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Purdue Syllabus Template

Constructing a syllabus is an important component of the course design process. The following materials reflect a research-supported framework to help create a pathway to success in your course. Each semester, Innovative Learning reviews the syllabus framework, identifying needed updates and resources. This April 2020 version includes: policies and resources built into Purdue’s Brightspace template, options for courses delivered face-to-face or online, and resources developed in spring 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 quarantine.

The Word files linked below outline Required and Recommended components for your syllabus. Many of these components are already in your Brightspace shell. They just need updates specific to your course. The files below include language that comes directly from University policies or is suggested by the University Senate or specific units. Other sample language reflects an autonomy-supportive classroom that can influence student perception and performance (Young-Jones, Levesque, Fursa & McCain 2019). Italicized text indicates notes to instructors. Plain text provides examples of language.

Tips for creating your syllabus:

  • Use this form to request a course development (DEV) shell in Brightspace for each course you will instruct. Build your syllabus and course in the DEV shell and then copy and revise your course materials as needed each semester.
  • Don’t revise what you don’t have to. Sections in the Brightspace shell table of contents that connect to University policies and services are updated each semester and automatically populated. You may add additional resources that might help your students.

For questions related to the syllabus framework, email innovativelearningteam@purdue.edu.

Note: The Purdue template is influenced by Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) and the resources available through Purdue’s Brightspace learning management system (LMS). It also addresses criteria of the valid and reliable syllabus rubric published by the University of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence (Palmer, Bach & Streifer 2017). Components fall under five categories: 1) Essential course information, instructor contact information, and course description, 2) Specific, student-centered learning outcomes and objectives that are clear, articulated and measurable (Bristol et al 2019), 3) Assessment strategies for all graded assignments that make explicit connections between learning outcomes, activities, and content, 4) Pedagogical approaches and activities that help students achieve the course outcomes and objectives, and 5) Policies and approaches that foster engaging, student-centered learning environments.

References

Adena Young-Jones, Chantal Levesque, Sophie Fursa & Jason McCain (2019): Autonomy-supportive language in the syllabus: supporting students from the first day. Teaching in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2019.1661375.

Levesque-Bristol, C., Flierl, M., Zywicki, C., Parker, L.C., Connor, C., Guberman, D., Nelson, D., Maybee, C., Bonem, E., FitzSimmons, J., & Lott, E. (2019). Creating Student-Centered Learning Environments and Changing Teaching Culture: Purdue University’s IMPACT Program. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Palmer, M. S., Bach, D. J., & Streifer, A. C. (2014). Measuring the promise: A learning‐focused syllabus rubric. To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, 33 (1), 14-36.