Is the Syllabus Passé? Student and Faculty Perceptions

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Christine Harrington


The syllabus is an essential learning resource for students.  Previous studies have highlighted the importance of the syllabus but to date, no studies have addressed whether the syllabus needs to continue as a stand-alone document given the information contained within it can be, and often is, shared with students via the learning management system.  In this study, conducted with students and faculty members at a community college and a public university granting undergraduate and graduate degrees, this issue was explored.  Survey data from 396 students and 75 faculty members was analyzed. Results indicated that both students and faculty agreed that a separate syllabus document is still preferred, with faculty more strongly agreeing.  No significant differences among students were found based on race, gender, or type of institution, but graduate students, as compared to undergraduate students, were more likely to indicate a preference for a separate syllabus.  No significant differences in terms of type of institution, years teaching overall or online, or race or gender were found in the faculty sample.  Suggestions for how to best share the syllabus, including the importance of the syllabus being easily accessible on mobile devices, are provided.


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How to Cite
Harrington, C. (2023). Is the Syllabus Passé? Student and Faculty Perceptions. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 23(4).


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