Undergraduate course registration for the fall semester began Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. Ewha told professors to update their course syllabi by Aug. 9 at midnight. Many courses, however, did not have their course syllabi updated before the course registration period. Students choosing their next semester’s courses turn to a syllabus for information about grading, course contents, and reference books
“I hesitate to take a course without a syllabus because I do not know anything about it,” Kwon Ye-jin (English, 2) said. “I do not want to take risks since it can directly influence my grades.”
A study by the Ewha Voice showed that at 10 a.m. on Aug. 17, 12 out of 114 syllabi for core educational courses were not updated on the homepage. The same was true for 64 out of 196 syllabi for optional courses and 83 out of 256 for mandatory courses. For major courses, syllabi for 21 out of 155 in the College of Liberal Arts, 17 out of 126 in the College of Social Science, 27 out of 98 in the College of Engineering and 31 out of 184 in the College of Education were not updated.
Registering for a course without an updated syllabus has caused problems for some students.
“Last year, I registered for a course by just looking at the title because it had no updated syllabus on the homepage,” Im Da-jung (French, 2) said. “After I began the class, however, I realized it was not what I thought so I had to drop the course.”
“Many other courses were already full because I was registering late, and it was hard for me to find a vacancy,” Im said.
A professor who wished to remain anonymous said that some professors prefer to give out the syllabus on the first week of school in order to provide students with a more specific and full explanation about the course. Also, the professor said that it is sometimes hard for professors to meet the deadline of updating the syllabus before registration period because some professors might not be present in the country in the middle of vacation.
A faculty member of the Office of Academic Affairs who wished to remain anonymous said that professors’ personal circumstances could explain the absence of a syllabus. There are also cases where an academic department has not made a firm decision on which professor will teach a course, and this can delay the update.
“Contacting the department or professor in charge of the course and asking for the syllabus may be a solution for students in need of the syllabus,” the faculty member said.