To the Editor:
While I read Kevin Gannon’s excellent resource article on creating a syllabus, I was on the edge of my seat with a knuckle or two in my teeth, waiting to see what he would say about putting in a detailed week-by-week schedule showing all the topics covered and assignments (“Does Your Syllabus Need an Upgrade for Next Semester?” The Chronicle, December 18). I was relieved and grateful to see him come out squarely in favor. I’m writing to add that this is not just a great guide for your students. It’s also essential for articulating courses when your student requests transfer credit for a specific class at another institution. Even if articulation is not work that you’re familiar with, somewhere in your department is someone, a faculty colleague like me or a staff member, who reads syllabi all the time to determine whether they can count for credit for a required course in your major. Catalog course descriptions are not enough, particularly in STEM courses where the material can be highly standardized and a lot of specific topics need to be checked off. So please remember that this is another way this practice helps your students, and your colleagues at other institutions. Don’t make me email you to get this information.
Department of Physics
University of California, Santa Cruz