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Symposium Workshop

Many Possibilities: Using the Course Syllabus to Foster and Sustain Students’ Sense of Belonging

Kevin Gannon, Professor of History and author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 9:30-10:30am | Zoom

As Kevin Gannon notes, we often underestimate the potential of our syllabi to do important pedagogical work for us, especially when it comes to the affective dimensions of student engagement.

In this workshop, instructors will reconsider their syllabi through the lens of students’ sense of belonging and explore ways the syllabus can either support or work against larger pedagogical goals. Through activities like creating a “beginner’s mind” syllabus, performing an “affective audit,” and applying a transparency framework to the design process, participants will:

  • Examine ways to use the syllabus to increase student interest, motivation, and sense of belonging.
  • Consider whether course policies – and the language used to convey them – align with, or undermine, their larger pedagogical goals.
  • Develop a syllabus revision method informed by students’ perspectives.
  • Create more interesting, authentic, and motivating syllabi – that students will actually read!