Students, be honest. Do you actually read the syllabus for your courses?
I'm feeling like the answer is, generally, "No." Does the syllabus week suck? I'm feeling "Yes."
No matter how many of you — I suspect a lot — neglect to actually read what's in it, no one can deny its importance. Like a holy book, it contains everything you need to know for a course and a set of policies you should follow.
From the first moment you receive an email about your course syllabus, your next four months are crystallized. After that, you play around with the policies and maximize the benefit of two unexcused absences or the ten-day, no-penalty extension for your term paper. You might also risk a little and invest your Christmas money in Course Hero for a month or two without getting caught, even when the policy says not to.
Course policies are the essential components of a syllabus. They describe the expectations for student behavior and are designed based on a set of criteria. One critical criterion is ethics, and a key component of that is respect.
Respect means that the syllabus should promote a thoughtful and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel heard and valued. Most importantly, I believe, the instructor should respect students' time and well-being, make the most of class time and avoid excessive assignments or expectations outside of class.
The commonly known policies, such as attendance, the honor code, Title IX resources and guidelines on non-discrimination, are implemented through the University. These policies have an ageless quality to them.
However, ProctorEdu reported that even with these policies strictly implemented, 60.8 percent of college students still act dishonestly in their studies, and 95 percent of cheaters don't get caught. It is clear that ethical policies don't always guarantee ethical behaviors. So, who is to blame?
There are several studies examining the cause of academic misconduct, and over half of these instances are due to course policies, many of which are outlined in syllabuses.