In my university, every faculty member has to submit a handout at the semester beginning for his(her) course. The handout is basically a list of topics (a syllabus) that needs to be taught to the (to be)registered students. The examination questions must also focus on the topics from the submitted handout.
At the end of the semester, many a time I have been a part of the informal discussions related to the topic "How much syllabus have we completed at the end?"
I do not only find this discussion illogical but also very strange. I believe that the completion of the syllabus depends on
- The registered student group (their individual effort in the course, their own standard, capability, intelligence etc.)
- The intention of the teacher (how much depth is (s)he reaching into during the teaching, assignments, projects etc.)
My university and administration often ask this question formally to the students (during their teaching feedback) as well as to the faculty members during the annual appraisal.
I have the following questions and I seek some advice on this aspect.
- Does it make sense to just say that syllabus is completed in which students get almost nothing?
- Is it not worth teaching some small amount but in an optimal way so that the students would get the true knowledge from the course and could apply whatever they learned?
- What do we actually mean by the term "syllabus completed" -- Do we mean "students learned everything that we taught" or "we taught everything, but don't care about students learning"?
- I am not considering the extreme classes of the students i.e. genius guys and the dull guys.
- I discussed informally with one of the professors involved with teaching administration, but the discussion was inconclusive.