Sharing Trauma-Informed Syllabus Strategies

Just a quick blog post to point out the TITL Annotated Syllabus I’ve added to the Resources page. Since the covid pandemic, I’ve been thinking about additional changes I might make. In particular, I’ve been wondering about moving to unlimited late days. So far, limiting the late days has been working very well and tends to help students stay motivated and not fall further behind. I am wondering, though, if it’s the limited number of days or the requirement to email me in advance to let me know that is most motivating for students. I was also thinking I would ask students for their input on the policy so we can negotiate it and finalizing it during the first week of classes.

I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. And I’d also love to hear about what other folks are doing. What syllabus changes have you made or are you contemplating?

2 thoughts on “Sharing Trauma-Informed Syllabus Strategies

  1. I’m a grad student with ADHD and I’m hoping to use your annotated syllabus as a resource when I request accommodations, as I know deadline extensions are not often offered as an accommodation. I’m hoping for more than 5 days flexibility in the semester, because of the compounding effects missing deadlines has on my ADHD. Do you have any evidence that supports the need for 5 or even more late days? Even anecdotal evidence may be helpful.

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    • Hi Olivia! I don’t have empirical evidence that supports the need for late days or the efficacy of offering them. Anecdotally, I can tell you that late days have been the most effective and most popular course policy change I have made. Based on feedback from hundreds of my own students, and also from my colleagues who have adopted them, I can say that they reduce conflicts with students, that students do no abuse them, and that the quality of work that is submitted is higher than without them.

      You may be interested in the “No Questions Asked Late Days Policy” that was just published in a book I co-edited titled Trauma-Informed Pedagogies. The publisher has made this and other teaching tools in the appendix of the book available as a pdf at the following link: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-92705-9

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