Include Provost-required Items in Your Syllabus

Quality Review Showcase

The Quality and High Quality online course reviews explore components proven to be best practices in online course design. This post showcases Quality item, “The syllabus includes the following Provost-required course information, such as course description, grading policies, and reference to course schedule, among others.”

An effective syllabus strongly orients the student to your course. As UCF faculty Eunji Nam states in her online course, “The syllabus should be your best friend.” It answers the foundational questions, “What is the purpose of this course? What am I going to get out of it? What will I be expected to do? When will I be expected to do it?” It also includes up-to-date university policies and statements. A new UCF policy will take effect beginning with the Fall 2019 semester, which requires all faculty members to provide a syllabus in Webcourses@UCF each semester.

What Are Some Ways Your Online Course Can Be Designed to Meet This Standard?

  • Closely review the Required Elements of the Course Syllabus university policy, which lists the essential components to include.
  • Use the Syllabus tool, so students can easily find the syllabus. 
  • Consider using the Syllabus templater tool to make sure the required components of the syllabus are included, such as a link to the course schedule and description of assignments.This automatically includes all of the university policies that should be included, so you do not have to go digging for the latest version. There is also an Interactive Syllabus template, which is a little more robust than the Syllabus template (featuring a Table of Contents and policy statements shortened by accordions), but features the same information.
  • Consider making your syllabus visible to students ahead of time, so they can know if the course is right for them before enrolling.

What Does This Look like in a Real Online Course?

Example 1: Syllabus, Michael Chetta, INP4313.


Example 2. Course Description excerpt from Syllabus, Lana Williams, ANT4034.

Video

Let’s Talk About is a new web video series for faculty using Webcourses@UCF in their teaching. The first episode revolved around the syllabus. Beyond talking about the required components, presenters also discuss writing style, organization, and strategies to encourage students to read the syllabus.