Course Syllabus: GSL606 Curriculum & Syllabus Design ONLINE
Spring 2016

          Christine Bauer-Ramazani 
See contact information in Canvas.

Course Description

This course examines curriculum and syllabus design principles for TESOL programs and applies them to the participants’ current or future teaching contexts. In weekly discussions participants analyze and critique sample documents and develop peer-reviewed elements of a curriculum in stages for a portfolio. Components include a program and learner needs assessment, language proficiency assessment, measurable goals and outcomes, a course outline, and a lesson/unit with activities as well as performance-based assessment plans and instruments. Webinars/chats are part of instruction.
Requirements: Competence in the MAC or Windows operating system; a headset/microphone (USB preferred)

Course Information Time/Location: online Canvas Class Management System at

IMPORTANT NOTE: All work (readings, interaction, projects) happens online, as outlined in the Syllabus and per specifications in the course. Each week begins on Monday; discussion posts end on Saturday, 12:00 NOON US EST; Wrap-up summaries are due Sunday, 3:00 pm US EST; project deadlines are Sunday, 12:00 midnight, US EST. Class chats, if held, will be based on the availability of course participants and will include content discussions, questions/answers, and peer reviews. Chats will be indicated on the Course Schedule (in the Modules, under Course Home). Individual or small group chats may be requested by any course participant.

Course Goal/Objectives/Learning Outcomes

Course goal: Teacher trainees will apply the process, principles, and components of designing a curriculum for their target learners. 

Course Objectives/Learning Outcomes: Teacher trainees will be able to

  1. analyze and discuss the principles and concepts of curriculum and syllabus design;

  2. moderate threaded discussions for the benefit of the online learning community;

  3. examine course assignments and offer constructive feedback (peer reviews);

  4. analyze a learning/teaching environment in the area of their own particular curricular needs;
  5. analyze the program and learner needs;

  6. plan a curriculum based on the needs analysis for one level of learner proficiency;

  7. design an appropriate syllabus for a course within this curriculum;

  8. design a lesson/unit with activities and resources/materials for this syllabus

  9. develop assessment instruments to evaluate a curriculum.
Course Requirements:Projects

Writing policies: All written work (projects and threaded discussions) must be spell- and grammar-checked. All submitted projects should show a polished product and follow academic writing guidelines:

  1. Identification (top left): Student's name, course, date, project title;
  2. Sections with headings, e.g. Introduction, Description of the Learners, etc.;
  3. an introduction ending with a thesis statement that previews all components/sections of the project;
  4. a conclusion that restates the thesis and summarizes results;
  5. proofread for grammatical, vocabulary, and mechanical errors;
  6. APA guidelines for citations;
  7. use of the Writing Center coaches for help during the writing process: planning, first draft, revisions.

: All project assignments are to be uploaded to ASSIGNMENTS in Canvas. Due dates/times are Sundays, 12:00 midnight US EST.

SAMPLES: For each component you are developing, first preview this particular component in one of the samples to see formatting (headings) and content. However, please beware that course components as well as format and content guidelines may have changed. Make the necessary adaptations based on current requirements.
Course Requirements--Interaction 

In addition to the written projects, you will be required to complete the following three types of interaction.

INTERACTION: All interaction posts are due in the discussion forums by SATURDAY, 12:00 NOON US EST each week.

Assessment/Grading Criteria/Scale

These may be adjusted based on the needs of the class and in consultation with course participants:

1. Interaction

2. Projects
% Project Component Objective / Learning Outcome (LO) Assessed

Grading Scale

Qualitative Equivalent
Above average grad.-level work
Above average grad.-level work
Above average grad.-level work
Average grad.-level work
Average grad.-level work
Below average grad.-level work


  Withdrawn Passing 0.0


  Withdrawn Failing


To determine the grade points for a course multiply the qualitative points for the letter grade received by the credit hours assigned to the course. To arrive at the Grade Point Average (GPA) add the grade points for all courses and then divide this sum by the number of credit hours attempted. 
NOTE: A "B" or 3.0 average must be maintained to continue work in a graduate program and to receive a master's degree or certificate. Students whose grade point average falls below 3.0 will be subject to review by the Graduate Academic Review Board. The Review Board will determine whether or not the student will be allowed to continue in the program.

Course Policies Completion of course work: In order to complete the course successfully and to enjoy the contributions of the course participants, you will need to stay in step with the course schedule and complete the assignments during the weeks that they are assigned. This includes readings, hands-on tasks, and projects. You can find the details above. In fact, I will reduce the points/grade for late assignments by 10% for each week late.
Please note: Assignments close for uploading at 11:59 pm US Eastern time.
  • Course Load/Time-on-Task: The course work corresponds to the 38-hour requirement for 3-credit graduate courses at SMC in that I have scheduled 15 weeks worth of "Tasks" and "Assignments." According to the Academic Policies of the Graduate Catalog, 2015-16, General Academic Requirements, "students spend approximately two to three hours in preparation for each hour of class time." The "Tasks" I have estimated to require about 3 hours of intensive on-task work plus roughly two to three times the number of hours for hands-on preparation and regular weekly assignments (= 9-12 hours per week).

  • Academic Integrity: Students must abide by the Saint Michael's College Academic Integrity policy as outlined in the Academic Policies of the Graduate Catalog, 2015-16 (excerpted below):

Violations of academic integrity include the following: plagiarism, unauthorized assistance, interference, and multiple submission." Sanctions may include repeating the assignment with a grade reduction, failure for the assignment, a grade reduction for the course, failure for the course, or dismissal from the course

A grade of “I” (Incomplete) is assigned only in the case of a student who, for illness or circumstances beyond his/her control, has missed a final examination or major assignment. A student must gain approval from the program director and course instructor who will submit a signed form to the Registrar. If an “I” grade is not made up within six weeks of the beginning of the semester following the assignment of the notation (not counting summer session), a “WF” grade is assigned.

Saint Michael’s College is committed to providing support services for all students, including students with disabilities. Students wishing to disclose a learning disability and who are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Sec. 504, may receive additional support. A clear understanding of strengths and weaknesses in learning and of the influence of the disability on current and past educational processes will afford a broader assessment of abilities. To ensure the provision of reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students having learning disabilities, students needing such accommodations must provide current and comprehensive documentation, including a copy of a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that includes a measure of cognitive functioning, a documentation of the learning problem(s), and current measures of reading, math, and written language achievement. The testing must be conducted by a certified professional, must address the nature of the disability and should provide suggestions for reasonable accommodations. The earlier the information is received, the better prepared we will be to address specific needs.

© 2016: Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Saint Michael's College. Last updated: June 14, 2016