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Course Syllabus & Student Learning

PART 1: COURSE SYLLABUS GUIDELINES AND EXAMPLES
  1. Course Syllabus Guidelines and Template
    This site explains the required elements for all course syllabi at Sandhills Community College, whether classroom, hybrid, or online. Please open the above link and read the document before downloading the Course Syllabus Template.
  2. Course Syllabus Template in MS Word
    Use the above link to download a copy of the Course Syllabus Template in MS Word. You can edit this template with your course syllabus material.
  3. Download SCC Policy Statements
    Open and print a copy of the most recent "SCC Policy Statements" to distribute to your students on the first day of class along with your syllabus. If you prefer, you can add a link to this page in your course syllabus as shown in the "Course Syllabus Template" above.
PART 2: STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
  1. Faculty Job Description and Evaluation Criteria
    This page from the Faculty and Staff Handbook, as revised in 2002, explains the policies for faculty teaching performance. These policies follow the mission of Sandhills Community College, the principles of academic freedom and academic integrity, and the goals of student learning outcomes.
  2. Teacher-Centered vs. Learner-Centered Paradigms
    This 2-page PDF document provides two comparisons of learner-centered instruction and instructor-centered learning published in 2000 in Learner-Centered Assessment on College Campuses by Huba and Freed and in 2004 in Assessing Academic Programs in Higher Education by Allen.
  3. Assessing Student Learning: Principles of Good Practice
    Since 1996, this major policy statement of the American Association for Higher Education has provided a clear framework for colleges to develop programs that are based upon student learning outcomes.
  4. Learning Taxonomies and Instructional Outcomes
    Learning can be classified into three categories of outcomes: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Open this link to learn how to identify and plan for student learning outcomes in these three areas.
  5. Writing Instructional Goals, Objectives and Outcomes
    This section from the University of Connecticut's Assessment Primer site describes the movement from objective-based, to competency-based, to outcomes-based, etc. education. Through several pages, the site explains the process of defining the college mission that leads to program goals, then to program outcomes, and finally to course unit outcomes that are expressed in terms of student learning. Whether you are a department chair, program coordinator, or instructor, be sure to download one of the following documents to guide you in writing instructional goals, objectives and outcomes.
  6. Writing Instructional Objectives
    This section from the University of Connecticut's Assessment Primer site defines instructional objectives in terms of student learning outcomes and then explains how to write program, course, and learning unit outcomes and assessments. Within this section you will learn the difference between course objectives and course outcomes and then how to write clearly defined course objectives and student learning outcomes. The section also explains how to measure whether students have reached the desired outcomes. You can also download the short document titled How to Write Program Objectives/Outcomes.
  7. Why Assessment?
    This introductory page from the University of Connecticut's assessment site explains the importance of assessment for a learner-centered approach to teaching. The site includes a framework for colleges to use to develop program, course, and learning unit goals that are consistent with the college's mission statement. The site also explains how to design program, general education, course, and learning unit outcomes and assessments for the benefit of students, courses, and programs.
  8. Why Aren't Grades Enough?
    This four-page document is provided by the University of Connecticut's Office of Assessment to explain why grades in courses are insufficient for assessing student outcomes at the program level. The document provides information from North Carolina State University's Office of Assessment, California State University's Office of Academic Programs, and ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology).
  9. Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide
    This interactive guide from the University of Wisconsin provides tools for science, technology, engineering and mathematics instructors to "tell students what . . . is important to learn. The tests commonly used in college science and math courses usually emphasize fact-based knowledge and algorithmic problem solving. Innovative assessment methods emphasize deeper levels of learning and give instructors valuable feedback during a course."
  10. Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs
    These "best practices" that were endorsed by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2000 for online programs also apply to traditional classroom instruction.
  11. Communication Skills in the Workplace
    This article is reprinted from the March 1996 issue of the North Carolina Conference of English Instructors' CEI Newsletter. The article present the findings of a research study of what North Carolina employers expect of their successful employees. The article also includes the "Five Competencies" recommended by the U. S. Department of Labor, which were published as the SCANS Report. Instructors may wish to use this document to motivate their students to develop effective communication skills.
  12. Unique and Significant Contributions of the Humanities
    In 1988, the National Council for Occupational Education (NCOE) and the Community College Humanities Association (CCHA) established the Shared Vision Task Force to examine the potential contributions of the humanities to occupational degree programs. The 2-year national study of community colleges, industries, and professions concluded that humanities courses make 10 contributions to students in applied science degree programs. These contributions help students develop 4 skills required by the workplace: (1) working with others, (2) solving problems, (3) making decisions, and (4) adapting to change. Read this 3-page document for a list and explanation of the "unique and significant contributions of the humanities."

Updated March 16, 2011

 
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