Cacti in Arizona.

The University of Arizona is Reimagining the Syllabus

Adam Baldry and Adam Davi, members of the Digital Learning Team at the University of Arizona (UofA), are at the forefront of adapting methods to meet the needs of today’s college students. Their focus has recently been on introducing the concept of an interactive syllabus to UofA instructors.


The initiative to reimagine the syllabus, led by Baldry and Davi, aimed to rethink the traditional format in which students received important course information. They questioned how learners access essential information and sought to make syllabus content more accessible throughout the semester. The goal was to transform the syllabus into a tour of the course and, in doing so, encourage instructors to move away from traditional methods and engage students more efficiently. Ultimately, they sought to:

  • Rethink traditional syllabus format: Questioning how learners access and continue to access essential course information throughout the semester.

  • Transform the syllabus: Aiming to make the syllabus a dynamic and interactive tour of the course.

  • Enhance student engagement: Encouraging instructors to move from traditional syllabus formats to more engaging methods.

  • Facilitate effective learning: Aiming to provide a comprehensive understanding and easy access to course resources for learners.


To achieve this, Baldry and Davi utilized the interactive video platform PlayPosit—a WeVideo product. They created a guide with examples for UofA instructors, demonstrating how to structure the syllabus as an interactive course tour. This approach provides learners with a comprehensive understanding of course resources and facilitates ongoing access to pertinent information. They also supported instructors interested in this interactive approach, guiding them in employing best practices. 


The interactive syllabus's full impact will be evaluated continually at the end of each semester through feedback surveys and discussions with instructors. 

  • Evaluation of syllabus transformation: Adopting the interactive syllabus is not universal among UofA professors. However, those implementing the interactive tour of their syllabi are encouraged to share insights for further development.

  • Assessment of impact: The impact of the syllabus will be measured at the end of the semester through feedback.

  • Insights for future implementation: Feedback gathered will help adjust future syllabus ideas. 


The project highlights the importance of implementing evolving technology tools to enhance student engagement and understanding. Reimagining traditional formats, like the syllabus, can lead to enhanced student engagement and more effective teaching and learning experiences. 

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