Creating a syllabus can be a daunting task. With so many approaches to teaching and course design, instructors often fall back on the ways in which they were taught and the policies they followed as students. Considering innovative approaches to course design can allow instructors to meet student needs in new ways and provide important flexibility for adult students. Even if you have been teaching a course for many semesters, there are little tricks to keep your syllabus fresh and on-target.
While there is no one right way to design a course, there are some mandates for what is included in your syllabus. Be sure to include course learning objectives–you want students to know what they will learn. Make sure that your policies are clear–the syllabus is a contract and will act as a reference point if issues arise later about late work, attendance or other common problems.