The single most important instrument of structure in a course is the SYLLABUS, which outlines the goals and objectives of a course, prerequisites, the grading/evaluation scheme, materials to be used (textbooks, software), topics to be covered, a schedule, and a bibliography. Each of these components defines the nature of the learning experience. Goals and objectives identify the expected outcomes and scope of the course as determined by the instructor or course designer, restricting the domain of knowledge for the learner. Prerequisites limit the student population to those with certain kinds of learning experiences, usually other courses. The grading or evaluation scheme tells students what kind of learning activities are to be valued (e.g., assignments, tests, papers, projects), that is, the currency of learning in this particular course. Topics to be covered specify the content that the instructor feels is important. The schedule provides a timetable for learning, usually with milestones in the form of due dates or tests.


Title: Structural issues in distance education.
Subject(s): DISTANCE education -- United States; GEORGE Washington University (Washington, D.C.)
Source: Journal of Education for Business, Mar/Apr96, Vol. 71 Issue 4, p191, 5p, 2 charts
Author(s): Kearsley, Greg; Lynch, William