Some syllabi now available online

By
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The effort by Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron and the Undergraduate Council of Students to expand the University’s course preview page, undertaken in November, made large strides by the end of winter break.

Bergeron said that over one-third of all courses have syllabi available on the preview page at courses.brown.edu. In an e-mail to all undergraduate students Tuesday, she wrote that students have been asking for course previews for a long time, and she is pleased to see it finally a reality.

Bergeron and UCS have been working to expand the course preview page in time for this semester’s shopping period. Provost David Kertzer ’69 P’95 P’98 formally asked professors in a November e-mail to upload their syllabi for this semester.

In a Jan. 15 e-mail to faculty, Bergeron reminded instructors of the importance of their cooperation.

She wrote, “Through your participation, the shopping period will become even more fruitful for both you and your students.” 

In asking professors to post their syllabi online, the administration intends to help students determine their interest in a class before and during shopping period.

According to Robert Taj Moore ’11, chair of academic and administrative affairs for UCS, the council stressed the importance of online syllabi to the faculty as well. 

He said his committee e-mailed department chairs and attended their office hours in order to remind them to utilize the course preview page.

About 900 courses are offered during the spring semester, and Bergeron said she thinks more professors will upload their syllabi over the next couple of days.

She added that the course preview pages offer more information than MyCourses at this time of the year.

While she acknowledged that many students have yet to hear about the course preview page, she said, “Whenever you try something new, it takes a while for people to find out about it.”