5 Online Syllabus

Your online syllabus helps establish a framework for the rest of your course. We have included ideas about information design as well as suggested wording for standard sections of your syllabus.

Information design

In an online environment, the syllabus should be readily available and designed for periodic consultation, ensuring that students have quick and easy access to the information they need. One way to do this is to segment important course information into multiple documents, e.g., course syllabus, class schedule, assignment guidelines, and in the course modules themselves. For example:

  • A course syllabus may include a course overview, description, instructor information, grade information, policies, and administrative procedures.
  • A separate class schedule may provide at-a-glance topics, assignments, and due dates to help keep students on task.
  • Class resources and activities may appear in the course modules/site itself.

In addition to increasing the findability of course information, this practice also reduces the redundancies of maintaining information appearing in multiple places.

Sample Online Syllabi

Your syllabus should include at a minimum the following:

  • Course description, beginning and ending course dates, required class or online meeting dates, assessment and grading information (college/university grade scales), assignment titles (points and percentages), relevant college and university policies.

Following are a few sample syllabi used in hybrid/online courses.

License

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Guidelines for Online Teaching and Design by TeachingSupport@UMN.edu and Faculty Development for Online Teaching task group is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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