The inaugural issue of Syllabus Journal features an article written by Susan Fink, AS ’92, GR ’95, GR’98, GR’11, coordinator of administrative services to Cowles Library. Her article, “The Many Purposes of Course Syllabi: Which are Essential and Useful?” explores the purpose of syllabi at a mid-sized, four-year undergraduate private university in the Midwest.
Syllabus Journal is a quarterly, online, peer-reviewed publication where professors can submit their syllabi. The journal’s mission is to showcase professors’ hard work and be a forum for submitted syllabi.
Her article includes research from her dissertation that she completed while she was a student at Drake. At the university where Fink conducted her research, professors viewed syllabi as an essential communication mechanism, planning tool for professors, course plan for students, and contract.
“A syllabus is an important document that we don’t tend to give a lot of extended thought to,” Fink says. “But it could be essential to the teaching process.”
Fink plans to write a follow-up article for the next issue of Syllabus Journal. She will discuss the structural components that professors take into consideration when creating their syllabi.