Professors should upload syllabi on Blackboard before the semester starts

The Editorial Board

Baruch College professors should make the syllabi of their classes online via Blackboard at least a week or two before the first day of classes to avoid confusion and give students enough time to prepare for the class.

Having the syllabus on hand can also help students decide if the workload of a certain course will match their expectations and schedules. Syllabi often include the deadlines for both weekly and major assignments including midterms and finals, which is useful for students to know ahead of time to organize their schedules.

When it comes to online classes, not having the syllabus before the first day of class can confuse students about the meeting times of the class.

Some professors make Blackboard available for students on the first day of class, which makes it difficult for students to understand what the workload will look like before starting the semester.

According to a student experience survey done by Baruch in 2018, over half of Baruch students work while they are in school. Some students who have a heavy workload might prefer to drop a class that has tighter deadlines and more assignments and select another one.

Since the last day to add classes is within the first week of every semester, not having the syllabus before the first day of classes makes it hard for students to add different classes to their schedules.

The Ticker Editorial Board previously wrote about how Blackboard should be used by all professors to include grades and assignments to promote unity for the course materials.

In addition to helping students stay organized, Blackboard is a very useful tool for professors to use ahead of the classes to communicate the major assignments, deadlines and expectations of a class.

The course descriptions at CUNYfirst don’t effectively communicate what students should expect from a certain course, and generally, the syllabi are the most straightforward documents to avoid any surprise assignments or deadlines.

Without having access to the syllabus, students end up being clueless about what to expect from a course, especially since every professor has a different approach, number of assignments and due dates.

Uploading the syllabus to Blackboard might not make a big difference for the professors, but it would be helpful for students to decide if they can still take the course and organize their schedules accordingly.