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Syllabus Guidelines

Instructors are expected to distribute a course syllabus on the first day of class. The course syllabus should contain information noted in the three sections below.

Also see Useful Information for Preparing the Syllabus.

Course Information

  • Course Title
  • Course and Section Number
  • Meeting Location and Times
  • Name of Instructor
  • Instructor Contact Information
    Office phone number and address, email address; office hours
  • ELMS Site or Course Webpage
  • Required Textbooks
    Include ISBN numbers if available
  • Required Technology
    For example, personal response devices (clickers), calculator, or software package
  • Prerequisites
  • Method for Communication with Students Outside the Classroom
    Regarding class cancellation, room change, or other timely announcements
  • Emergency Protocol
    Means by which courses will be continued / completed in case of an emergency that closes the University for an extended period of time

Course Description, Goals, and Expectations

  • General Description of the Course
  • Statement of Course Goals and / or list of Student Learning Outcomes
    Refer to University, Department, and/or General Education Learning Outcomes when applicable.
  • Expectations for Students
    Expectations for participation, contribution to group work, and other information supporting a successful student experience in the context of the course.
  • Due Dates
    Specify Major Scheduled Grading Events (including exam dates and the final exam) and due dates for other assignments.
  • Grading Procedures
    Include how assignments and exams are weighted within the course grade. Indicate how the final course letter grade will be determined.
  • Course Schedule
    Outline of activities for each course meeting.
  • Course Evaluation
    Consider dedicating 15-20 minutes of class time near the end of the semester to allow students to complete the online course evaluation during class --- CourseEvalUM is mobile-device friendly, thus students can complete it using laptops, smart phones, and tablets. Including the activity on the syllabus shows that you value the process, and allowing students to complete the survey during class will improve participation rates.

Course Procedures and Policies

  • Course Attendance Policy
    • Include a course policy that is consistent with that stated in the "Attendance and Assessment / Examinations" section of the Undergraduate Catalog.
    • Specify the nature of the in-class participation expected and the effects of absences on the student's grade.
    • Include an explanation of how religious holidays, inclement weather, excused absences and make-up exams will be handled. Click here to see possible language for establishing expectations for medically necessary absences.
  • Written Absence Policy
    Include a course policy that is consistent with the "Attendance and Assessment / Examinations" section of the Undergraduate Catalog and as covered by University Policies on Religious Observance and Student Medically Necessitated Absence from Class.
  • Academic Integrity Expectations
    Include the Honor Pledge and course specific standards related to academic integrity.
  • Arrangements for Students with Disabilities
    Include information about how students may receive appropriate accommodations for disabilities.
  • Copyright Notice
    Indicate that class lectures and other materials are copyrighted and that they may not be reproduced for anything other than personal use without written permission from you.