Parvita showed up to her first day of class with a handout (printed from a Word document) with some proposed topics for the course. Her 10 students engaged in a lively discussion about their interests and what they would like to see covered. Many students expressed an interest in how cell phone use has affected the tourism industry, a topic which Parvita was not completely prepared for, but she agreed to discuss it in the next class. She told the students that she would go find some relevant readings and send them out to the class listserv in the next couple of days. One of the students suggested that she use SylViA, the popular syllabus management application in use at SIMS. Parvita thought that sounded reasonable, as she wanted to have the class syllabus available online but didn't really have the html skills to do this herself. So the next day, after digging up a few articles, she goes to the SylViA home page to see about entering these readings.
On the SylViA home page, Parvita notices a login option for My SylViA. She clicks on that and creates an account and is taken to a personal home page. Since she does not yet have syllabus editing privileges, she cannot add her information. But she notices a link where professors are prompted to email SIMS tech support if they want to get privileges on the system. She does so and waits for a reply.
The next morning, she receives an email indicating that she may now login and add her course syllabus. So she logs in again, and indeed she can now add a new course. First, she is prompted to enter some basic information like course name, number, and teaching team (also the email address of the listserv), and then she is able to enter the three readings for the next class. When she is done, she tells SylViA to notify the class members that the readings are up, and SylViA automatically sends out email to the listserv.Anna
Anna wakes up one morning to find that her lovely husband has already put on the coffee, so she pours herself a cup and settles down at her desk to check email. She finds a message from one of the professors she is a TA for. He indicates that the speaker for next week is going in for emergency surgery and will have to reschedule. Luckily, the speaker scheduled for two weeks from now is a Berkeley professor and has agreed to switch spots. Anna needs to update the syllabus, so she logs into My SlyViA. She is quickly able to switch the order of the two classes, and when she submits the change the syllabus is immediately displays the new schedule. Like Parvita, she elects to have SylViA automatically notify the class of the change through the listserv.Barbara
Barbara comes in from her garden one lovely August afternoon and decides that she can no longer procrastinate on setting up the syllabus for 202, since class starts in two weeks. Last year, her TA had entered the syllabus into SylViA of his own volition, and she decides to take a look and see whether it would be easier to update this information in SylViA rather than going into the HTML. She logs into SylViA and sees a record of past syllabi for which she is the professor. Happily, there is a button which allows her to take last fall's 202 syllabus and automatically update it for the new calendar year.
Once this is done, SylViA takes her to the new syllabus view, where she immediately notices that one of the classes is now falling on a holiday. She decides that she can move part of the topic to the preceding class and perhaps cover the rest later in the semester, but she will need to run this by her co-professor. So she moves some readings around and saves a draft version of the syllabus but does not choose to publish the information just yet. She selects an option to have SylViA automatically email the other 202 professor to review the proposed changes. Once this is done, she leans back in her chair and reflects that maybe this system really is easier than maintaining her own HTML.Calvin
Calvin is very excited, because the Supreme Court has just released its opinion in the Grokster case and this will be the major topic of discussion in the next class. Obviously, students are going to need to read the decision so they can be prepared. He logs into SylViA to edit the syllabus and goes to next week's class. He adds the link to the opinion, and when he submits it, he notices that the list of readings now seems awfully long. So he pops off an email to his professor to see if they can delete one of the readings that is now somewhat out-of-date. When he gets an affirmative reply, he goes back to SylViA and removes the other reading. Once that is done, he elects to have SlyViA send out a notice to the listserv.George
George is pleased that, after a successful semester teaching 255, he has gotten the go-ahead to teach his own course this semester, where he will be covering modern methods in web search as well as potential for the semantic web. This is his area of research and he has been thinking about ways to structure a class for quite a while now. He has a folder full of notes and potential readings that he has been working on for a few months, and now he is ready to turn this information into a real class schedule.
Since CMU was on a quarter system, George is not quite sure how his ideas are going to pan out over a longer semester. So he wants to first get an idea of how many classes he will have and their distribution. He logs into My SylViA, where he already has the 255 syllabus established, and he clicks a button to add a new course. He enters the basic course information and then gets his skeleton syllabus where he immediately sees that he will have 30 meetings during the course of the semester. He decides to break these down into six main topic modules with about five classes per module. He sets up those module names and then starts working on topics for the individual classes. During this process, he refers to his notes and starts entering a few of the readings for the classes that he feels certain about. After a couple of hours, he is feeling a little overwhelmed, so he decides to take a break. He saves what he has so far but does not publish it and resolves to do more work tomorrow.