The Syllabus Poll

Because of the University’s recent budget woes, the Dean of Arts has “strongly encouraged” instructors to post their syllabi online. This will 1) save money, 2) save trees, and 3) “save face”. (I think that last one means “move into the 21st century, already!”) It’s not like the copying budget has officially been cut; that’s for individual Departments to decide. (I haven’t heard of any policy changes from the Faculty of Science, but Psychology is mostly funded by Arts.)

I’ve been posting my syllabi online for, well, a while--ever since the third course I taught, in 1995. That’s not a big deal. But cutting out a hardcopy syllabus...I don’t know.

This year, I decided to help out my Department--I went to Staples to copy and pay for the syllabi myself. (Meh, it’s no biggie: it took an hour and $140.38 for about 600 syllabus copies across three courses.)

So, I’ve continued to provide a hardcopy of the syllabus on the first class. But is it still necessary? I’d like to get your opinion on this. Is it good enough if I just go over the syllabus in detail in the first class (which I do now anyway)? Or do you think it’s still valuable to have a piece of paper to look at on that first day?

I'd like your opinion (but, please, vote only once):

(Poll is now closed. Thanks for voting. Results are here.)

In January, 2010, I ran an online poll asking my students about their preferences. I don't want to give the results here, because that may bias the voting. I'll post those numbers after I close the current poll.

Why aren't you studying?


Anonymous said...

D= the poll doesn't work! It just takes me to a "Free Poll Kit" page.

Karsten A. Loepelmann said...

@Anonymous: Thanks for the heads up. Blargh! Serves me right for messing around in the code, trying to pretty it up.

Should be working now, unless you just click on "Vote" without making a selection.


Spider-Man said...

Any fool can find the syllabus online, at home or in one of our many free libraries, and save a bajillion trees. If a hardcopy is SO important to have, it costs, what, 12¢ to print in library?

Instead of spending 30 Subway lunches worth of good money for copies we don't need, I would instead offer to reimburse the students whatever their cost is for printing (and who's really going to come and demand their 12¢?), nobody can complain about that. Problem solved?

Anastasia said...

Go with the hard copy. Humans have finally taken the upper hand in the war against trees and if we all just do our part I am positive victory will be ours.

A Tree said...


y u kill my mommies? :(

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