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Learner-Centered Syllabus Design

Learner-Centered Syllabus Design Guide
A learner-centered syllabus is a document that emphasizes the needs, interests, and engagement of students in the learning process. It provides clear guidelines, expectations, and goals while considering the diverse learning styles and preferences of learners. The focus is on creating a supportive, interactive, and empowering learning environment where students are actively involved in their own learning journey.

Creating a learner-centered syllabus involves focusing on students' needs, interests, and engagement to facilitate effective learning. Here's a step-by-step guide to writing a learner-centered syllabus:

1. Understand Your Audience: Consider the characteristics, preferences, and expectations of your students to tailor the syllabus accordingly.

2. Set the Tone and Expectations: Begin with a welcoming and encouraging message, setting a positive tone for the course. Clearly outline the course's objectives, learning outcomes, and what students are expected to achieve.
3. Include Student Input and Involvement: Provide opportunities for students to contribute to the syllabus by suggesting topics, projects, or activities that align with the course goals. Allow flexibility for negotiation on certain aspects of the syllabus, demonstrating a shared responsibility for the learning process.

4. Explain Assessment Methods and Grading: Clearly describe the assessment methods, assignments, exams, or projects that will be used to evaluate students' progress. Share the grading criteria and how grades will be determined to ensure transparency and understanding.

5. Incorporate Active Learning Strategies: Highlight active learning opportunities, collaborative projects, discussions, and interactive activities that will engage students and promote critical thinking. Encourage participation and class involvement to enhance learning experiences.
6. Address Accessibility and Inclusivity: Provide information on accommodations for students with disabilities and encourage students to communicate their needs. Ensure that the syllabus and course materials are accessible to all students, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds.

7. Communicate Policies and Expectations Clearly: Clearly outline attendance policies, late submission rules, and any other expectations regarding student conduct and behaviour. Communicate guidelines for respectful communication, academic honesty, and any specific technology or tools required for the course.

8. Offer Additional Resources and Support: Provide information about additional resources, tutoring services, office hours, or academic support to assist students in their learning journey. Offer guidance on how students can seek help, ask questions, or provide feedback throughout the course.
9. Revise and Adapt as Needed: Remain open to feedback from students and be willing to revise the syllabus based on their input or changing needs during the course. Continuously assess the syllabus's effectiveness in promoting student engagement and learning outcomes and make adjustments as necessary.

10. Foster a Positive Learning Environment: Encourage a growth mindset, resilience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes, creating an environment that supports student development and success.

By incorporating these elements and tailoring the syllabus to the student's needs, you can create a learner-centered syllabus that promotes engagement, collaboration, and effective learning outcomes.

 To receive more information click  Ideas for making assessments in your syllabus transparent (Harvard’s Bok Center)