A Syllabus of Questions


  • Who is in charge here, and why?
  • What do we need to know about the instructor?
  • What is the instructor's role in the course?


  • What did I think I was signing up for?
  • Why did I sign up for this course?
  • What is the story being told?
  • Where are we headed? By which route?
  • What will it take to get there?


  • What do we hope to come out of the course with?
  • Are there applications for future careers?
  • What further study should this course prepare us for?
  • What skills will we develop?
  • What kind of class community do we hope to foster?


  • What kinds of activities will help us learn and demonstrate that we have done so?
  • Is there a final project? What would be most constructive and appropriate to the material?
  • Are there other major projects throughout the course?
  • What kinds of habits should we be practicing on a daily or weekly basis?
  • What do we expect of ourselves in class time?


  • What are the activities that our grades should reflect?
  • What activities should not be graded?
  • How can we break each activity down to ensure it is graded fairly?
  • Is there a process of revision or repetition?
  • What happens if there is a dispute about a grade?


  • How do we commit to carrying ourselves, and how do we expect to be treated?
  • What happens when conflict arises?
  • What do we need to do to ensure the course is accessible for all participants?
  • Do we understand and accept the expectations for our conduct set out by the university?
  • How do we change these agreements and this syllabus when necessary?


  • Who determines what happens when?
  • What is a reasonable expectation for what can be accomplished each week?
  • If the pace isn't working, how do we know and what do we do?