According to an article from The Atlantic, the traditional college syllabus, once a revered and simple outline for a course, including contact information, required books, meeting times, and schedule, has been replaced by courseware—an online tool for administering classes and processing assignments. The document called “syllabus” still exists and is distributed at the beginning of each semester, but its function as a course plan has been minimized or even erased.
Now, it mainly addresses bureaucratic needs such as school policies, accreditation requirements, regulatory issues, campus resources access, health and safety guidelines, and more. For example, Washington University in St. Louis recently sent its faculty a new nine-page syllabus template that relegates detailed course content to the very end. This trend has been observed at schools across the United States, both big and small, public and private. As a result, the college syllabus now primarily serves as a terms-of-service document.