Online Syllabus Not "Official" Enough?

Online Syllabus Not “Official” Enough? (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

I just got an e-mail from an administrative assistant who wanted a copy of the syllabus for one of my current courses. I sent her the URL of the “syllabus” page of the course website, as well as links to the “outline” and “projects” pages.

She responded that she couldn’t get the documents to print without the navigation bar at the top and the URL at the bottom — did I have a “clean” version that I could send as an e-mail attachment?

While I did some of the early drafting in a simple word processor, I didn’t design those syllabi as print documents that I then posted on my curricular weblog.

I did work on a special print-specific stylesheet, since printing from the default Movable Type template results in the rightmost inch of each page being cut off. I recognize that students will print pages in order to mark up and ponder, but I designed the whole site to be consulted and used online.

When I explained this to my correspondent, she cheerfuly said that she would just cut, paste, and photocopy in order to construct a paper-ready document out of the printed web pages.

Problem solved… though I’m still uncomfortable that the presence of navigation buttons at the top of a printed syllabus and a URL at the bottom seem to be challenges to the authority of a syllabus.