Choosing a program of study could soon be a little simpler thanks to 83 condensed syllabi.
Condensed syllabi enable a student to directly compare programs in seven areas determined to be of particular interest to undergraduates.
The seven program features were selected for special attention as part of curriculum redesign, a component of the University of Calgary Enhancing the Undergraduate Learner's Experience initiative.
The EULE team examined the syllabus from each program offered at the U of C and identified how each curriculum feature is presented.
"[Students can now] see how the seven features are expressed in a program," explained Steven Franklin, Special Assistant to the Vice-President Academic and the project's champion. For example, Franklin described how something like a 50-page program syllabus will become more accessible to interested students.
"We developed a template to extract the information from the explicit syllabi," he said. "We took certain things out of the detailed, explicit syllabi and put it on the Web in two-page synopses."
Joy Lee, the EULE Student Assistant, was responsible for summarizing the program syllabi.
"[I was] trying to cut it down to two pages, something accessible to the students," said Lee. "Everything is taken strictly from the syllabi and subject to approval from the department."
Because of the standard format and the online accessibility, students will be able to directly compare programs.
"We are trying to provide one spot on the Web where [students] can get quick glimpses to help them determine if a field [of study] is what they want," said Myers.
Franklin agrees that the summaries are a good place to start investigating a program.
"It's not all the info, but it gives you a sense of the program and a place where you can go further into it," explained Franklin. "All the syllabi will have links to the full syllabus or the department's site."
The online synopses are expected to assist prospective students and current students who have not yet determined their field of study.
"These summaries are useful at this time because of Direct Entry," said Myers. "We are asking new students to make a decision sooner. These will help to support students in the Direct Entry process."
Franklin also believes the condensed syllabi will help the university put their best foot forward when it comes to attracting new students and presenting the unique research component at the U of C.
"We want students to have a better sense of what a program involves and research is one of the most important components," said Franklin. "What you get here is different from what you would get somewhere else."
The completed syllabi will eventually be available at several locations on the U of C Web site, including "Information for Prospective Students" at www.ucalgary.ca/uofc/students/prospective/.