Instructional Materials – Syllabi

A course syllabus is a vital instructional resource as it can succinctly convey all the important information that students need to know regarding:

  • Course learning outcomes/objectives (required)
  • Number of credit hours associated with the course
  • How credit hours are met by the course (required)
  • Course organization and content
  • Technical support
  • Course expectations and policies
  • Grading criteria (including for online discussions)
  • Online participation expectations
  • Major deadlines
  • Instructor communication expectations and contact information
  • Required texts or materials

Tips for creating syllabi for online courses:

  • Make any necessary adjustments to a syllabus previously used in a face-to-face course to ensure that it accurately represents the requirements for the online environment.
  • Communicate all expectations and deadlines about every aspect of the course as you would on the first day of a face-to-face class.
  • Explicitly state online participation expectations. This includes any guidelines you have for logging on, posting in the discussion board, participating in group work, and being present for webinars or real-time chats.
  • Have in mind the crucial information that is necessary for the syllabus to be of real use to online students. If possible, ask someone else to review it to ensure that the expectations and assignments are clearly explained.

For a complete set of syllabi recommendations, including required syllabus elements, please download and review the UW-Madison syllabus template. An auto-fill template will be available through Canvas course sites soon.

For more details, review the course syllabi information on the Teaching and Learning website.