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Syllabi and Learning Contracts

In order for students to achieve the course objectives, they have to understand the goals and objectives of the course as well as the instructor’s expectations.  A syllabus is a contract with the student on what knowledge will be gained, what content will be covered, the manner in which content will be covered and measured and an outline for accomplishing all of that.  A learning contract is typically signed for an independent study, but also includes the topics above.  The sites below will help you construct a syllabus or learning contract. You can add your comments and recommendations concerning these materials by simply clicking on the “Write a comment” link that’s on the right side of the webpage containing a full description of the material.

For all resources on Syllabi and Learning Contracts, click here.




Learning-Centered Syllabi Workshop

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Iowa State University

This site has a step-by-step procedure for creating a syllabus that is learning centered.

Syllabus Tutorial

Center for Teaching and Learning Services, University of Minnesota

This tutorial provides complete information on syllabus creation and also provides examples from a variety of disciplines.

Constructing a Syllabus

Sheridan Center, Brown University

The Handbook was designed to take readers through the pedagogical processes of constructing an effective course outline. It also provides a link to a site where you can work on your syllabus online.

Learner-Centered Syllabus Checklist

Center for Learning Technologies, Old Dominion University

This is a simple checklist designed for a learner-centered syllabus.  It is easy to use and your own institution’s websites can be substituted for those of ODU.

Independent Studies: Learning Contracts

University of Waterloo

This site provides guidelines for writing a learning contract, often used in independent studies.  Examples are provided as well as a list of benefits and limitations.