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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Syllabus Enthusiast │Lawsuits and Transparency

eNews from the Syllabus Geeks :: Issue 6


Syllabus Enthusiast

The NCTQ Wants Your Syllabi...

But can they have them?

The National Council on Teacher Quality was organized to assess and ultimately raise the bar on teacher education. As part of their studies they are reviewing syllabi as one of a multitude of metrics combined to determine a grade for every school of education.

While there remains some contention as to the validity of syllabi as an input to their assessment process, many schools (particularly public institutions) have provided their syllabi without question. In fact many of them already have processes for managing syllabi and openly sharing with the public.

However, a number of schools withheld and soon found themselves in a bit of hot water. They argued that syllabi are intellectual property and thus they are not required to share them. So the NCTQ sued schools across various states for access to their syllabi...

And they won.

Get the whole scoop on the NCTQ cases and what the results mean for syllabus IP and transparency. >>

Syllabus of the Day

Itching to know the most viewed syllabus this fall? That honor goes to Professor Linde of UBC with her Strategic Management course.

Another interesting fact, Introduction to Computers was the most popular course title, followed closely by English Composition.


Behind the Scenes Webster University

Webster University has been one of our longest and strongest clients. With over 20k students across 100+ sites world-wide, they've helped bring to life a number of innovative syllabus management features we now all enjoy.

Last month we caught up with Lauren Brown to learn about their implementation and success with Concourse. She also provided background on their underlying motivation for better syllabus management and the tools and processes they used prior to Concourse. It is definitely an interview worth listening to.

Thanks Lauren for sharing your story of syllabus domination with us! >>

Feature Facts

Audit and the Syllabus Lifecycle

While Audit has been a core feature of Concourse for nearly two years, this marks its first appearance in the Syllabus Enthusiast.

Mostly driven by accreditation and legislative reporting, it's our understanding that audit is now being extensively used in three sequential workflows: new course approval, template check-off, and sectional syllabus review. All three of these steps are integral parts of managing the syllabus lifecycle, so what used to take institutions dozens of hours to complete can now be done in mere minutes.

It's no wonder why audit has rapidly become a client favorite. >>


Syllabus Geek Friend or Foe

While one could easily jump to the conclusion that a group suing for syllabi is not one the Syllabus Geeks should share superpowers with, we actually have a number of common goals: increased transparency, outcome improvement, and analytical decision making.

In fact, we see Concourse as a way to bridge institutional and assessment agency needs. Concourse centrally protects IP. It streamlines content collection and organization. And information is then readily accessible and digestible.

We appreciate the work the NCTQ and other agencies are doing so students know exactly what to expect of their experience. >>
Syllabus Geek vs. arch nemeses Faculty Resistance and Budget Constrictor. The Epic Tour
The Syllabus Enthusiast is a publication for syllabus pioneers, techies, and superheroes by Intellidemia, the Syllabus Geeks. | 518.444.2060 | @syllabusgeeks
Intellidemia, The Syllabus Geeks


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