The Interactive Syllabus is a web-based survey delivery of syllabus content to your students prior to the first day of classes. The web link below explains many of the features and advantages, but in my opinion some of the best benefits are (1) students actually engage with the content on the syllabus in meaningful ways, (2) it saves class time on the first day, and (3) can encourage students to share questions/concerns they may not have been as eager to share in person.
The survey is built on the qualtrics platform, but could be adapted for other programs.
I implemented the approach in my General Chemistry I course this fall, and will likely adapt for all future courses. I based my survey on the one that can be obtained at the website, but did make modifications. I have uploaded a pdf of my version of the survey, and would be happy to share the Qualtric Survey File to anyone interested (it is not an allowed file type so cannot be posted here).
I sent an email to students on Friday before classes began Monday morning containing a PDF of the syllabus and the link to the survey. I did not assign any points for completion of the survey - just asked them to do so before 8 pm on Sunday (so I would have time to review their answers). I sent a reminder email mid-day on Sunday. I had around an 85% response rate. I estimate it takes around 15 - 20 minutes for a student to work through. It took around 2 hours for me to adapt the survey to my own preferences based on my syllabus.