The syllabus bank is officially ready for use as a result of SGA's collaboration with administration to provide one before the end of the academic year.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Timothy R. Boosinger sent out the announcement of the morning of Friday, March 31 to students detailing what information might be available in the bank, as well as how to access it.
Read the full statement below.
Following several months of work with the University's administration, I am pleased to announce that an SGA-led initiative, the Syllabus Bank, is now ready for use. This project will provide you with an opportunity to review examples of available syllabi from previously taught undergraduate courses prior to registration. While the historical examples of syllabi may not provide you with a comprehensive view of specific course expectations, they may enable you to better plan your semester hours and identify course sections that might be more suited toward your learning style.
The Syllabus Bank is new and faculty have just recently been asked to voluntarily load their syllabi into the Syllabus Bank. Please understand it is likely that the resource will not provide examples of all courses offered during Summer or Fall 2017.
Dr. Timothy R. Boosinger
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs"
Emma Grace Laird, former SGA chief of staff, said the syllabus bank was high on the list of priorities for the 2016-17 academic year last april as the new SGA officers at the time made plans for their summer projects.
“We’ll continue to work to implement a syllabus bank that students can use to find out more information about classes before registering,” Laird said.
The project previously received mixed reviews from professors with some in favor and others opposed to it.
Math Professor Urich Albrecht said he did not agree with the project, and it would be detrimental to students’ education.
“It’s in theory a good idea, but in practice, it will not benefit students who want to learn, but it will be of use to students who want to find the easy way out,” Albrecht said. “We are a global economy, we are competing with other countries with much higher production and industry, and if our graduates are getting weaker and weaker, especially in a state like Alabama with a weak industrial output, we will not be able to compete.”
English Professor Stewart Whittemore said the project was “a marvelous idea” and touted its benefits to faculty as well as to students.
“I was at a meeting…[where] different professors from different tracks in the English major shared our syllabi with each other, and I loved seeing what professors in other tracks were doing,” Whittemore said. “There are interesting points of coordination that I had no idea existed.”
Former EVP of Initiatives Trey Fields said the goal is to help students make informed decisions as they register for classes.
“The idea is to create a database full of old syllabi that will allow students to access it, so if you have an AU Access account, you can search a course, look at instructor A vs instructor B, and pull up their syllabi from one or two years ago,” Fields said.
The project has been in the works for the past three SGA administrations, Fields said.
"It originally passed though the student senate up to an executive committee, and this year we’ve had the time and the focus to really hit it hard," Fields said. “It’s been in the works for around four or five years now. Some colleges already have a system like this, like the College of Business, but we really think all students should have access."
SGA Vice President Justin Smith announced the syllabus bank would soon be ready to rollout at the most previous SGA senate meeting on Monday, March 27.