The Class Syllabus essay

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Contrasts and comparisons between the class syllabus and the two other predesigned syllabi


To determine the similarities of the syllabi

To establish the differences between the syllabi

To establish the reasonable and distressing aspects of the syllabi

To establish what can be added and what can be removed from the class syllabus

Syllabus is a document that shows out the outline of the summary of all the topics that would be covered during an educational course (John43). This crucial document can not only be prepared by the professor but also an examination board.  A syllabus contains vital information concerning the course. In many cases, a syllabus is normally combined with the curriculum. This document is always given to students in the first session of their class. It contains information like when, why and how to get to the lecturer or the teacher assistant, what the students are expected to study in the course of the course, an outline of test dates, date due for the assignments, the policy of grading  and the rules for the class among others (John47). A syllabus is used to in ensuring the consistency in schools and enables all teachers to know exactly what needs to be taught and whatever should not be taught.  An examination assesses the knowledge that was obtained from the syllabus. In my quest to seek knowledge in the field of philosophy in the United States, I got a chance to assess three syllabi. These are the PHI 215, philosophy 120A, and PHI 103 syllabi. This paper is a  class project that explores the comparisons and contrasts between the first two syllabi with the PHI 103 syllabus.

 The three syllabi are similar in many ways. First, both the syllabi have titles for the respective course.  These titles are similar because they can both deal with courses on logic. Despite this similarity, the syllabi differs slightly in the logic part of the titles introduce. For instance in the PHI 215, the title is “introduction to deductive logic”, in the PHI 120 the title is “introduction to logic” where as in the PHI 130 the title is “introduction to logic; argument and evidence. The title for the PHI 103 syllabus introduces a course that deals with the evidence and argument logically. This is a broad course that examines the forms in which arguments may take.  The syllabus for PHI 215 introduces a course that deals with logic that is deductive. In this syllabus, the course narrows down to one part of the logic. The PHI 120 syllabus introduces a course in logic. In this case, the course on logic will broadly consider all parts of logic like the deductive logic, inductive logic and abductive logic.

Additionally, the syllabi are similar in giving the students an outline of the textbooks, recommendable study material and the required material for the smooth coverage of the course. The syllabi direct the students on how and where to acquire the textbooks and the required materials.  For example, for the PHI 103, all the required material will be purchased by the students. For the PHI215, the text books would be borrowed by students from friends or the library. On the other hand, the syllabus for the PHI 120A directs the students to purchase a copy of an LPL licenses allowing students to be accessible to the required resources from the LPL web site and the grade grinder.

Last but not least, all syllabi give out the contact information for the respective professors. In the PHI 103 syllabus, the professor’s contact information is at the bottom section of the syllabus where as for the other two syllabi, the professor’s contact information is at the top section of the syllabi. Both PHI 120 and in PHI 215 requires that the student submit their assignments and homework online. This is a similar case with the PHI103 since it also requires students to submit their assignments online. This has necessitated both the syllabi to demand that students have personal computers, with internet connection so that they can easily access classes and submit assignments online.

However, the syllabi have their own outstanding differences. First, the table of contents for this class syllabus is systematic. This syllabus first welcomes the learners into the learning adventure. It then gives out  information about the institution, course goals, required purchases, course requirements, course policy, grading system,  andragogical information, how to obtain success on online courses, the course overview and the course schedule.  On the other hand, the other two syllabi do not bring out its table of contents systematically. These two syllabi have no well defined table of content. There is no welcoming of the students, no course goals, no course overview, no andragogical information and no instructions on how to succeed on online courses. This means that as opposed to the PHI 103 syllabus, the PHI 215 and the PHI 120A syllabi leaves out information that could otherwise be relevant to this course. For instance, the information about the success on online course is vital for this course. If such information is omitted in a syllabus, it raises questions about such a syllabus since this is an online course. For example, it will be an uphill task for a student with no online success information to post his or her homework online. Secondly, there is a difference in the course policies for the syllabi. The PHI 130 gives out information about the electronic life ring, sexual harassment, student’s responsibility and extra credits. This information is not included in the PHI 215 and PHI 120A syllabi. This is a particularly cruel element in a syllabus. If the student’s responsibilities are not outlined, then many students will suffer. If students with the disability are not taken care of like for the case of PHI 120A and PHI 215 syllabus, it brings inequality and lack of equity to the students.  If a syllabus has no policy on sexual harassment, it means such a syllabus does not protect its students. A complete syllabus is known to give out quality education to all students, and to protect the students accordingly. This is not included in the PHI 215 and PHI120A syllabi. These two syllabi do not take care of the individual differences in the class because they do not include the disabled students into their program.

Secondly, differences exist on the grading system of the three syllabi. Each syllabus has its own unique grading system. In the PHI 103 syllabus, the points have been distributed into ten potions. This is will always allow the teacher to evaluate the learner in all aspects of the syllabus. In this syllabus, the points are awarded out of 1000 points. This is different from that of PHI 215 and PHI 120A in that, in PHI215 the syllabus is broken into four potions. This potion adds up to a total of 100%. The PHI 120A syllabus, the points are awarded out of 600 points. The grading scale for these two syllabi is slightly higher compared to the grading scale for this class. In PHI 215, a grade (A) is awarded to students who have scored between 93 and 100 where as the grade (A) for this class is awarded to a student who has scored between 90 and 100. The PHI 120A syllabus has a different grading system. In this syllabus, grades are given in terms of points. For example, 560 marks would earn a student a grade (4.0).

Despite the differences and the similarities of the three syllabi, there is a lot that reflects the positivity of these syllabi. For example, the PHI 103 syllabus, offers students an opportunity to learn how they succeed in courses that are online. This will acquaint the students with the information that is relevant for their smooth learning. One more positive aspect about this syllabus is that it takes care of the disabled students. In the PHI 215, the students do not need to buy the required textbooks but can borrow them from other students or the library. This aspect takes care of those students from humble backgrounds who have no money for the purchase. The PHI120A syllabus also takes into account the disabled students need. For this class syllabus, one would wish to change the assumptions for the course. This assumption that students will access equipments, software, certain services and knowledge,  is basic in using the computer has no basis. In reality, many of the students would miss one if not all the above requirements. It is, therefore, an unfair act to make such an assumption because certainly this will lock out many students from gaining from the syllabus. Given a chance, there will be need do away with the above assumption and, therefore, seek to establish computers within the college so that students who cannot access computers could come easily use these computers. There will be the need to employ adaptive devices as a mechanism to enable learners with the disability to access the online courses easily. Learners with visual impairment need devices like Braillers, mose-code among other devices so as to access the online courses. Apart from the slight changes, it is necessary to will leave out the other sections of the syllabus for this class.

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