It can be difficult for new and experienced instructors alike to figure out just how much content (reading, exercises and assignments) is appropriate for a term, whether it’s an abbreviated term, a summer course (from 4-8 weeks), a quarter term (8-12 weeks) or a more traditional semester length term (from 14-16 weeks).
Here are some tools to help you figure out some common syllabus concerns:
Consider the students you have: This link provides some national statistics for all sorts of students and should be considered when designing your syllabus and your course. At the very least, include on campus resources that can assist different segments of our student population. this move also helps to create an inclusive learning environment where students can see themselves represented and/or see your classroom as a safe space.
Visual Syllabus: You can use the premise of an infographic to create a visual interesting one page version of your full syllabus. This idea of a regular syllabus and a visual one should help you think through the absolute most important things the students need to succeed in your class.
Below is a series of sample pacing documents
- pacing document specific to USF’s term and curriculum
- pacing document for a traditional semester term
If you’re interested in using the projects linked in this schedule, feel free to read through the detailed descriptions linked below or featured on the Assignments page. For supplemental materials, take a look at the instructor resources page.
Professional & Technical Communication (PTC) Service Courses
ENC 2210: Technical Writing for the Health Sciences
ENC 3246: Communications for Engineers
ENC 3250: Professional Writing (a general business and professional writing course for all other majors, a large portion of which are business majors)
The PTC curriculum encompasses three courses: Professional Writing, Technical Writing for Health Science Majors, and Communications for Engineers. The common goal of these courses is to help students identify and navigate the expectations for writing in their chosen professions. Coursework is designed to simulate professional writing situations and concerns (as opposed to academic or literary concerns).
ENC 2210: In the health sciences, technical communication is a vital component of effective, efficient, and patient-focused health and healthcare systems. Health sciences practitioners must be able to analyze, interpret, and create a variety of communications, from patient charts to data visualizations of an aging population’s healthcare needs. This course exposes students to a variety of communicative means for expressing technical and semi-technical information. Through smaller assignments and major projects, this course prepares students to pursue and engage with the communicative components of a career in the health sciences.
ENC 3246: In engineering, technical communication is a vital component of effective, efficient, and ethical work practices. Engineers must be able to analyze, interpret and create a variety of communications for a wide range of audiences. This course exposes students to a variety of communication strategies for technical and semi-technical information. Through smaller assignments and major projects, this course prepares students to pursue and engage with the communicative components of a career in engineering.
ENC 3250: Professional writing is a vital component of effective, efficient, and ethical workplace practices. Professionals must be able to analyze, interpret and create a variety of communications for a wide variety of audiences. This course exposes students to a variety of real-world communicative means and rhetorical strategies. Through smaller assignments and major projects, this course prepares students to pursue and engage with the communicative components of workplace writing practices.
- Compose professional/technical documents and oral presentations for multiple audiences and specific purposes using appropriate technologies
- Collaborate effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary writing team
- Employ visual design strategies to produce rhetorically effective documents, visuals, and presentations
- Design and implement information literacy strategies
- Recognize ethical, legal and cultural issues
- Apply and adapt professional/technical writing conventions, including genre, tone, and style for particular writing situations
Student Learning Outcomes
- Analyze and write in a specific context defined by purpose and audience: Analyze professional cultures, social contexts, and audiences to determine how they shape the various purposes and forms of writing, such as persuasion, organizational communication, and public discourse.
- Learn effective document design: Learn to argue with visual data, understanding and implementing various principles of format, layout, and design of documents that meet multiple user/reader needs.
- Write within a genre: Learn and practice writing in various genres of professional and technical discourse like the memo, letter, technical reports, proposals, and descriptions, etc.
- Develop your writing process, style, and editing techniques: Develop and understand various strategies for planning, researching, drafting, and revising documents. Develop a clear, concise, and functional writing style. Develop techniques to become an effective critic and editor.
- Practice Collaboration: Learn and apply strategies for successful collaboration, such as working and communicating online with colleagues, setting and achieving project goals, and responding constructively to peers’ work.
(15-20% of final grade)
Students are provided with a common workplace scenario and asked to prepare multiple documents necessary for addressing and navigating a significant conflict or communication failure. Preparing these documents asks students to consider and compose for audiences, both internal and external, with varying levels of technical knowledge, institutional power, and investment.
(15-20% of final grade)
Students select a specific concept, issue, or topic that interests them and is related to their major. They them locate and collect numerical data about the subject (in the form of studies, reports, spreadsheets, or articles), and select data to visualize and provide an overall sense of the subject.
(15-20% of final grade)
This project asks you to do workplace research into a local problem impacting USF or the surrounding community. Your goal for this project is to describe the problem in detail using as much information as you can gather from as many different sources as are useful. That means you are looking at research gathered by others (e.g., government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional and academic experts), but also you will gather your own data by contacting experts and asking impacted population for their perspective. You will produce a memo that reports your findings, giving readers a robust understanding of the problem you have researched.
(35-40% of final grade)
This unit asks students to write EITHER a feasibility report OR a recommendation report focused on one, local, real problem. Students will research a problem and write a report that describes the problem, identifies a possible solution, and satisfies the needs of their intended audience by fulfilling the genre expectations of their chosen document. Then, students will present their reports to the class. Students work collaboratively on the report. The project requires significant research and the creation of a formal report.
|Weeks 1-2||Intro to the course What is good writing? (in class exercise first week of class) Ch. 1: Rhetoric in the Workplace Ch. 6: What is PTC Ch. 2: Purpose Ch. 3: Audience|
|Weeks 3-5||Project 1 (15-20% of final grade) Business forms of letter, memo, email, also style Due at the end of the 4th week Ch. 13: Email Ch. 14 and 15 on letters and memos Supplemental readings on style and wordiness|
|Week 6-8||Project 2 (15-20% of final grade) Ch. 4: Document Design Ch. 5: Visual Design Ch. 8 and 9 on usability and accessibility (potentially have “user tests” on the documents in class to focus on purpose, audience, and the effectiveness of the visuals) Visual assignment Due by the end of week 8|
|Weeks 9-11||Project 3 (15-20% of final grade) Ch. 10: Writing Process Ch. 11: Organizing Information Ch. 12: Writing Style Ch. 7: Ethics Ch. 22: Workplace Research|
|Weeks 9-14||Project 4 (35-40% of final grade) Working on project Ch. 19 and 20 on reports and proposals Ch. 17 presentations Draft of final report should be due in week 14 for either peer editing, critiques, collective feedback or individual feedback|
|Week 15||Project 4 (including Presentations) Due|