I have literally startled multiple fellow faculty members in the past week upon stating that I would be posting my course outline (a.k.a., syllabus) on Blackboard for students, taking a quick survey in class on opening day to gauge familiarity (doing a “how to get on Blackboard demo” as necessary) and NOT passing out paper versions to students.
One colleague said that he was told, years ago now, but still, that he was required to hand the students a course outline. Others have been surprised, but not opposed. “How does that work?” they’ve asked. “So far so good,” I say. I did it last semester, too. In most of the classes, I’ve had one or two students say they were not familiar with Blackboard. Today one class had seven–by far the highest, so I did a quick demo in class, and told them, as I tell the rest, that reading it is their first assignment and they’d have a quiz on it on Wednesday.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this, right? Surely others out there make their course outlines available online rather than hand them out…right? Either way, today’s teaching question on this second first day of school is as follows: what do you do with your course outlines, and why? How do students get them and what’s your justification for not doing it differently?