focus on sculpture, drawing, and writing. She was a member of the School of Art faculty, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University, when she wrote the first edition of a Learning-Centered Syllabus in 1997.

Barbara J. Millis is director of the Excellence in Teaching Program at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Margaret W. Cohen is director and associate provost for professional development at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

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“I can’t imagine how many times I’ve recommended this book—to new faculty, to part time teachers, to experienced pedagogues and faculty finding their way to more learner-centered approaches. I can’t imagine a book more deserving of a second edition. And, I can’t imagine a second edition better than the first, but this one is, thanks to the able efforts of two new authors.”---Maryellen Weimer, professor emeritus, Penn State, editor, the Teaching Professor


“New and veteran college teachers alike, in all types of institutions from the community college to the university level, will benefit from this highly thoughtful, scholarly and persuasive argument for the critical role of the ‘learning-centered’ course syllabus. The authors clearly and convincingly demonstrate how to create a learning-centered course syllabus that becomes a dynamic, essential part of a course that encourages student engagement, active learning, and critical thinking. A ‘must read’ for anyone committed to teaching today’s college students to maximize their skills and knowledge for a changing world!”--Angela Provitera McGlynn, professor emeritus of psychology and author of Teaching Today’s College Students and Successful Beginnings for College Teaching


“It’s obvious that Millis and Cohen have extensive backgrounds in college teaching and learning. Their work on the syllabus as a fundamental component of good teaching is supportive, insightful, current, and practical. This is a masterful updating of Grunert’s classic, relevant across all disciplines.”--Nancy Chism, Professor of Higher Education, Indiana University


“All individuals involved in instructing today’s (and tomorrow’s) college students facing twenty-first century academic challenges should read this book for helpful suggestions on how to prepare an enhanced blueprint for learning and academic success—the course syllabus.”--James E. Groccia, director, Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning; associate professor, Educational Leadership; and past president, POD Network in Higher Education


“This book is unusually good. Comprehensive, clear, practical, and immediately useful, it should be read by every department chair and faculty member.”--Peter Seldin, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Management, Pace University


“This update of The Course Syllabus includes, among other fine features, an excellent review and incorporation of ideas from the literature on college teaching that have been published since the original version.”--L. Dee Fink, national project director, Teaching & Curriculum Assessment Project

“The syllabus is much more than a course description; it is a working document for both the instructor and the students. In The Course Syllabus, Grunert, Millis and Cohen have provided a well-documented, very up to date road map for using it effectively by teachers and learners alike, by emphasizing the value of the learner-centered approach.”--Marilla D. Svinicki, Ph.D., professor, Department of Educational Psychology, The University of Texas at Austin

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The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach, 2nd Edition (US $30.00)

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