GSIs sometimes cultivate ideas for their syllabi by reading other instructors’ syllabi. As you view the following sample syllabi, you might want to evaluate their effectiveness using a number of questions.

  • What elements of the syllabus do you like or dislike? Why?
  • Is the course narrative compelling for undergraduate students (not just the instructor)?
  • Are the activities described in the syllabus clearly related to learning objectives?
  • Is the logistical and policy information sufficient, or are there things you would add?
  • Does the tone of the document reflect the tone you want to adopt when interacting with students? Are there spots where the tone is uneven? Does it sound overly casual, or jargony, or punitive?
  • Do the workload and the grading scheme seem reasonable for a four-unit course? (You can assume, under university policy, that a student should expect to spend three hours a week on a course per unit credit, including the time in the classroom.)
  • What other questions or criteria would you use?

Sample Syllabi

Italian Studies R5B: Form, Function, Fiction (pdf)
English R1A: Caribbean Voices (pdf)
Comparative Literature R1B: Journeys, Otherworlds, Monsters (pdf)

More syllabi by GSIs can be found at the bCourses project site R&C Teaching Resources for GSIs. They are intended for use by UC Berkeley GSIs and are therefore password protected. To gain access to this site, ask a GSI who already has access to add you to the roster, or email a request to the GSI Center and we will add you.

If you have developed a syllabus that has worked well and you would like to share it, please send or bring it in to the GSI Teaching & Resource Center.