Course Syllabus

I searched for “Syllabus” and found none, and I searched for “course” and of course I found many but not THAT kind of course. So maybe this is an unmentioned idea.

I am about to prepare two classes for this fall. I’ve not taught any classes since I discovered and started to use Scrivener. This evening I sat down to organize some of my files, graphics, presentations, etc. and that usually has me creating new directories on my computer, and that gets me thinking about the overall structure of the courses (one in Archaeology one in Biological Anthropology). And that usually gets me thinking of a syllabus.

Then, it dawned on me … Scrivener is perfect for this.

A syllabus is an outline with varying levels of detail. A syllabus (if you’ve not taught you may not know this) is a document that links the overt part of a class, the outline the students see, to secret professor-only information about the class.

And, of course, there are handouts. Lots of handouts.

Minimally, using “scenes” as topics and the first level of of folders for “days” (lectures, whatever) … often one day per topic, one topic per day, but not always … I’d make a basic outline with basic formatting (dates used as titles of the folders) and Scrivener would be more than adequate to produce the output as a PDF.

Pre-syllabus (pre-schedule) these days a lot goes into a syllabus. The first several pages is yelling at the students in advance for stuff they are going to do, and some of that is required by the teaching institution. So above the folder-as-date level would be a second level of organization: Pre-matter, actual syllabus, stuff at the end.

And, using document notes, project notes, etc. etc. … that is where all the secret professor-only stuff goes. And status, keyword, etc. can be used to signify which lectures/days are prepped already and which ones need me to assemble a presentation or a quiz or whatever.

So, this is not a full blown scenario but a warning to you all that I’m about to try this!

Has anyone done this?

I would enjoy hearing how your process goes.

I’ve used Scrivener as a presentation tool in courses.
Leave the Draft folder blank.
Put all kinds of files in the Research folder.
Arrange them in an order that supports presentation and discussion.
Connect laptop to a video data projector, and off you go.
There’s a sample screenshot in this entry: