Learning Focused Syllabi

Michael Palmer and his colleagues at the University of Virginia distinguish between a content focused syllabus and a learning focused syllabus. In a content focused syllabus, the instructor emphasizes what the student will and will not do and how the instructor will reward or punish student behaviors. In a learning centered focus, the instructor emphasizes what the student will learn, how student learning will be demonstrated, and how the instructor plans to support students in accomplishing these learning goals.

Visually Driven Syllabi

Consider the ways that you can make your syllabi more compelling and a document that works as a central tool in engaging students with the ideas and skills they are building in your courses.

Accessible Syllabus

There are many resources to help make your syllabus more accessible and engaging.

Tulane University has dedicated resources that help you consider the ways that a syllabus is an outreach of your teaching philosophy and can be a valuable tool to promote student engagement and agency.

If you want more please reach out to us. We have books, articles and other resources to help you tailor your syllabus to work well for you, your course and your students.

Suggested Syllabi Statements

Following the 2017 Dean’s Retreat on Inclusive Pedagogy many faculty and staff are interested in integrating a statement of accessibility into their syllabi or other materials.  Below are two suggested statements for this purpose.

 Suggested Statement, Example One:

I strive to support all students so please come meet with me if you have any questions or concerns about your engagement and success in this course.  Students seeking general disability services and/or accommodations should contact Accessibility Services. You can reach them via email at accessibility@amherst.edu, or via phone at 413-542-2337. Once you have your accommodations in place, I will be glad to meet with you privately during my office hours or at another agreed upon time to discuss the best implementation of your accommodations. For more information, please visit their website

Suggested Statement, Example Two:

Accessibility Services

Students seeking general disability services and/or accommodations should contact Accessibility Services. You can reach them via email at accessibility@amherst.edu, or via phone at 413-542-2337. Once you have your accommodations in place, I will be glad to meet with you privately during my office hours or at another agreed upon time to discuss the best implementation of your accommodations. For more information, please visit their website

 Student Success

I strive to support all students so please come meet with me if you have any questions or concerns about your engagement and success in this course.  If you need additional support services, there are many available on campus including your Class Dean, the Counseling Center, and student resource centers.