1. "Measuring the Promise: A Valid and Reliable Syllabus Rubric - Guide to Assessing the Focus of Syllabi" (pdf) "focuses on four [actually, five] criteria typical of learning-centered syllabi":
- Learning goals and objectives (or learner objectives)
- Assessment activities
- Overall learning environment
- Learning activities
It also "break[s] down each criterion into multiple components, and provide[s] a range of options for what evidence of proficiency in those components might look like."
"Each of the 16 components—designated as essential, important, or less-important—is scored on the strength of supporting evidence."
- "Strong evidence indicates that many (but not necessarily all) of the characteristics of the component are present in the syllabus and match the descriptions closely."
- "Moderate evidence indicates that a few of the characteristics of the component are present in the syllabus and/or only partly match the descriptions."
- "Low evidence indicates that very few of the characteristics of the component are present in the syllabus and/or don’t match the descriptions."
3. Criteria and Components (each explained more fully in the pdf)
a. Learning Goals and Objectives
- "Learning goals encompass full range of Fink’s dimensions of significant learning"
- "Course-level learning objectives are clearly articulated and use specific action verbs"
- "Learning objectives are appropriately pitched"
b. Assessment Activities
- "Objectives and assessments are aligned"
- "Major summative assessment activities are clearly defined"
- "Plans for frequent formative assessment with immediate feedback"
- "Assessments are adequately paced and scaffolded"
- "Grading information is included but separate from assessment; it is aligned with objectives"
- "Course schedule is fully articulated and logically sequenced
d. Classroom Environment
- "Tone is positive, respectful, inviting"
- "Fosters positive motivation, describes value of course, promotes content as a vehicle for learning"
- "Communicates high expectations, projects confidence of success"
- "Syllabus is well organized, easy to navigate, requires interaction"
e. Learning Activities
- "Classroom activities, assessments, and objectives are aligned"
- "Learning activities are derived from evidence-based practices"
- "Learning activities likely to actively engage students"
Palmer, M. S., Bach, D. J., & Streifer, A. C. (2014). Measuring the promise: A learning-focused syllabus rubric. To improve the academy: A journal of educational development, 33 (1), 14-36.