How Students Use the Course Syllabus

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International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, ISSN: 1931-4744, Vol: 2, Issue: 1, Page: 6

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Calhoon, Sharon; Becker, Angela
Georgia Southern University
Syllabus; student use; Student time management
article description
Current literature says little about how students use a course syllabus. We surveyed students regarding how frequently they consulted their General Psychology syllabus and other syllabi, what they looked for, and where they kept them. All 112 students responding prior to midterm and 91 of the 93 students responding six weeks later reported they still had their syllabus. Almost half of the students in the first administration looked at their syllabus less than two hours before class. Six weeks later, nearly half of the students looked at the syllabus the day prior. Students looked most frequently at whether there was a quiz scheduled that day, the topic of the day’s class, what they should read for class, and what homework was assigned. Results contradict faculty lore that students lose or do not look at their syllabi, though students may not use the syllabus in ways faculty might expect.