129 minutes | Aug 10th 2020

The Syllabus Special | TAPP 75

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The syllabus is an important instructional tool that sets the tone and provides guidance for the entire course. Host Kevin Patton discusses various aspects of a course syllabus in a comprehensive, extended episode featuring classic and fresh segments.

  • 0:00:49 | The Syllabus Special
  • 0:03:32 | Sponsored by AAA
  • 0:04:22 | Weird Word: Syllabus
  • 0:06:41 | Do Students Read the Syllabus?
  • 0:13:23 | Reading & Raiding the Syllabus
  • 0:27:32 | First-Day Activities
  • 0:45:32 | Basic Elements of a Syllabus
  • 0:58:40 | Sponsored by HAPI
  • 0:59:33 | More Things to Put in a Syllabus
  • 1:10:59 | Link to Other Resources
  • 1:18:58 | Sponsored by HAPS
  • 1:19:40 | Professionalism as a Course Goal
  • 1:22:41 | Syllabus Warnings
  • 1:38:03 | Nuzzel Newsletter
  • 1:39:07 | Safety Advice
  • 1:59:35 | Pronouns
  • 2:02:22 | Long-Long Syllabus
  • 2:07:32 | Staying Connected

 

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Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. (John Dewey)

 

Weird Word: Syllabus

2.5 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that first appeared in Understanding How We Learn, A Chat with Yana Weinstein & Megan Sumeracki | Episode 27.

Which is correct: syllabuses or syllabi? The answer may surprise you! Nevertheless, now's a good time to think about tweaking your course documents for the fall semester.

 

Sponsored by AAA

1 minute

A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at anatomy.org.

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 

Don't forget—HAPS members get a deep discount on AAA membership!

The Anatomy Now Weekly issue with accessibility resources: my-ap.us/30tnHHH

 

Do Students Read the Syllabus?

6.5 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

Do students read the syllabus? Maybe half? It's the other half who drive us nuts. Wait! do we always read the directions before asking questions?

What is a syllabus? It can be different things, right? Why do administrators seem to love the syllabus so much?

 

Reading & Raiding the Syllabus

14 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

Some general considerations when designing a syllabus include make sure that students can both read the syllabus through, and raid the syllabus for key information when they need it. The key is simplicity and logic in syllabus design.

 

First-Day Activities

18 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

Is it just "here's the syllabus; see ya next class"—or is it an engaged look at important syllabus elements? The first day of class is key to starting things off on a good foot. What I learned from Krista, Michael, and Richard—and my own sideways twist on those first steps. What about a syllabus quiz? Is that a good or bad idea?

 

Basic Elements of a Syllabus

13 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

What exactly goes into a syllabus? Who decides? What are the essentials? This isn't comprehensive, but it gets us started.

 

Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

2.5 minutes

The Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers, especially for those who already have a graduate/professional degree. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you be your best in both on-campus and remote teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program. Check it out!

nycc.edu/hapi

 

More Things to Put in a Syllabus

11.5 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

Frank O'Neill recommends video walk-throughs, which have the added benefit of letting students know that you really do care about them. Consider also a table contents, abstract/summary, and/or index if the syllabus is long. How about a disclaimer, some playful tidbits, and links to external resources. And make sure your supervisors know what's in your syllabus!

 

Link to Other Resources

8 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first aired in The Syllabus Episode | Bonus | Episode 24.

Consider putting hyperlinks or URLs in the syllabus to take students to other resources. Consider linking to a FAQ page, wher you explain your rationals for doing things the way that you do them in your course.

 

Sponsored by HAPS

1 minute

The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast.  You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. Watch for virtual town hall meetings and upcoming regional meetings!

Anatomy & Physiology Society

theAPprofessor.org/haps

 

Professionalism as a Course Goal

3 minutes

This segment is adapted from the featured segment in Communication, Clarity, & Medical Errors | Episode 55.

Sometimes a student frets about the A&P course being "not a spelling course" or "not an English course" — but professional communication is an essential skill for health professionals. Why not add this statement to our syllabus and/or other course documents?

Here's an example of an item from my syllabus learning outcomes and objectives from my Pre-A&P course related to professionalism:

  • work independently in a self-paced online science course
    • succeed in taking online tests and exams
    • communicate in professional scientific language, including correct spelling and usage of terminology
    • exhibit ethical professional behavior, including academic integrity

Useful links:

 

Syllabus Warnings

15.5 minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first published in Warnings & Safety Tips in the A&P Syllabus | Episode 57.

Kevin usually has a Warnings! page in his syllabus or other course documents. It contains three warnings about, and rationale explaining, some important things a student should know before continuing in the A&P course. There is shouting involved.

 

Nuzzel Newsletter

1 minute

In the Nuzzel Newsletter for The A&P Professor, host Kevin Patton selects daily headlines that may be of interest to anatomy and/or physiology faculty. This Nuzzel newsletter is published five days a week (more or less).

To check out the archives of past Nuzzels, or to subscribe, go to: nuzzel.com/theAPprofessor

 

Safety Advice

20.5  minutes

This segment is adapted from a segment that was first published in Warnings & Safety Tips in the A&P Syllabus | Episode 57.

We're held responsible (at least in part) for the safety of everyone in our classroom. How best to prepare for and facilitate safety?

 

Personal Pronouns

2.5 minutes

Introducing our own preferred gender pronouns opens the door for including the personal pronoun preference of student (should that be important to them) and can help connect with our students in ways that improve the learning environment.

 

Long-Long Syllabus

5 minutes

A syllabus could become massive. As with the massiveness of an elephant, the large size may be "just right." But maybe not. There are ways to reduce the size of a syllabus without losing any important content. And there ways to make a large syllabus easier to read and easier to raid. This segment revisits some ideas brought up in earlier parts of this episode.

 

 

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Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall? Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need! https://youtu.be/JU_l76JGwVw?t=440

 

Tools & Resources  Amazon Text Expander Rev.com Snagit & Camtasia The A&P Professor Logo Items   Sponsors   Transcript and captions for this episode are supported by the  American Association for Anatomy. anatomy.org   The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society  aprovides marketing support for this podcast.  theAPprofessor.org/haps   Distribution of this episode is supported by  NYCC's online graduate program in  Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction (HAPI)  nycc.edu/hapi   Clicking on sponsor links  helps let them know you appreciate their support of this podcast!   Follow The A&P Professor on  Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Nuzzel, Tumblr, or Instagram!   The A&P Professor® and Lion Den® are registered trademarks of Lion Den Inc. (Kevin Patton)    
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