Online Education

A Division of the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning

Designing Your Syllabus

Introduction

 

Here we offer you a walk through of the syllabus with examples taken from actual URI online and blended courses. This guide is designed to follow the outline from the syllabus template (.doc). We recommend downloading the template and following along if starting a syllabus for a new or redesigned course.

It’s important to remember that your online syllabus – for either a blended or fully online course – needs to be even more detailed, redundant and information rich than the document you use in your face to face courses. The clearer and more detailed you are in the syllabus, the less questions students will ask.

Office Location:
List the ways students can meet you for office hours or appointments. (E.g. Skype, Sakai Chat, etc.)

Email:
Here, you may want to give students an idea of what they can expect regarding response rate, in addition to email address and messaging preferences.

“I will respond within 24 hours to emails sent Monday-Friday.”

Office Hours:
You want students to know how and in what format they can reach you. Are you going to hold office hours at the same time every week in the chatroom? Will you offer appointment scheduling by Skype or phone?

Class Days/Time & Classroom:
What schedule do you expect students to follow? Are there weekly deadlines?

“ONLINE. Class will follow a MWF schedule, with assignments due on T, TH, and Sun.”
“Tuesdays 9:00-10:45, Edwards 207 and online participation in Sakai.”

Student Learning Outcomes

 

If you currently teach a course for face-to-face students, the outcomes should be the same for online or blended. The way in which you achieve and work towards these outcomes may be different based on the format, but that will come later.

From the syllabus template (.doc):
Learning Outcomes describe achievement expected in the course expressed in measurable and specific terms. Use verbs such as write, identify, summarize, describe, etc.

The Office of Student Learning Outcomes, Assessment, and Accreditation offers great resources for writing learning outcomes:

There is also great tips for setting course outcomes on Cornell University’s Teaching Excellence Website.

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