What is syllabus design?

Richards (2001) refers to the syllabus design as one aspect of curriculum development but is not identical with it. A syllabus is a specification of the content of a course of instruction and lists what will be taught and tested. Syllabus design is the process of developing a syllabus.

A syllabus is where the students will have a first glimpse of the nature and content of the course. It is a basic contract between the teacher and the students, which lays out the responsibilities and expectations on both sides. It’s also a road map that shows the general contours of the course, important milestones, and the landmarks that will let students know they’re on the right road. And, last but not least, it’s a marketing opportunity to show the students just how great the course will be.

A good syllabus gives the student a general idea of how the course will go and how much work it will take. But why stop at merely good?