Writing a Course Description

The course descriptions should be brief—approximately 40-50 words. This wording will be in the EWU Catalog and in EagleNET.

List specific topics only when the content has little chance of changing. A broader course description allows for more flexibility in curricular planning.

Things not to include

  • Specific topics list unless it will aid the advisors and students in selecting the course.
  • Entire course content. Save the detailed descriptions for the syllabus.
  • Wasted words: any words such as “introduction to” or “Advanced study of” if they are already included in the course title.
  • Extra “ands” and “these” and “that’s”
  • CPAC will edit all course descriptions that are not written in active tense. Try to avoid phrases such as: “Students enrolled in this course will perform…,” “Students will be introduced to…”, “This course will provide…”
  • Vague words: “empower,” “state-of-the-art,” “issues,” “intensive”
  • Clichés and jargon: “unique experience,” “today’s global society,” “the twenty-first century”

Example of a course description

This course provides pre-service teachers with the fundamental concepts of probability, counting, statistics, geometry and systems of measurement. Emphasis is on developing understanding through exploring and modeling using appropriate manipulatives and technology, as well as the historical evolution of concepts. Hands-on laboratory activities are incorporated. This course is for those students intending to obtain elementary teaching certification.