One of my favorite parts of teaching is designing syllabi. I am the kind of person who loves making lists, so being able to write out my general plan for the semester helps me think about what I want students to learn and gets me excited about all the things I get to cover in the upcoming semester.
I'm also the kind of person who likes having visual clues along with blocks of text, as I find that I can remember bits of information much more easily when they are presented alongside charts, diagrams, or pictures. It seems that textbook designers also think this way, as today's intro texts have loads of pictures, pages with vocabulary in sidebars, and other nifty aesthetic treatments. In the past, I've "coolified" my syllabi using skeleton fonts and little images for bullet points. Now that I have a new position at a new university, I figured I ought to step it up a notch.
Here are the front pages of my syllabi for Intro to Forensic Anthropology and Intro to Biological Anthropology. (Click to embiggen. You can also get the whole syllabus for each course in PDF by clicking the links and/or searching for them via the AAA's Teaching Materials Exchange.)
Keeping in mind I have no background whatsoever in creative design (which means these are fairly over-designed), what do you think? More or less likely to get a student's attention and deliver the appropriate information than a traditional syllabus is?