For decades, the syllabus has been the roadmap to college classes, listing homework, assignments, and most crucially, texts for students to read and reference. But while a syllabus might be able to teach students what they’re in for during the semester, academics have lacked a tool to analyze large masses of syllabi to better understand what teachers are teaching in different disciplines. That means there isn’t as much empirical data about the content being taught at universities.
The Open Syllabus Project aims to fix this problem. Researchers at the the American Assembly, a nonprofit housed within Columbia University, have collected an archive of more than six million syllabi from college courses all over the world that could help teachers to create new syllabi and researchers to garner a cross-cultural understanding of higher education.