Syllabus Panic? CNDLS Can Help!

This fall, we’ll be using the CNDLS blog to highlight the Teaching Commonsa compilation of resources and case studies designed to help faculty revitalize their courses and gain insights into practical issues in pedagogy at Georgetown. As a living resource, the site continually evolves to encompass new scholarship in teaching and learning, as well as technological innovations that are changing and enhancing the current teaching landscape. To help you explore all that the Commons has to offer, we’ll showcase tools and other information on a semi-weekly basis, guiding you through the semester in real time. Missed the other posts? Check out our takes on starting the semester, leading discussions, evaluating learning, designing assignments, and active learning, then hear from fellow faculty in our interview highlights.


If you’re like a lot of professors, you may be starting to experience the common malady known as syllabus panic: the fall semester is approaching fast, and you still have syllabi to write! Maybe you’re teaching something new and starting from scratch, or perhaps you’re returning to something you’ve taught before and dusting off an old syllabus that needs some revising. Either way, the work of syllabus building is (or ought to be) more than an administrative exercise—this is an opportunity to create a written first impression for your students of the excellent semester you’re hoping will follow.

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Don’t worry, CNDLS has you covered. Check out Creating Your Syllabus on the Teaching Commons for ideas on what to include and where to find other resources, including samples of Georgetown professors’ syllabi in a variety of disciplines. While you’re there, you can explore other pages to help you think through the elements of your course, from teaching assistants, classroom space, and Georgetown University policies to getting ready for potentially difficult discussions and promoting active learning.

And remember: if you need help or advice on anything related to your teaching, CNDLS is here!