Faculty encouraged to post syllabi to increase understanding of curriculum

August 21, 2012 | UToday
By Tobin J. Klinger

Dr. Ben Pryor spends a good deal of his time thinking about the integration of technology and the learning process. As vice provost for academic program development, one of his primary objectives is to find innovative ways to bring that integration into the classroom.

Now, he’s helping the University leverage that integration in ways that will help to attract prospective students.

Beginning Aug. 21, Pryor is asking faculty to begin posting their syllabi publicly via the Blackboard system, with a goal of better demonstrating the virtual and traditional classroom experience to those who are interested.

“We believe that there is a significant portion of the prospective student population that would like some greater insight into the curriculum and level of challenge a particular course will offer,” Pryor said. “With tools like ratemyprofessor.com, we know that there is a desire for more information in the decision-making process, and we hope the posting of the syllabi will help to meet that need.”

Additionally, the sharing of syllabi will help graduates who may need to submit information beyond transcripts for accreditation or licensure.

“If a graduate of a professional program, for instance, wants to be licensed to practice in another state, he or she may be asked for some detail on the curriculum they undertook. This will help to make that information readily available on an ongoing basis,” Pryor said.

The Blackboard system is set up so that only selected pages can be viewed by the general public. Faculty can put a syllabus on a public page and leave the rest of the course available only to enrolled students.

According to Pryor, “Blackboard gives faculty total control over what the public can see, and we have plenty of help available to faculty who would like to learn more Blackboard tricks.”

“We are constantly striving to attract better prepared students to The University of Toledo, and I think it is safe to say that the more information about a course that a prospective student is seeking is an indicator of their degree of interest and, in all likelihood, an indicator of how serious they are,” said Dr. William McMillen, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Making this information available only serves to position the excellence of our faculty with key populations.”

Learning Ventures has online tutorials and documentation available for faculty with questions on how to upload their syllabi to the public section at utoledo.edu/dl/faculty.

Click to access the login or register cheese