Pedagogy Corner: Course Design and Syllabus Construction

Course design and syllabus construction are largely based on the priorities, goals, and content as determined by an individual faculty member. As such, they can greatly differ in length, format, and style. Ultimately, how a faculty member designs a course and what they choose to include in the syllabus will vary. Included here are are some resources, including examples of statements, any faculty member can use, and might include on a syllabus.

As a matter of practice akin to what happens in the classroom, this page will be updated and revised as needed. Return often for updates!

Course Design

Syllabus Construction: A best practice that sets an effective course apart from an ineffective one is its ability to establish shared accountability among faculty and students, and to do so by clearly communicating expectations as it relates to academic integrity, grading, collaborative work, course workload, and learning objectives. The syllabus offers an opportunity to do just that. Rather than providing students with  general principles as they embark upon a course, it is always better to provide clear statements of expectation.

Creating an Inclusive Classroom

  • a short guide to cultural appropriation
  • About Trigger Warnings: Williams College does not have a formal policy about the inclusion of a “trigger warning” statement in course syllabi. That said, it is widely encouraged that if you recognize that your course includes content may prove difficult or especially challenging for students, inform them about the challenging or difficult content in advance and offer strategies and resources for support.

Class Presentation Styles

Strategies from Williams Faculty & Students