Should professors be forced to post syllabi online?

Compliance with online syllabus policies vary throughout higher education.

Requiring professors to make their syllabi publicly available on the web could draw a backlash from educators who see the document as their intellectual property, while universities and Texas legislators demand greater transparency in curriculum, lesson plans, and textbooks.

Many college professors and instructors post their course descriptions and syllabi voluntarily to the campus website. This, experts said, gives students a better idea of what to expect from the course and could cut down on the number of class spots that are added and dropped at the start of every semester.

A handful of institutions, including Duke University, the University of Washington (UW), and Fayetteville State University in North Carolina have online syllabus systems, with varying levels of compliance.

Texas lawmakers in 2008 unanimously passed a first-of-its-kind law requiring all public colleges and universities to make syllabi available on the internet in fewer than three clicks from the institution’s homepage.

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