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Eastern Michigan University

Syllabus Checklist

2013

Provided by the Bruce K. Nelson Faculty Development Center



Originally developed and assembled by Debi Silverman, MS, RD, FADA

For further assistance, review, or consultation on syllabi, please contact
I
nterim Director
Peggy Liggit; peggy.liggit@emich.edu

Updated:
October
, 20
1
3


Your syllabus represents a significant point of interaction, often the first, between you and your students.

When thoughtfully prepared,
your syllabus will demonstrate the interpl
ay of your understanding of students’ needs and interests, your beliefs and assumptions about
the nature of learning and education, and your values and interests concerning course content and structure.

When carefully designed,
your syllabus will provide y
our students with essential information and resources that can help them become effective learners by
actively shaping their own learning.

It will minimize misunderstandings by providing you and your students with a common plan and set
of references.

From

Grunert O’Brien, J, Millis, B, and Cohen, M (2008). The Course Syllabus, 2
nd

edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey
-
Bass.



Every
i
nstructor has a persona, and every syllabus has
a persona”



Dr. J.S. Dunn, jr., Ph.D
.
EMU First
-
Year Writing Program

Director



Why a guide?


Many people at EMU have been designi
ng and using syllabi for years.

This guide is not a policy manual and it is not intended to enforce a format or
insist on certain content. Times change, however, as do styles of learning, preparation level
s and expectations, n
ot to mention media and tools.
We
offer this as an opportunity to think afresh about syllabus form and function.



Table of Contents
:

1.

Planning
: course design first

2.

What is a syllabus for?

3.

Checklist
for syllabus

content

4.

EMU policies
and

syllabus texts

for your EMU syllabus

5.

Samples, guides and
templates of syllabi




Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


2



1.
Planning:
course
design first


This
c
hecklist is not intended to assist with course design, but
because
an effective
syllabus depends on
it, planning should start with th
oughtful
course design
.



Resource
s



When doing
program development and curriculum planning, mak
e

use of the resources offered by t
he FDC
,
www.emich.edu/facdev/resources.php

The Faculty Development

Center also provides selected readings and consultations for designing or re
-
thinking courses and programs

We find L. Dee Fink’s work particularly useful:
www.deefinkandassoc
iates.com/GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf

Also consider Wiggins and McTighe’s “Backwards Design”
http://www.authenticeducation.org/ubd/ubd.lasso

and ADDIE
http://www.learning
-
theories.com/addie
-
model.html

http://www.intulogy.com/addie/


This
web
page offers a number of other starting points:
http://carbon.ucdenver.edu/~mryder/itc/idmodels.html


In thinking about course design, c
onsider the following queries
(ideally
before you begin writing the syllabus itself
):

Flow and sequence of learning in a program

o

What is

the position of the course in programs of study (Gen Ed
, Minors,

Major
s, etc.
)?

o

Have
you

fully conceptualized how your course fits into a student’s
educational path at EMU
?


o

How does learning in this course develop from

or augment

learning
in

other course
s?

o

If this course is a prerequisite, what outcomes are expected of students enrolling in those subsequent courses?

Starting Competencies:

o

What specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, or abilities are prerequisites for this course (including learning technol
ogies)?


o

How will you assess whether students signing up for your course have these starting competencies?


o

What will you do if a few or a significant number of students are lacking in one or more of the competencies they will need f
or your course?

Learnin
g Outcomes:

o

What will students know and as a result of having successfully completed this course?

o

What perspectives or ways of thinking will students be able to apply?


o

What learning skills and attitudes will the students develop?



Note about learning out
comes: Learning

outcomes should consist of explicit statements about the ways in which students are expected to
change as a result of your teach
ing and the course activities.

Write learning outcomes using action verbs such as “synthesize,” “create,” “teac
h,”
or “solve”. If you find yourself writing “to understand,”
“to learn” or “to know”
ask yourself, “how
will I
tell

that they
understand
/learned/know
?”

and use the answer to that question as the outcome.

This site from Kansas State University offers some
verbs to
help prompt your thinking about how students show learning:
http://www.k
-
state.edu/assessment/slo/




Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


3




I
nstructional approaches

o

Starting from the learning outcomes, what instructional strategi
es (lectures, projects, reading, homework, etc.) are most appropriate to
elicit them?

o

Given the level of learning fostered in this course, are the instructional interactions
mainly
teacher
-
student,
or
student
-
student?

o

Tak
ing

into consideration that student
s
have varied preferences, skills sets
,
learning style
s

and levels of preparation
,

can you offer
variety of

ways
to
challenge

and elicit
student learning
?

o

Have you taken principles of Universal Design into account?


Assessment

o

Starting from the learning ou
tcomes, what assignments, tests or other strategies are the most appropriate to assess them?

o

Do assignments, tests, and other strategies elicit the level of learning students are expected to master in this course?


o

How will the syllabus provide students wi
th an understanding of this alignment between outcomes and grades?


Recommended Reading

Fink, L.D. (2003).
Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses.
San Francisco: Jossey Bass.


Dee Fink
offers a taxono
my of learning: foundational knowledge, application, integration, human dimensions, caring, and learning how to
learn.

This taxonomy goes beyond Bloom’s familiar focus on content knowledge by including additional features that faculty identify
when
they en
vision students who have completed the course.



Anderson L.W., et al (eds). (2001).

A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing


A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
.

Addison Wesley Longman, Inc
.

The revised Bloom’s Taxonomy is s
till a backbone for describing a hierarchy of cognition related to formal learning.


Ohio State’s web page on Un
iversal Design
: http://ada.osu.edu/resources/fastfacts/Universal_Design.htm

For books on Universal Design, search the library catalog for “unive
rsal design” OR “inclusive education” AND higher education


More links for Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment

from the
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
: http://www.cea
-
accredit.org/writing
-
student
-
learning
-
outcomes
-
and
-
assessment
s




Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


4




2. What is a syllabus for?


Historical

Originally, a syllabus was just a list.

The term was coined in the 1650s to describe a table of contents or index. "syllabus, n.". OED Online.
June 2011. Oxford University Press.
http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/196148?redirectedFrom=syllabus

(accessed July 27, 2011)..


In American academia, a syllabus was at first just a list of topics or subjects addressed in a course or exam.

Since the
advent of mass
education and particularly after the adoption of reproduction technology (mimeograph and photocopy), new elements were added:

at first just the
reading list and class schedule, and then everything from grading rubrics to elaborate behavior p
olicies.

By the 1990s a new academic genre was born, laden with official policies and classroom rules that in some cases attempted to
acculturate
students to behavioral expectations right down to

covering mouths when yawning (
see:
http://chronicle.com/article/The
-
Syllabus
-
Becomes
-
a/17723/

The Syllabus becomes a Repository of Legalese By Paula Wasley
http://www46.homepage.villanova.edu/john.immerwahr/TP101/Prep/RulesEngage.pdf
)

Syllabus as Prospectus

These days, a syllabus is a key
element in any college course.
It often functions as a course roadmap or model so that students may make
infor
med choices when selecting one course over another and be forewarned about the project they will be undertaking
.

Such a syllabus usually
includes a teaching philosophy, context of the course subject, key questions or problems addressed by the course, justi
fication for the relevance of
the course, list material readings, all assignments and expected outcomes.

The prospectus syllabus is not just for students. It is also a record of the professor’s work, sometimes a basis for evaluati
on of a professor,
and som
etimes used to represent a course for program accreditation or for inclusion in programs such as General Education or
Writing Across the
Curriculum.
In such cases, the teaching philosophy, outcomes and activities (readings, assignments, exams) are all nece
ssary elements.

Syllabus as Contract

As syllabi became essential elements of every course, they became a convenient vehicle to set out rules, expectations and con
sequences,
including everything that students are thought to need

to know

about a course and
all the behaviors that a professor would like students follow.

The syllabus as contract is convenient, because it is one place to document the ever
-
growing number of statements about everything from
immigration law to weather policies that faculty are req
uired to supply to students.

As Paula Wasley put it in an oft
-
quoted essay, “With its ever
-
lengthening number of contingency clauses, disclaimers, and provisos, the college syllabus can bear as much resemblance to a
prenuptial
agreement as it does to an ex
pression of intellectual enterprise.” (
http://chronicle.com

Section: The Faculty Volume 54, Issue 27, Page A1)

In fact,
syllabus texts are not legal contracts (some professors even add a syllabus statement noting “this

s
yllabus is not a legal contract
” for example
https://www.humis.utah.edu/humis/docs/organization_269_1263307183.pdf
), but they are still considered a reliable
document

to preclude many
student complaints and arguments.


Like the software that requires an “I agree” click before downloading, the legalese is unlikely to be read let alone absorbed

by students until
the moment when they are already contesting somethin
g.
Facul
ty sometimes complain that it’s redundant to print them, as they are almost always


Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


5



part of published policies s
uch as the Student Conduct Code
.
The reason these university policies stubbornly survive and multiply, however, has
little to do with whether the
y are read by students or desired by faculty and more to do with fears of litigation.

While the syllabus may not be a legal document, those who teach at EMU are

required to follow other legal documents, primarily university
policy (
http://www.emich.edu/policies/
) and their
labor
contract, and these include statements that could relate to syllabi, such as Policy Chapter
No. 6.2.1 “Attendance and Class Schedules” and many others.

Enculturation, contracting a re
lationship

Many faculty turn to the contract syllabus not only as a repository for statements of university policy, but as a place to do
cument their own
priorities and expectations both for student academic wor
k and for acceptable behavior.
There is a
blur
ry line between “one
-
inch margins

on all
essays

and

“please wear a shirt
.
” Th
e

practice of spelling out rules and expectations no doubt began as instructions for assignments and rules
about grading, and became elaborated in an effort to forestall students

taking shortcuts.
Such p
olicies about make
-
up work and class participation
easily progress to injunctions against tardiness, perceived rudeness and everything else.

Chat on blogs and sites such as the Chronicle of Higher Education
(
http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,79017.0.html
)

and Inside
Higher Ed
(
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/07/29/bell_essay_on_changing_classroom_experience_to_meet_student_demands
)

reflects frustration and
dismay over

classroom behavior. As the gap between student preparation and faculty expectations grow, facult
y find
themselves increasingly challenged. The syllabus may seem like the only place that an educator can set the tone and lay out e
xplanations of what is
desired and why.

While the list of rules and behavior policies grow, however, it seems clear that so
me students, and particularly those students for whom the
rules are meant, are not taking it seriously

(
https://www.facebook.com/pages/read
-
the
-
freakin
-
syllabus
-
pe
ople/263687170945
).

This leads us to
ask
whether there might be too many rules and not enough communication and wh
ether a syllabus can ever really be the solution to the problem
of unprepared students or students with different expectations

Are we really
litigants?

In a backlash against policy
-
laden syllabi and the antagonistic relationship that they anticipate, some educators are questioning the values
and expectations such documents imply, not so much by the
ir content as by their tone.
The syllabus as c
ontract implies that the professor fears or
even expects that students will be short
-
cutters and game
-
pla
yers if not outright cheaters.
Embedded in all the rules and consequences is the
implication that the class is indeed a kind of game where students str
ive for points and the professor is not even a referee but a fellow contestant
(albeit one who controls more of the game’s parameters) from whom the
student must wrest the points.
Easily lost in this struggle is the reason we
all came to the classroom in t
he first place: intellectual engagement and learning.

Syllabus as learning tool

What would happen if we took a step
back from the contract syllabus

and re
-
thought the goals of this enterprise?

It’s possible that better
solutions might be found for the prob
lems that a contract syllabus is intended to address.

Faculty sometimes complain that students are not socially prepared for college. Even if we avoid a debate about blame, class
bias and the
nature of high school education
,

and accept this complaint at fa
ce value, this still does not reduce
the educator’s responsibility.
If we posit that a
lot of students are indeed unprepared socially for colle
ge, then what is the solution?
A list of rules and explanations in a syllabus is one possible


Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


6



solution, but obvio
usl
y one that does not work well.
A curious educator would be likely to explore what it is that students are expecting

from their
college classes

and to use that information as a basis for recognizing what is going to surprise or challenge them. In other w
ords, If we start where
the students are, we can better explain where we are taking them.

This approach echoes back to the prospectus m
odel, but with one difference.
While the old
-
fashioned prospectus assumed that students
and educators shared culture and
social expectations, a syllabus as learning tool offers a road map to the class that acknowledges the many
different starting places of students these days, and
(
without pandering or condescension
)

communicates receptivity to their various experiences

as l
egitimate starting places for learning
.

Setting class ethos: this is not a game!

We would like to think that the goal of a class is indeed those outcomes that are dutifully listed, or perhaps more broadly t
he intellectual
development of our students, or m
inimally the transmi
ssion of some facts or skills.
But what does the syllabus tell most students? A typical contract
syllabus tells students exactly the opposite: by foregrounding expectations and requirements, grades and deadlines, office ho
urs,
and
rules

and
consequences, such a syllabus screams, “I am setting the rules here, and I am using the grade as the reward.” Thinking about
people who find
themselves in such a situation, some portion of them will react not with obedience but with strategy: “the rul
es that prof is putting in all caps don’t
seem so important to me, but the reward is, so I’m going to figure out how I can most efficiently get that reward while ignor
ing the rules as much
as I can, and in so doing I’ll know that I’m smarter and more effic
ien
t than my dutiful classmates.”
Since the educator has already been framed as
both the rule
-
setter and the rule
-
enforcer, any chance for dialogue is reduced to negotiation of the rules and outcomes.

If the class is not a game, then what is it? Scholars s
uch as Ken Bain, Parker Palmer, L. Dee Fink and many others have explored methods to
reset student expectations for hard, satisfying work and authentic learning.
Approaches differ, but the key elements include: commitment to
fostering learning rather than
solely transmitting knowledge; a “willingness to take their students seriously and to let them assume control of their
own education,


and a willingness


to let all policies and practices flow from central learning objectives and from a mutual respect and
agreement
between students and teachers.” (Bain 2004 p78
-
79 italics in original omitted).

There are many ways to reflect an expectation for authentic learning in a class other than in a syllabus, and it’s possible t
hat the syllabus is
not even needed in or
der to do so. For those who are interested, however, the syllabus as learning tool could include these elements:

o

In addition to the usual contact information, a brief statement of research interests to let students see how this class is p
art of a
larger i
ntellectual endeavor

o

Learning outcomes described as something offered to students, an invitation for them to commit to the outcomes rather than
submit to them

o

Assignments presented as invitations or challenges, with explanation of how the assignments will
lead students towards their goals

o

Assumptions about class ethos spelled out and the policies
, timelines

and rubrics presented in a tone of respect and trust.

Some
educators invite students to work together to
set
and
agree on certain behavior policies

and

deadlines for their class.
This
ensures
awareness

of the rules

and

creates significant commitment to them.

3. C
hecklist

for syllabus content



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


7



Begin by checking

with your Program, Department/School
and College for any specific policies, statements, or form
atting that must be
i
ncorporated into the syllabus.
Various units on campus have specific requir
ed content
, and some prefer a uniform style
.
Once
the
syllabus

is
completed
, be sure to provide a copy to
the Department Head
before the beginning of the term.

There
is no single model or template that would be appropriate for every program, class and professor. Syllabi reflect the professo
r’s
teaching philosophy

and

intellectual approach to a subject, and as such they are an intellectual product that cannot

be f
orced into a generic mold.

This checklist recommends the bas
ic content that students expect
,
and
offers some su
ggestions to enhance learning.
Links to samples and
templates

are available
in the next section
.



Outline or Table of Contents.


Even if it is o
nly a
three

lines
, this alerts students to the

organization of the syllabus.
For an online course the elements listed in the table of
contents may be links to various tabs or other content in the course shell.

Even a Word document that is sent by email or
posted in electronic
course reserves can have links to resources.



General Course I
nformation



Course number, title, section (CRN), semester, year, credit hours, pre
-

and/or co
-
requisite requirement
s, and any required permissions



Classroom / laboratory loc
ation
and meeting times and days



Format of the course

(
use approved Uni
versity Web
-
Based Instruction

Classification:
fully online, hy
brid/blended,
or web
-
enhanced)



Location of school
or
department off
ice, web
-
page, and
office

phone number



Course descriptio
n as stated in curr
ent issue of
the
University Catalog

http://catalog.emich.edu/



Course o
bjectives, such as providing an overview of the field, introducing a theoretical position, developing student awareness

(not

learning
outcomes)



Expanded course description

o

Problem, question or idea the course addresses

o

H
ow this course may fit within an established
P
rogram/Major/Minor or classification within General Education Program

o

Overview of sequence or structure of course
, questions or topics addressed, projects engaged



Instructor Information



Full name and title, office location, emich email address, office hours, web page (if available), how to contact (preferred m
ethod(s)/times).


The official email address for communi
cations between students, faculty, and staff at EMU is @emich.edu.

Some instructors

c
hoose to
include an alternate email address as backup
.



Graduate Assistant(s)
n
ame(s)

but usually not contact information unless necessary



Short introduction to

your teachi
ng philosophy, disciplinary

or research

interests
,
or publications
.



Optional
-

Message to the student
.

T
his
element
is
recommended by Grunert and other experts
to evoke a personal commitment to
learning in students. It can incorporate other elements such a
s teaching philosophy or learning outcomes
.
This element

is high
ly effective in
online
courses

and generally a good way to set

the desired tone in any course
.

Even a short welcome message with a sign
-
off signals
students how they are to address you (“cheer
s!

Chris


versus

“Sincerely, Professor Smith”).

Sample Message
to the student
:
Welcome to FACD 101

As your professor, I’d like to welcome you to this class, which has been designed to introduce you to…
and develop
your skills in…..
(
purpose and outcomes
)
.
I myself do research in the area of Grumples and have a personal

interest in strangs as well.
In this class you’ll face some significant


Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


8



challenges, and it is my hope that you will meet them eagerly, applying the necessary attention and time not only to

learn information but to develop and practice skills and
to expand your perspective on our topic. (
prompting appropriate expectations for learning
)
.
Because we only meet once a week and outdoors at that, not to mention that
some of us are meeting over sk
ype, you will need to pay special attention to this syllab
us, your email,
and
the
online
course shell. You can best study or
prepare
for
assignments/exams by …. (
prompt for appropriate study
skills
)

In this class you will meet people from a variety of bac
kgrounds, which sometimes can result in

new
relationships but also sometimes

clashing expectations. I will do my best to make my expectations clear, starting from a basis of mutual respect, and I hope y
ou will do the
same…(
setting the

classroom

tone
)
.

See
you in class!

Professor Green.



Optional
-

Teaching ethics statement. Such a statement d
emonstrates to students your commitment to ethical teaching practices
, but is less
personal.

Sample teaching ethics statement
:
I affirm to my students that
: I will give

students impartial and dignified treatment; There will be reasonable opportunities to ask
questions and to express ideas; I will respect students’ rights of privacy; I will provide a clear statement of standards for

work in advance of grading and other as
signments;
Students will have a knowledge of the grading system and are assured of the absence of unfair, capricious, or discriminatory
grading; There will be timely return of
examinations and other assignments with verbal and / or written explanations of
deficiencies; There will be an explicit description of the policy for penalties regarding
failure to participate in class; I will be provide, when possible, advanced knowledge of cancellation of class or office hour
s; Anonymity will be maintained during co
urse
evaluation sessions.



Learning Outcomes



course and assignments

Include the specific learning outcomes that students are expected to take away from the course, such as distinguish
ing

among kinds of things,
apply
ing

a theory to a problem, correctly a
nd consistently using

discipline
-
ba
sed terminology in written work
, etc.



Optional
-

invite students to “vote” for
course
outcomes that they will claim as their own for the term, or invite students to write and add
one outcome of their own
. This encourages
students to treat learning outcomes seriously and t
o commit themselves to learning



Optional



Student’s Responsibilities in Learning
” statement.

This statement
might

include a description of
skills or knowledge that you
expect students to bring to the cou
rse (including computer skills, math or writing skills, note
-
taking, library familiarity, etc.),
the specific
kinds of learning expected
to take place during the course
(mastery of concepts, collaboration skills,
writing skills
,

number of hours/week to
com
mit

etc.)
, and
a reminder that

their
progress

will depend on their commitment to

such actions as

clarifying their own learning goals,
taking notes,
planning ahead,
asking questions, collaborating, reflecting and assessing their own progress, seeking help o
r guidance, etc.



Major assignments with due dates and description of how they align with learning outcomes



C潵r獥s
l潧楳瑩捡c
requiremen瑳



Detailed instructions for access to the online components and phone numbers f
or help with technical problems



Books a
nd materials to be purchased, with comment whether older editions are acceptable, and whether using library copies or sharing

with a classmate is appropriate



Participation in asynchronous or “real time” online chats or other activities or other “out of sea
t” time required for the course



List of recommended sources of help.

Students should be encouraged to think that seeking help is an expected activity
in the course.
Listing
resources with the requirements sends the message that this is a valuable option to

be taken up by successful students. Resource
statements could include:
the Academic Projects Center,
the
University Writing Center,
the

University Library
, Holman Learning Center, the
Math Lab and
International Student Resource Center.

Suggested syllabus

texts are available

on this Word document
http://www.emich.edu/library/help/syllabustext.doc

or from this page:

http://www.emich.edu/facdev/campusservices.php#learningneeds



Any other activities that might require planning ahead or have an additional cost




Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


9





Course schedule
/calendar



C
ritical dates

for enrollment and payment:

(drop/add period, withdrawal deadlines
,
found here
http://www.emich.edu/registrar/calendars/datesanddeadlines.php
)



Weather/emergency/schedule change contingencies, with link to EMU weather policy
http://www.emich.edu/univcomm/weatherpolicy.php



Sequence in which topics or problems will be addressed
, with dates if appropriate



Dates for o
utside speakers, field trips
, labs

or other variations from the routin
e clearly noted



All due dates and milestone dates marked, exams, quizzes,
dates when particular items will be handed out, review sessions, etc.



Optional


in courses with an online component, the syllabus may contain the bare minimum schedule and direct st
udents to the online
calendar for details.

Similarly, some kinds of assignment details (specific instructions) may be left out of the syllabus and provided on
separate documents.



Standards and procedures for evaluation

Students
who are unhealthily focuse
d on grades will jump to this section first, so it is important to be explicit in the link between assessment
and learning.



Expected student activities

or
assign
ments tied to learning outcomes



Dates when any

study guides
or study sessions will be offered



Attendance and participation note:
University policies prohibit the use of attendance as the
sole

criterion for evalu
ation of student
participation/performance.
An effective policy on attendance or participation should focus on the experiences in the class

sessions that are
necessary to su
pport the learning experience.
Teaching and
grading

strategies at the participation level should promote th
e use or
application of content, not simply being there.



E
xplanation or rubric for the evaluation proc
ess and a sca
le for the grades.



Number and type of exams,
whether in
-
class, take
-
home, online.

P
oint value of each exam

and
proportion of each exam reflected
in

the
final grade
.

C
ontent of the course be covered on each exam
.

Will there
be a comprehensive final exam?
Wi
ll there be unannounced
quizzes?



O
verall

course grading scale
. Any

conditions
that
will be
applied
, e.g., droppi
ng the lowest quiz grade



Policies for make
-
up and extra
-
credit assig
nments; all

policies for late or missed work

and extra credit

should be cons
idered carefully so
they do not adv
antage one student over another



Group work


explain

how group work produces the learning out
comes you are working towards. D
escri
be

how group work (in class, out of
class, or online) will be managed and assessed



Refer st
udents to the
office of Records and Registration (
http://www.emich.edu/registrar/
)

for information on grading procedures,
withdrawal and exam schedules
.



Provide students with options or steps if they are unha
ppy with their grade. For example, suggest that their first step must be to talk with
you in office hours (or send email, if that is preferred), and only then if they are still not satisfied could they talk to t
he Department Head or
the Ombudsman (provide
contact information:
http://www.emich.edu/ombuds/
)




Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


10





Standards for behavior

The tone of this section will depend on whether the syllabus is following a contract model or more of a learning tool
.

Keep in mind th
at the tone
of this section will color your relationships with students. It is best to avoid implying that you expect bad behavior an
d to avoid scolding or
sarcasm.



Refer students to the Student Conduct office
http://www.emich.edu/studentconduct/

and Ombudsman http://www.emich.edu/ombuds/

for University
-
wide policies on behavior



Optional


message to students about what is expected (emphasize what
they should

be doing, not so much what you don’t want)



Any

specific rules about
classroom behavior (
phones
/ipads
, open laptops, side conversations,

eating/drinking,

tardiness,
foul language,
etc.), spell
ed
out
with
possible consequences



Academic standards about responsibility for doing individual work may be
expl
ained

here. It is important to distinguish rules about cheating
and copying (which students know) from academic standards in writing that you are teaching (failure in the latter context is
like the wrong
answer on an exam, but is not an ethical lapse). Thi
s is a topic that is best discussed in class or addressed with an assignment. See
http://guides.emich.edu/content.php?pid=166423



偯li捹⁳瑡瑥ten瑳

As much as possible embed your policy statem
ents into the appropriate category.
Appending

them
to

the end of the syllabus signals to
students that they are
pro forma

and

not integral to the course. Nonetheless, some policy statements don’t fit well in any other category, and
sometimes it is useful t
o reiterate all policies in a single list, including those that are embedded in the syllabus elsewhere.

University policies or sta
tements that should be integrated into your syllabus or included in a policy section

(see section 4 below)
:



Attendance and Par
ticipation i
n determination of course grade



Religious Holidays



Laboratory Safety / Health Issues



Student and Exchange Visitor Statement (SEVIS)



Accommodations for Students with Disabilities



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)




Academic Dishon
esty and Classroom Conduct


4.
EMU policies and
syllabus texts

for your EMU syllabus



Attendance

University policies prohibit the use of attendance as the
sole

criterion for evaluation of student participation/ performance.

An effective policy
on attenda
nce or participation should focus on the experiences in the class sessions that are necessary to support the learning experie
nce.

Refer to Board of Regents Policies 6.2.1, 6.2.2, and 6.2.5 for specific policies regarding Attendance and Part
icipation
.

The d
ocument “
Policies
Affecting You Guide
” for students

may

be downloaded from
this web page
http://www.emich.edu/ombuds/

Keep options open for dealing with
illness, personal problems, etc., by requiring students t
o be responsible for their learning (not merely for being present)
.



Weather

The EMU weather policy may be found here
http://www.emich.edu/univcomm/weatherpolicy.php

Some faculty choose to p
ut this link or a
short statement on their syllabus regarding weather
-
related absences and closures. This is especially helpful for commuter students and for
transfers who may
be used to different policies.



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


11



Sample Syllabus Statement
:

If
class session

or l
aboratory is canceled due to
bad

weather or instructor absence
,

students are still responsible for

all

the
readings and
assignments listed on the syllabus
.



Religious Holidays

Eastern Michigan
University recognizes the right

of students to observe religio
us holidays without penalty to the student.

You must make
accommodations for students who miss class or exams due to religious holidays (see Board of Regents Policy

6.2.5
).

It is a good idea to look up
the major religious holidays in advance so as to antic
ipate such request.

Sample Syllabus Statement
: Students
must

provide advance notice
by in writing
to their instructors in order to
be allowed to
make up work, including examinations
,

that
they miss as a result of absence from class due to observance of rel
igious holidays.



Laboratory Safety / Health Issues

The syllabus should describe all necessary safety procedures that are to be adhered to in any laboratory or practice environm
ent.

Any
regulations that are mandated should also be included, such as prote
ctive garments, eye wear, hazard procedures, or confidentiality of
information, including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).



Student and Exchange Visitor Statement (SEVIS)

International students must

pay spec
ial attention to enrollment and academic status, because some changes if not reported can result in loss of
visa status and deportation. Do not give visa advice to international students! Please refer them only to the Office of Inter
national Students
(
OIS)

244 EMU Student Center

734.487.3116

The Office of International Students suggested syllabus language:

The Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) requires F and J students to report the following to the Office of In
ternational Students (OIS)
244 EMU Student
Center within ten (10) days of the event of changes in:

Name
or residential address

Academic
status

Academic
major or program of study

Source
of funding (including employment or graduate assistant position)

Degree
completion date

Degree
le
vel (ex
:

Bachelors to Masters)

SEVIS further requires F and J students to report the following to the Office of International Students

(OIS)

244 EMU Student Center within ten (10) days:

Intent to transfer to another school

Probation or disciplinary action
due to a criminal conviction

Prior permission from OIS is required for:

C
arrying or dropping below minimum credit hours or dropping all courses;

Employment on or off
-
campus; including volunteer and observation positions.

Registering for more than one onlin
e course per term (F and J

visa)

Endorsing I
-
20 or DS
-
2019 for re
-
entry into the USA.

Failure to report may result in the termination of your SEVIS record and even loss of status.

If you have questions or concerns, contact the Office of International Stude
nts at
734.487.3116.



Acc
essibility for all

Federal law and good pedagogical practices require instructors to provide reasonable accommodations to students who have prov
ided
documentation of a disability.

The Disabilities Resource Center (DRC) 240 EMU Stu
dent Center

(734) 487
-
2470

can provide you with detailed
guidance.

You should emphasize to your students that:



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


12





Students with disabilities have a right to attend classes and to expect that appropriate adjustments will be made to accommod
ate their
disabiliti
es.

They must not be excluded from activities s
imply because they are disabled



If your assigned classroom is not accessible to students with disabilities enrolled in your course, you should make arrangeme
nts with the
appropriate office to have the classroo
m changed.

If

you
change the room the course is meeting in, you should be careful that you have not
inadvertently excluded students with disabi
lities from the new location



Students with certain kinds of learning disabilities may need tutors
and other forms

of assistance.
In addition, special accommodations for
test taking and similar academic
requirements may be necessary.
While you are not expected to compromise legitimate academic
standards, EMU is required by law to provide accommodations for those aspec
ts of the course that are not centr
al to mastery of the
material.
You are encouraged to be flexible and creative.



Please do not call special attention
to students with disabilities.
As the instructor, you may be informed of a student’s disability because y
ou
have a need to know this information, but it should never be shared by you with others. It is up to the student to choose how

and when to
share.

The Disability Resource Center offers the following suggested syllabus language
:

It is my goal that this cla
ss be an accessible and welcoming experience for all students, including those with disabilities that may affect their learni
ng in this class. If you
believe you may have trouble participating or effectively demonstrating learning in this course, please me
et with me (with or without an accommodation letter from the
Disability Resource Center) to discuss reasonable options or adjustments. During our discussion, I may suggest the possibilit
y/necessity of your contacting the DRC (240
Student Center; (734) 487
-
2470; swd_office@emich.edu) to talk about academic accommodations.

You are welcome to talk to me at any point in the semester about such
issues, but it is best if we can talk at least one week prior to
the need for any modifications.


In addition, you coul
d include
:
EMU Board of Regents Policy 8.3 requires that
anyone wishing accommodation for a disability
first register
s

with the Disabilities Resource
Center (DRC) in 240 EMU Student Center, telephone:

(734) 487
-
2470.

Students with disabilities are encourag
ed to register with the DRC promptly as you will only be
accommod
ated from the date you register.
No retroact
ive accommodations are possible
.



Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is federal legis
lation enacted in 1974
that controls student records.
It grants students the right to
access their own educational records as well as limiting, for privacy reasons, the release of those same records to anyone ot
her than the
student
or the student’s designe
e.
FERPA applies to all current and for
mer students of the University.

Information that is FERPA protected
includes: grades, test scores, ID numbers and social security numbers, financial records, disciplinary records, class

schedules, and academic
work.

F
ERPA may be violated if students are asked to submit their work to a public Internet site as a
condition of course enrollment.

Posting
lists of
ID
numbers, names or
grades online, by email or in any public way is a violation.

If you must post

or email list
s of grades
, use a pin number that
only
you

and the student know
s
.
T
here are several U.S. Department of Education opinions stating that student numbers should not be used to
post grades
.

See:
http://www.emich.edu/studentconduct/facultylinks/ferpaataglance.php


Sample Syllabus Statement
:
The Family Educational Right
s and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a f
ederal law designated to protect the privacy of a student’s education records an
d
academic work.

The law applies to all schools and universities which receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Edu
cation and is applicable to
students at EMU.

All files, records, and academic work completed within this course ar
e considered educational records and are protected under FERPA.

It is your right as a
student in this course to expect that any materials you submit in this course as well as your name and other identifying info
rmation will not be viewable by guests or oth
er
individuals permitted access to the course.

The exception will be only when you have given explicit, written, signed consent.

Verbal consent or email is insufficient.



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


13



Alternative Syllabus Statement
:

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student education records and is
enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. In essence, the act states that 1) students must be permitted to inspect their
own “education records” and 2) “school
officia
ls” may not disclose personally identifiable information about a student without written permission from the student. For fur
ther information on FERPA
, contact the
Ombudsman.



Academic
D
ishonesty
and
C
lassroom Conduct

The Office of Student Conduct and Com
munity Standards (OSCCS


used to be SJS) offers standards on plag
iarism and classroom conduct.
It is
the instructor
’s responsibility

to determine at what level an instance of academic dishonesty will be dealt with
:



A
s an academic matter (for remediati
on o
r reduction of grade). This is the best approach when you understand the problem to reflect a
failure to learn. In that case, treat the misconduct as you would any other failure to learn (such as a wrong answer on an ex
am or an
error in an assignment) with

a grade that reflects the failure and guidance to the student towards mastery of the standard for the next
time.

OSCCS staff appreciate receiving reports of academic dishonesty even when you treat it wholly as an academic matter.



OR

as a Student Conduct m
atter (referral to the OSCCS for investigation as a possible conduct violation)
. This is the best approach if you
understand the problem to be a willful, deliberate act. Once you have contacted the OSCCS and provided details

they will carry the
investigati
on forward while the student continues to attend class (except in the rare case of Involuntary Withdrawal
-

http://www.emich.edu/studentconduct/involuntarywd.php
).



OR Both
. It is a good
idea to contact OSCCS staff to discuss the situation.

NOTE: students have a right to attend class;
instructional personnel

may not forbid a student from atte
nding class

in general (but you may ask
them to leave a particular session if they cannot change t
heir behavior)
. Contact the OSCCS for guidance.

Sample Syllabus Statement

on Classroom Conduct
:
Any successful learning experience requires mutual respect. Neither instructor nor student should be subject to
behavior that is rude, disruptive, intimidating,

or demeaning.
Views may differ on what counts as rudeness

or courtesy
. I
f you are not sure what constitutes good conduct in
this classroom, ask the instructor.

The instructor has primary responsibility for and control over classroom behavior and maintenan
ce of academic integrity.

Adapted from
:

http://teaching.ucsc.edu/tips/tips
-
civility.html#sample


Sample Syllabus Statement

on Plagiarism
:
Plagiarism occurs when a writer deliberately p
asses off another's words or ideas without acknowledging their source. For
example, turning another's work as your own is plagiarism. If you plagiarize in this class, you will likely fail the assignme
nt on which you are working and your case may be
passed
to the university for additional disciplinary action. Because of the design and nature of this course, it will take as much (
or more) work for you to plagiarize in it than
it will to actually complete the work of the class.


Plagiarism is different from mi
suse of sources, occasions when a writer does not properly cite a source, misuses quotations, includes too much of an origina
l source in a
paraphrase or summary, or commits similar unintentional violations of academic protocol. If you misuse sources, we wi
ll work together on appropriately incorporating
and/or citing the sources. Note that some audiences/instructors will consider misuse of sources to be plagiarism; for this re
ason, it is extreme important for you to identify
the conventions associated with s
ource use and citations in any class (or writing situation).


Resources
:
Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards
(
OSCCS
):

http://www.emich.edu/studentconduct/facultylinks.php

i
n particular the Faculty
Liability
Checklist on that page
.

College of Business Ethos Statement

http://www.emich.edu/cob/?id=1137


http://ctlclassmgmt.project.mnscu.edu/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={C0469830
-
953B
-
4603
-
9D44
-
91EF353C2134}

For plagiarism, see:
http://www.em
ich.edu/facdev/campusservices.php#plagiarism




Syllabus Checklist

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14





Enhancing student skills

Sample Syllabus Statement on
EMU Writing Support

The University Writing Center

(115 Halle Library) offers one
-
to
-
one writing consulting for both undergraduate and graduate students.
Students can make appointments or
drop in between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. Students sho
uld bring a draft of what they’re working
on and their assignment.

The UWC opens for the Fall 201
3 semester on Monday, Sept. 9

and will close on Monday, Dec. 12
, 2013
.

The UWC also offers small group workshops on various topics related to writing (e.g., Reading in College: Tips and Strategies
; Incorporating Evidence; Revising Your Writing).
Workshops

are offered at various times Monday through Friday in the UWC. To register for a workshop, click the "Register" link from the

UWC page at
http://www.emich.edu/uwc/
.

The UWC also has several satellite sites across
campus

in Sill Hall for COT students; in Marshall for CHHS students; in Pray
-
Harrold for CAS students; in Porter for CHHS and
COE students; and in Owen for COB students. The locations of these sites and their hours will be posted on the UWC web site
http://www.emich.edu/uwc/
.


The Academic Projects Center

(116 Halle Library) offers one
-
to
-
one consulting for students on writing, research, or technology
-
related issues. No appointment is required


students can just dr
op in. The APC is open 11
-
5 Monday
-
Thursday. Additional information about the APC can be found at
http://www.emich.edu/apc
.

Students visiting the
Academic Projects Center should also bring with them a draft of what
they’re working on and their assignment sheet.


International Student Resource Center

(200 Alexander Building)
http://www.emich.edu/esl/isrc/

is a service of the World Languages Department for EMU students who

need help with their non
-
native English language for academic assignments. Help is provided for reading and comprehension, listening and note
-
taking, improvement of
grammatical accuracy, compositions, study skills, and conversation. Note, this is not the
Office of International Students.


S
pecific tutoring desks may be

available for your subject area (math, music, etc.)



check with your depa
rtment or Holman Success Center
-

http://www.emich.edu/hsc/peer/



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


15



5.

Samples, guides and
templates
for

syllabi


Examples
from the wild

(note, these syllabi are the intellectual property of their creator
s
).


1.

Syllabi using the people.emich web page have the advantage of
being easy to update if you have the
web editing skills
; but students can
misplace the url or information on how to locate the webpage
.

a.

http://people.emich.edu/acoykenda/315/w11.htm

b.

http://people.emich.edu/aross15/math110/sample
-
syllabus.html

c.

http://people.emich.edu/gcross1/Lit207Syllabus.htm

d.

http://people.emich.edu/rbalkam/Syllabus/Syllabus.html

e.

http://people.emich.edu/kconley/305syl.html

2.

Syllabi on the web as pdf
or Word documents
have the advantage of being easy to print, but th
e disadvantage that they are more difficult to
edit on the fly.

Unless they are embedded in a course shell or web page, students risk losing or deleting them.

a.

http://people.emi
ch.edu/acardina/examples/handouts/syllabus.pdf

b.

http://www.emich.edu/cot/phd/forms/COT705%28Fields%29.pdf

c.

MS Word document:
http://www.emich.edu/worldlanguages/Syl/TSLN520Syllabus.doc

3.

No matter what the format, t
ables of contents alert students to the fact that the syllabus contains diverse information, and aid in
navigation.

a.

http://www.itc.csmd.edu/fin/ronb/1012/SYL1012.HTM

b.

http://faculty.washington.edu/smcohen/120/syllabus.htm

c.

MS Word example:
uncw.edu/phy/documents/Syllabi
/PHY105.doc

d.

Another
MS
Word example:
faculty.tamu
-
commerce.edu/crrobinson/517/200608%20Syllabus.doc

4.

More examples may be found at syllabus repositories such as

a.

Clemson
syllabus repository:
https://syllabus.app.clemson.edu/PublicAccess.aspx

b.

Chaminade University repository:
http://www.chaminade.edu/syllabus_repository/

c.

University of Maryland University College Europe:
http://www.ed.umuc.edu/schedule/display_generic_list.php

5.

Templates

and Guides
for Syllabi

a.

Utah State University Online Syllabus Template Tool.
http://fact.usu.edu/?faculty
-
resources

click on link for “Online Syllabus Template Tool” or
http://fact.usu.edu/files/uploads/OSTT5.pdf

You may download a Word version of the template.

b.

Guide

for learning
-
centered syllabus:
http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/syllabi.html

c.

Brown University and M.
J.V.

Woolcock’s

Constructing a Syllabus: a handbook for faculty, teaching assistan
ts and teaching fellows (revised 2006)


http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Sheridan_Center/docs/construct_syllabus.pdf

d.

Annotated sample
s
:
http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/facdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab
-
4.htm

and
http://www2.honolulu.hawaii.edu/fa
cdev/guidebk/teachtip/syllab
-
5.htm

e.

Center for Teaching and Learning, St John’s University. Conversations on Teaching:
“Developing the Syllabus”
http://www.s
tjohns.edu/academics/centers/teach/conversations/planning/syllabus.stj

6.

Sources for statements on classroom civility

a.

http://teaching.ucsc.edu/tips/tips
-
civility.html

b.

http://ctlincivility.project.mnscu.edu/

(in particular, see Readings section)

7.

Sources for statements on
plagiarism



Syllabus Checklist

Aug. 2013


16



a.

See the section “Discouraging Plagiarism”
http://guides.emich.edu/content.php?pid=166423&sid=1403938

b.

http://widstudio.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/plagiarism
-
statements
-
for
-
syllabus/

c.

http://wpacouncil.org/files/WPAplagiarism.pdf

d.

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/05/


Further Reading

Afros E.

and C
.

F. Schryer
. (20
09).

The genre of syllabus in higher education
Journal of English for Academic Purposes

8
(
3
):

224
-
233
doi:10.1016/j.jeap.2009.01.004

Anderson L.W., et al (eds). (2001).

A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing


A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of
Educational Objectives
.

Addison Wesley Longman, Inc
.

Collins, T.
(1997). For openers:
an inclusive course syllabus. In: W.E. Campbell and K.A. Smith, Editors,
New paradigms for college teaching
.
Edina,
MN
:

Interaction Book Company, pp. 79

102.

Fink, L.D. (
2003).
Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses
.
San Francisco: Jossey Bass.


Grunert, J
.
(
1997
).

The course syllabus: A learning
-
centered approach.

Bolton, MA
:

Anker Publishing Company

Ko, S
. and

S
.

Rossen.

(2004).
Teaching online : a practical guide
.


Boston
: Houghton Mifflin.

See in particular
Ch
.

4 “creating

an effective online syllabus”
http://college.hmco.com/instructors/catalog/walkthroughs/pdf/walk_0618000429_4.pdf

Wingfield S
.

S
.

and Black, G
.

S.
(
2005
)
Active versus passive course designs:
the impact on student outcomes.

Journal of Education for Business

81(2): 119
-
125.