By Howard B. Altman, University of Louisville and William E. Cashin,
Kansas State University
"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That's depends a good deal on where you want to get to."...
(Alice in Wonderland, Chapter VI, P 64; Carroll, 1960)
Etymologically syllabus means a "label" or "table of contents." The American Heritage Dictionary defines syllabus as outline of a course of study. We agree that a syllabus should contain an outline, and a schedule of topics, and many more items of information. However, we suggest that the primary purpose of a syllabus is to communicate to one's students what the course is about, why the course is taught, where it is going, and what will be required of the students for them to complete the course with a passing grade.