The Syllabus is the most important document that a tutor must offers to his/ her students and to make a online Syllabus is not equal to make it like we did in the past in the classroom withouth the presence of new technologies. Then, Syllabus has to change the way it is prepared to get to maximize the possibilities that new technologies offer us and also to escape of the disadvantages arising therefrom.
A Syllabus must have references to these three areas:
Contract: State clearly what is expected of the students, their obligations and their rights is essential to begin a course either online, in person or mixed. A good introduction that explains how they will develop the different modules or themes, what will be needed to carry it out and recommendations for doing this, is also a great help to locate and engage students in the teaching-learning process. When a course is mediated by technology this presentation is much more necessary and decisive, it could get engage the students more to face the challenge of working online with all that implies.
Map: It refers to the course geography: tools, documents, tasks, links ... etc It is needed to locate all this points and let the student know how to use them. This map should be available to the students in a simple, direct and very clear.
Calendar: establishing a timing it is really important. We have to time the tasks and the whole course. Students must know what they have to do at all times and what is going to happen if they can not do it on time. This is also vital to try to avoid the confusion and frustration that may involve dealing with an technology mediated course.
I find very interesting several questions that Shanhrazad Zhadi points about the 5th Cpater of the book and Lisa's workshop example:
- Should we make the students work on the management of the learning environment we prepared and don't give them all the things very very clear?
- How students are really aware we are not machines but people?
Just to point another comment from another partner, Norma Wright, about the amount of information that I think is also very important to think about it in the process to elaborate our Syllabus:
- Is it good to give much information? Is it better to give small but well-run? How to find the midpoint?