Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

It's in the Syllabus

Monday, November 15, 2021 to Sunday, February 13, 2022
What is the Need/Assessment?: 

How much do we know about what's in the syllabus, what should be in the syllabus and how it should be in the syllabus? Furthermore, what do students know about the syllabus? 

Describe the necessity for this change: 

Literature shows that great care should be taken when writing and implementing course syllabi in order to avoid creating unintentional equity gaps with class policies. 

Describe what will be (or was) implemented to affect change: 

I learned from student success literature that often, underrepresented students will not ask for exceptions to syllabus policies while their counterparts will, thus creating unintentional equity gaps with class policies. I studied various course syllabi from EMCC classes to see how certain policies compare. I then surveyed EMCC faculty and students about the course syllabus. I focused on late work, make up work, attendance, and office hour/student support language. 

Interpret, compare and describe the results of the change: 

I found a mismatch between practice and policy regarding to late work, 53% of surveyed faculty have a "not late work" policy while 95% have accepted late work. I shared my research at college and district workshops wherein other faculty have shared their policies as well as their revamped syllabi. I revised my syllabus and heard from my colleagues about the changes they implemented. These new syllabi were added to a google drive and shared as a resource for others. 

After analyzing the information, what are the next steps?: 

I studied various course syllabi from EMCC classes to see how my policies compare and surveyed EMCC faculty and students about the course syllabus. (See the google slides.) The inital survey of course syllabi showed that having discussions about the course syllabus could be very worthwhile. Faculty across all diciplines were interested and willing to share. Further steps could include refinment of the syllabus template and implementation of regular syllabus workshops. 

Abstract: 

This syllabus research project is an example of assessing learning practices to enhance learning environments at the classroom, program, and college level. I learned from student success literature that often, underrepresented students will not ask for exceptions to syllabus policies while their counterparts will, thus creating unintentional equity gaps with class syllabus policies. I studied various course syllabi from EMCC classes to see how my policies compare. I then surveyed EMCC faculty and students about the course syllabus. I found a mismatch between practice and policy with regard to late work and make up work. I shared my research at college and district meetings. I have since revised my syllabus and heard from many of my colleagues about the changes they also implemented. This work resulted in a shared folder of resources for faculty to view and contribute to and the creation of an open dialogue about a sometimes overlooked but crucial policy document, the course syllabus. 

Division/Department: 
Completed Full Cycle: 
Yes