FYS Syllabus and Learning Outcomes

FYS Syllabus and Learning Outcomes

FYS Syllabus

The first year seminar syllabus is one of the first documents your students will review in college. Engaging in a class discussion to analyze the syllabus can clarify your expectations and help students to plan for the semester. When you include your grading schema on the syllabus, students can also refer to this document to gauge their progress in class at critical points in the semester. Read more about the first day of class and students’ expectations here

A First Year Seminar syllabus should include the following elements:

  • Faculty contact information
  • Success Team information (you receive this information from SASP prior to the start of the semester)
  • Course description
  • FYS learning outcomes, adapted to integrate your course content.
  • Any additional course outcomes
  • Any texts students are required to purchase
  • Grading Breakdown
  • Course Calendar
  • Statement on accessibility
  • Statement on plagiarism

FYS Syllabus Samples

Getting the syllabus to talk to all students

Substitution List for FYSs

FYS Learning Outcomes

Addressing the First Year Seminar Learning Outcomes: In first year seminars, your students explore key methods and concepts in your discipline and make connections to their own lives, or the world beyond the classroom. In addition, first year seminar course content also plays an important role in facilitating students’ successful transition to college.

Finding ways to integrate the three first year seminar learning outcomes into assignments will create an authentic experience of what it means to use collaboration and planning skills in the context of rigorous academic inquiry.

Collaboration learning research related to postsecondary education suggests that students who work in groups are: exposed to models for approaching course work via peers, more motivated, and experience deep learning intrinsic to their interest in the course work. Careful design of collaborative assignments and in-class activities will help your students to make connections with their peers, engage with the campus community, and experience authentic learning in your course. 

Planning skills are requisite for self-regulating learning. As students take on the responsibility for their own learning and make decisions about the direction of their college studies, they utilize planning skills to assess requirements of course work and set short and long term goals meet these requirements. Embedding opportunities for planning and reflecting on the results of plans in class activities will help students further develop these skills in an academic context.

Inquiry and research skills developed in the first year seminar lay the foundation for students’ approach to similar assignments in future courses. While first year students have completed research projects in high school, requirements, resources, and expectations differ in college.

First Year Seminar Assignment Samples

Barkley, E.F., Cross, P.K., and Cross, K.P. (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: a handbook for college faculty. Retrieved from: http://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Head, A. (2013). Learning the ropes: how freshmen conduct course research once they enter college. Project Information Literacy Research Reports. Retrieved from: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED548262.pdf

Zimmerman, B. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice. 41, (2). Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1477457