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Syllabus guide

Before you get started with your syllabus, be sure to have all your course information on hand. This includes days & times of lessons/labs, and the room number(s), textbook and/or course pack and any other required materials for students (i.e. software, supplies, etc.).


Step-by-step syllabus development

When you are ready, follow the steps below to prepare your syllabus while referring to the Concordia Course outline Guide.

1. Ask your Department Administrator, Program Assistant, Chair or the previous instructor of the course for a recent copy of the syllabus.

  • If one is available to you, use the steps listed below to update your syllabus and verify the information is correct and complete. 
  • If one is not available to you, use the steps below to develop a new syllabus for your course. *You may also want to ask if a Course outline template is available from your department that you can use as a starting point.

2. Before you start planning your course, determine if any holidays fall on days you have a class.

  • Refer to the Academic Calendar to see if the university will be closed on any of the days your class is scheduled. If so, the university schedules designated make-up days at the end of the term (including unplanned snow days). Consider verifying these dates with the Department Administrator or Program Assistant to make sure you have correctly noted them. 
  • You should also consult the Interfaith Calendar to determine if there will be any religious holidays not officially recognized by the University. Make a note of any religious holidays as Instructors are required to accommodate for religious observance.
    Note: It is advised to avoid scheduling tests and other graded assignments on those dates.

3. Download the Concordia University Course Outline Guide and use it as a reference in developing or updating your syllabus.

4. Use an existing departmental template or syllabus to insert or update the following sections into your course outline:

Section

Information & Tips

General Information

 

This information must include:

  • Course title
  • Number
  • Instructor name
  • Contact
  • Office hours
  • TA name and contact information as relevant

Refer to the Guide for more information.

Course Description

This wording must exactly match the description in the Course Calendar.

Prerequisites

Only prerequisites that appear in the Course Calendar may be listed in your course outline.

Course Learning Goals & Outcomes (Objectives)

Learning outcomes are statements about the knowledge, competencies and/or skills students are expected to achieve by the end of the course.

For more information on writing course learning outcomes, refer to: Tufts University TUSM Writing Learning Objectives .

Schedule of Important Dates

 

This should include exam dates, assignment due dates, holidays and any other important dates. Refer to the Guide (#4) for more information.

You must also include the following statement: In the event of extraordinary circumstances and pursuant to the Academic Regulations,  the University may modify the delivery, content, structure, forum, location and/or evaluation scheme. In the event of such extraordinary circumstances, students will be informed of the changes.

Extraordinary Circumstances

This statement facilitates any unforeseen changes that nees to made to the delivery of the course in the the case of extraordinary circumstances.

Copy and paste the appropriate statement directly from the guide (#7).

Course Materials

 

Your course materials include textbooks, course packs, and similar materials. Refer to the Guide (#8) for more information.

*Be sure to order your coursepack and textbooks from the bookstore and put any readings on reserve at the Library well in advance.         

 

Grading This should inlcude information about the format and timing of assessments, due dates, and grading procedures. You must include the weight of each assessment and a grading scale of criterial. 

Ethical Behaviour Statement

 

An ethical behaviour statement clarifies the policies related to plagiarism and other violations of the Academic Code. You can copy and paste the university’s statement directly from the Guide (#10).

Accessibility Statement

 

An accessibility statement explains how you ensure the accessibility of your classroom to all students.

You can copy and paste the university’s statement directly from the Guide (#10).

Sexual violence

An ethical behaviour statement about Sexual violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, reminds students that is not tolerated by the instrucotr or the university.

You can copy and paste the university’s statement directly from the Guide (#10).

Other course policies

 

Other policies commonly found in course outlines include:

  • Use of technology
  • Requests for grade changes
  • Equity statement
  • Name & pronoun statement
  • Communications

Seek advice from colleagues about the policies you might establish for your course.

A declaration regarding the use of web-based and other technology

 

If you just use Moodle and YuJa, you do not need to include such a statement; however, if you use any other cloud-based technology that collects student information (i.e. name, student number, email address, etc.), you must include one.

You can use or adapt the Standard Wording for Inclusions in Course Outlines. For more information on what tools are officially supported by the university, refer to the IITS Teaching & Learning Service Catalogue or the CTL page Concordia Supported Technologies.

List of Student Services

 

Sharing a list of resources to assist students with both personal and academic issues will help students who might not have known where to go for support. You may copy and paste the university’s list directly from the Guide.

Class Schedule

 

A class schedule provides a list of the topics by week/class session. It is typically presented in a table format by week indicating the topic (and in-class activities, where appropriate), and required readings and assignments for each week. 

5. Proofread the document paying special attention to dates and assignment & exam information.

6. Post the syllabus on Moodle in a word-processing document (e.g. Microsoft Word or Google Docs) or an accessible PDF, and make it available to students before the course starts.
 

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