Guest Blogger Brian Lamoureux Shares his Revamped Syllabus

Posted by: | Posted on: October 19, 2015 |Comments (2)|Faculty
Brian Lamoureux

Brian Lamoureux

Guest blogger: Brian Lamoureux, practitioner faculty in management, wrote this piece for the Business Education Innovation Center fall newsletter.

A syllabus — like any document — only has value if it is read. It loses all value if it is distributed and then filed away, never looked at again. I have recently encountered a troubling trend: Students would email me with questions whose answers were two mouse-clicks away in the syllabus resting in their inbox.

Upon reflection, I needed to find a better way to impart 7-9 pages of single-spaced content to them. Students consume information much differently these days. Their eyes alight with snaps, tweets, texts, and Instagrams. So, I decided to meet them where they were and revamped my entire syllabus by putting it into a newsletter format. Using a simple default template from Microsoft Word, I incorporated all of the necessary information while using white space and images to improve the readability of the document. Based on my non-scientific surveymonkey-ing, my students overwhelmingly appreciated the effort and prefer the newsletter-style syllabus over the traditional syllabus format.

For what it’s worth, here are some highlights from my survey:

  • 80% were “pleased” to see an effort to change from the “standard” syllabus format.
  • 20% were “neutral.”
  • 32% thought the syllabus was better than “all other” syllabi they’ve had at PC.
  • 60% thought it was better than “most other” syllabi.
  • The other 8% said it was the same, and 0% said it was worse.
  • 85% they wished other professors used this format (strongly agree/agree).
  • 15% were neutral, and 0% disagreed.

2 thoughts on “Guest Blogger Brian Lamoureux Shares his Revamped Syllabus

  • Sara says:

    Please re-post or send me the link as it seems to be broken, and I would really like to review your newsletter format. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Best,
    Sara Minard, Northeastern University

  • Tara Walter says:

    Hi Sara,
    Thanks for pointing this out! We have re-uploaded the file and it should work now. Enjoy!

    Tara Walter
    Graduate Assistant | Providence College School of Business
    Office of the Dean

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