College students’ online calendars immediately can reflect any changes to their class schedule, test date, or homework due date, thanks to web-based course syllabi that alerts class members any time a professor tweaks a lesson plan.
Online syllabi features have been available for years on popular course management systems such as industry giant Blackboard, but four campuses have turned to an internet syllabus service called Concourse that allows for customization—meaning faculty can make certain parts of the document visible to different sections of the same course. This is a useful tool for faculty who teach courses with undergraduate and graduate students who will have different assignments.
Students can sync Concourse syllabi with web-based calendar applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar, and faculty members can access course syllabi without building a separate web site for each class.
“It’s an easy way to make the students aware of any changes that go through,” said Jason Kuruzovich, assistant professor of management information systems at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y., who uses Concourse to manage syllabi for all three of his 2010 classes.