Commercial course outlines?


I will hopefully be teaching a variety of natural-science courses in the fall as an assistant professor. While some of the courses will be in my area of specialization, others will be quite familiar but not my forte.

I'd like to know if others have found sources of generic course materials in electronic format for purchase. I would buy these materials for courses not in my specialization, modify the content, and cite the original authors.  

Have others found this to be a valuable approach in constructing course curriculum?

Just go to the World Lecture Hall at the University of Texas at Austin or a similar online site and take a look at other people's materials. As long as you don't "rip them off" for original content, there is nothing wrong with getting ideas there. See

The publishers provide instructional manuals on request, and these will support your need for guidance in structuring assignments and lectures. Also, most have companion Web sites for the courses, and the authors of the texts tend to be quite accessible.

I just got an e-mail solicitation to develop course content for an online outfit. I'm not interested, and almost deleted it, but then I thought others might be interested; here is the Web site:

If you simply do a Google search for syllabi on the Internet, you'll turn up a lot more than what's on the sites suggested here. For example, type in "anthropology gender syllabus" and you'll get a bunch of examples of courses about the anthropology of gender. I never just copy someone else's syllabus, but it helps to see what others are doing out there -- what books are typically used, how many pages a week are normally assigned, etc.


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