The Learning Process
hosted by
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization

Developing a Course Syllabus

The Key to Excellence in Writing a Course Syllabus is Clear and Concise Concepts
      A syllabus is a descriptive outline that summarizes the topics to be covered in an educational or training course.  A curriculum is a collection of courses required to earn a degree at a university, college, or junior college/community college.

      Universities and colleges require a syllabus for all courses. When the institution prepares for an accreditation review, course syllabuses are reviewed and revised. The following is a discussion of why a detailed syllabus is beneficial to students and instructors.

      Group ice skating classes and team activities such as Synchronized Skating, Showcase ensembles, and Theater on Ice Teams should have a prepared syllabus and Goals and Objectives that are given to skater at the beginning of the skating season or group classes. Coaches should develop Lesson Plans for all of the activities their are involved in to allow another qualified individual to fill in for them in case of an illness, personal emergency or personal time off.

Benefits of Writing a Syllabus:

  • A Syllabus is a Contract with students - It allows the instructor to spell out course expectations and assignments for the entire semester. A syllabus presents fewer opportunities for ambiguities than a spoken presentation at the first class.
  • Central Reference for Students - A syllabus provides a single document that contains detailed assignments, readings, and schedules for the entire course  .
  • Effective Planning Document - A detailed syllabus states course goals and methods that  instructors use to plan the course content - class by class. A poorly written syllabus can affect student attitude, performance, and attendance.
  • Repository for Other Courses - A strong syllabus can be used to plan similar courses.

General Tips in Writing a Syllabus:

  • Be specific - Specify specific details about upcoming assignments, readings, grading policies, attendance, course goals and other information and expectations. The instructor may provide additional detail later, but the syllabus allows the student to prepare to make up material when it is impossible to attend a class.
  • Maintain a Friendly Tone - A syllabus should clearly lay out policy in a friendly tone will make students more comfortable from the beginning.
  • Present the syllabus to students in advance of the first day of class - Provide an e-mail address if a student/parents should wish to discuss the syllabus. Even though your policies are carefully stated, they will often need clarification, and students appreciate your openness in discussing the rationale behind them. In some cases their questions may lead to a beneficial exchange about course goals and philosophies.
  • Announce Changes by E-Mail - If for some reason, a date or other item in the syllabus must be changed, you should send a general e-mail message to your students so that they have a "written" record, as well as announcing it in class. Some instructor develop a web page exclusively for the course that they use as an official site and update frequently. The materials covered in each class are posted for the semester.  Prepared notes can be posted after each class session.
     A syllabus should answer questions about the course such as "Information about teacher, What is the course about, What does the student need to know, and What does the teacher expect the student to bring to class?".

Typical Course Syllabus Outline:
  • Course Title
  • Prerequisite:
    • Courses
    • Skills
    • Knowledge
  • Instructor
    • Full Name
    • Credentials
    • On-line web site
    • Office Phone, Email, Office Fax
    • Home Phone (optional)

  • Course Goals and Objectives
  • Course Philosophy
  • Grading Policy
    • Grading Scale - Define Minimum, Good, Very Good, Excellent
    • Method of Determining an Overall Course Performance
    • How are Assignments Graded?
    • Grading Criteria For Each Assignment
    • Late/Missed/Incomplete Assignments Policy
    • Exam Policy
    • Extra Credit?
    • Attendance Policy
    • Participation Policy

  • On and Off-Ice Classes 
    • Days, Times 
    • Location
      • Days, Times
      • Safety and Health Issues

  • Required and supplemental - Texts, Readings, Materials, Online Sites
    • Titles
    • Authors
    • Edition
    • URLs

  • Skating and Off-Ice Related Equipment
Syllabus Construction
        The purpose of a syllabus is to provides basic information about course content, activities and assignments planned for the term, and information about how to contact the instructor. The syllabus states the instructor’s expectations, policies, and procedures for the course.  It identifies what content will be taught and when it will be taught, what assignments and exams students must complete, how assignments and exams will be used to compute grades, the instructor’s expectations about attendance and participation in class, and the consequences for students who turn in late assignments, miss exams, or show evidence of cheating and other forms of academic misconduct.

      A syllabus should provide clear and explicit expectations for student learning and establish procedures and guidelines for typical problems and deadlines, make-up work, extra credit, and other special requests from students.  By making this information available by instructor in the syllabus, students are made aware that these decisions apply uniformly to all students. Faculty instructors and presentors can avoid many conflicts by communicating policies in their syllabus and following these policies consistently.  A well-documented syllabus helps a faculty member respond to student requests in a consistent and fair manner that minimizes complaints and grievances.

Office Hours and Course Web Site
      Use the syllabus to communicate days and hours when you will be available in your office to discuss the course or provide advice and assistance. 

List of required and recommended readings
     Prospective students should understand what materials will be put on reserve in the library  Provide complete bibliographic information for all required textbooks, including the title, author(s), publisher, edition number, publication date, and other information needed to identify the specific textbook or textbooks required for each course.

List of student learning outcomes (SLOs) for the course
       Student learning outcomes (SLOs) should be written in active language and describe student behaviors or quality of student work using language that suggests a direct measure of the learning.  Direct measures based on what students say (make a classroom presentation, participate in discussions) or do (answer exam questions, write a paper, solve homework problems, design a research project, produce a creative work) can assess what students know, understand, think, or feel.  The CUTLA resource page, Writing Student Learning Outcomes for Course Syllabi, describes how to write course- and program-level SLOs and includes a list of action words that will assist you in writing measurable SLOs.

Attendance policy for the course

Turnitin service to evaluate text for originality.  A notice on the course syllabus should include a reference to the UWF Turnitin website to inform students about how the service works.  If a student objects to having work stored in the Turnitin data base, instructors have the right to investigate the authenticity of student work with a variety of research tools. 

source -
Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

Recommended Reading:

Instructional Design:

Training Principles:

Principles of Sports Training:

Developing Course Materials:

Developing Training Plans

Sample Syllabus

Quick Guide to Syllabus Construction

Writing Student Learning Outcomes for Course Syllabi

Rubric for Self-Evaluation of a Syllabus

Action Words for Bloom's Taxonomy


Team Sports Syllabus  The purpose of this course is to provide learning experiences that will lead to the development of basic skills in team sports.

Soc. of Sport Syllabus _Longest - UNC  The organization of the sports we play and the sports we love is a reflection of the ... What role does sport play in the creation of adolescent culture?

Syllabus   This course examines sports using the sociological perspective. The course will focus upon important, enduring issues within the sociology of sport.

Sports Officiating Syllabus   Sports Officiating is a three hour credit Health & Human Performance course meeting once a week. This course will provide the student with the knowledge and ...

First Aid Sample Syllabus   A consideration of first aid practices to the injured; designed to lead to Red Cross certification in first aid.

Weight Training Sample Syllabus

Ice Skating I Sample Syllabus   Fundamentals of balance, movement, and safety on the ice; forward, backward, and stopping. Guidance in choice, use and care of equipment. 2 lab hours arr. Open only to beginners. This course is graded.

Ice Skating II Sample Syllabus   Elementary skating with emphasis on correct technique for basic skills. 2 lab hours arr. Perquisites: 162.01 or ability to skate forward, backward, and stop with no balance problems.

Ice Skating III Sample Syllabus  Power skating: designed for persons having had more than 30 hours on ice and who can execute the basic strokes (including back crossovers) with correct techniques. 4 lab hours. Prerequisite: 162.02 or 162.04 or equiv. skill level.

Sample Syllabus 163.01    Lectures: survey of figure skating includes history, types of competition, judging, recreational, and show skating. Lab: introduction to free skating, compulsory figures, and dance skating.  1 cl, 3 lab hours. Prerequisite: 162.03 or permission of instructor.

Sample Syllabus 163.02  Intermediate and advanced freestyle; intermediate: all single jumps, basic spins, and advanced footwork; advanced: jump combinations, spin combinations, and double jumps.
3 lab hours arr. Perquisite: 163.01 or permission of instructor.

164.01 Ice Hockey I Sample Syllabus  Introductory skills and techniques of ice hockey Prerequisites: 162.02 or equiv. Open only to beginners.

164.03 Ice Hockey II Sample Syllabus  Intermediate to advanced play. Perquisite: 164.01 or previous playing experience.

Instructional Design Models and Components   Several models of instructional design exist. One of the most famous is Dick and Carey's Model for designing instruction.

Instructional Design Models - University of Windsor   Models for instructional design provide procedural frameworks for the ... how combinations of instructional strategy components should be integrated to produce a course of instruction.

There are five eLearning Components that are essential for all successful online courses. Understanding these components will help you design and develop a course that meets computer-based training objectives.

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Instructional Design
Developing A Course Syllabus
Writing a Course Syllabus
Writing A Lesson Plan
PDF  Writing Objectives
Instructional Design Models
Instructional Design Components
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Evaluating Learning Outcomes

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

Athlete Concerns     Collection of Related Ideas    Skating Articles    Related Topics      

Ice Skating Rink Index    Topic Index    Site Index   Home Page