A well designed syllabus functions both as a course guide and a useful learning tool for students.
Ensure it is easy to read
- Have a consistent and simple layout, with concise language
- A graphic can illustrate relationships among concepts
Provide basic information on first page
- Course title and number, number of credits, course overview
- Any prerequisites
- Days, times and locations of class meetings
- Procedures for announcing class cancellations (e.g. notifications on Trunk/TUSK)
- Professor name, office location, email address or phone number with preferred way to contact you
- Office hours Indicate the syllabus version date at the bottom of the page and indicate if it is final or tentative
Clarify course goals, objectives, and expectations
- Include course goals, learning objectives and expectations
- Required textbooks and readings, supplementary readings
- Lab safety / health
- Week-by-week course schedule with assignments, tests, due dates, how to submit materials for grading, readings, etc.
- Description of major assignments on separate pages with grading rubrics
- Factors that influence course grades other than formal assignments: participation, attendance, tests, etc.
- Policies for absence, lateness, classroom conduct, missed work, and academic dishonesty
- Highlight important dates such as drop dates, holiday schedule changes, etc.
- If you plan to use turnitin to identify plagiarism, you are required to note this in the syllabus.
Provide information about academic support services (varies by campus)
- Summarize academic support information (Academic Resource Center at ASE, designated tutors, TA’s assigned to the course, etc.)
- Suggest that students with disabilities or special circumstances meet with you to discuss accommodations, and list pertinent campus resources (such as Disability Services on the Medford campus)
- List relevant campus library services and hours of operation
- Smillie, W. M. (n.d.). Three Graphic Syllabi.
- Altman, H.B., & Cashin, W.E. (1992). IDEA Paper 27: Writing a Syllabus.
- Sample Syllabus #1: Political Representation in America (11pg) Shows how course readings are aligned with assignments and academic integrity
- Sample Syllabus #2: Introduction to Computer Science (5pg) Includes sections on attendance, exams, homework and academic misconduct