Creating a course syllabus

From E-Learning Faculty Modules


Module Summary

Your syllabus is the single most important document in your course. It outlines goals, objectives, assignments, deadlines, expectations, and resources. Global Campus provides instructors with a Course Information Packet. We suggest you use both of these documents.

Faculty Tip: Melissa (Glaser) Wanklyn – Instructor – English


Learners will...

  • Review some of the elements that are necessary for an online course syllabus.
  • Explore some of the alternatives methods for presenting a syllabus in the online environment.

Main Concepts

The syllabus sets the tone and outlines your expectations for your course. Remember, by nature a syllabus is contractual. Keep this in mind as you design your course. Your syllabus should include:

  • A brief introduction and explanation of course components
  • Instructor contact information, including office hours
  • Required technology, texts, and additional materials
  • Course goals, objectives, and expectations (including prerequisites and technical skills)
  • Course schedule (including assignment deadlines and submission instructions)
  • Grading policies, rubrics and feedback practices
  • Course statements for academic dishonesty, plagiarism, Disability Support Services, and netiquette, as well as any applicable statements for your college, department, or program

How to

One of the greater concerns with online courses is getting students to reflect more closely upon the content of the course syllabus. The versatility of the online environment allows for opportunity to make student experience with your syllabus more deliberate and impactful. Below are several methods for doing this from which you may pick and choose:

  • Creating a syllabus quiz

Very few things let you target students’ attention to specific details that you feel are relevant than creating a quiz over your syllabus.

  • Breaking your syllabus apart

There is no reason to keep you syllabus as a single document except for the sake of printing. You can break apart your syllabus into meaningful chunks contained within a syllabus folder in K-State Online.

  • Providing your syllabus in several formats

You can create your syllabus in several formats for additional functionality. For example, an HTML version is easier to use online and frequently more accessible, but if you would like students to print a copy an PDF is a more suitable format.

  • Using your syllabus as an index

One of the great advantages of the online environment is that you can link to everything. It is possible to create an HTML version of you syllabus and crosslink it with the relevant sections in your course. This does take some effort though.