Syllabus may mean a “label” or a “table of contents. The primary purpose of a syllabus is to communicate what the course is about, why the course is taught, and what are the things required on the part of the students to complete the course with a passing grade.
A syllabus serves as a communicating device and a contract to shift the responsibility for learning to the student. It helps one in planning and working out things in a reduced amount of time benefiting the teacher as well as the student.
Below are some of the possible functions of a syllabus.
1. Describing the scope of the content: Syllabus serves as a helpful tool in describing the scope of the content. It gives an end to end vision about the subject, its prospects and its scope as a whole
2. Communicating course focus: The syllabus helps in making the student’s focus on the course rather than on the whole lot of books with no idea where to start with and where to end with.
3. Suggesting prerequisites: Syllabus is a way of suggesting prerequisites. Prerequisites are designed to make sure that students are properly prepared for courses and to assure that courses could be taught in the way that has been approved by the University.
4. Detailing logistics: Logistics is the science of planning and carrying out movements and maintenance of forces. It is a process of planning, implementing, and controlling. Syllabus helps in detailing Logistics.
5. Identifying course goals: A syllabus helps in identifying course goals. It benefits both the teacher as well as the student to plan out things.
6. Sequencing/scheduling instruction: It helps us to decide on how we could go about the text, by letting us know the area of importance where more forcus has to be put in.
7. Identifying performance objectives: A syllabus helps in identifying performance objectives. The areas that needs more focus are mentioned so the students are rightly guided to follow instruction on the syllabus and attain goals.
8. Identifying reference material: Syllabus identifies the apt reference materials the student should be looking into for further attainment of ideas related to a particular subject.
9. Motivating students: Syllabus motivates students and makes them feel confident that once the entire items in the syllabus are focused the student can attain major goals.
10. Permitting self monitoring: It helps in self monitoring .Students can have an idea about where they are lagging by having a look at the syllabus.
11. Establishing evaluation system: It serves as an important tool to evaluate ones performance and where one is lagging.
12. Serving as an articulation tool: Syllabus is a tool for the teachers as well as the students to follow.
13. Meeting accreditation requirements: A course syllabus is a necessary tool that guides a student as well as the teachers to move through the right path in dealing with the course.