Annotate Your Syllabus with Your Students
A syllabus can feel like a sacred tablet delivered from on high. Created by an abstract authority, the text is set in stone and following its directives to the letter means success. Understood in the manner, the syllabus makes little space for student agency and voice.
Dr. Remi Kalir wants educators and students to reimagine the syllabus. Kalir is an Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development. Kalir first wrote about his decision to annotate his syllabus with his students in a post titled “Annotate Your Syllabus.” He later expanded his thoughts in a post titled “Annotate Your Syllabus 2.0.” Describing his decision to adopt a co-created syllabus, Kalir (2018) identified several pedagogical shifts, including:
- From the formality of pre-determined questions (which can privilege the scope and purpose of reading) to open-ended and less formal (re)action and exchange; and
- From an instructor’s authority to center and control textual discourse to a de-centering of power through a fracturing of attention, interest, and commitment.
Kalir used the web annotation tool Hypothes.is. You can read more about how educators are using the tool. You can also read a more detailed account of another professor’s experience with collaborative syllabus design.
Kalir, R. (2018, August). Annotate your syllabus [web log comment]. Retrieved from: http://remikalir.com/courses/annotate-your-syllabus