Constructing a syllabus is an important component of the course design process. The following materials reflect a research-supported framework to help create a pathway to success in your course. Each semester, Innovative Learning reviews the syllabus framework, identifying needed updates and resources.
The Word files linked below outline Required and Recommended components for your syllabus. Many of these components are already in your Brightspace shell. They just need updates specific to your course. The files below include language that comes directly from University policies or is suggested by the University Senate or specific units. Other trial language reflects an autonomy-supportive classroom that can influence student perception and performance (Young-Jones, Levesque, Fursa & McCain 2019). Italicized text indicates notes to instructors. Plain text provides examples of language.
Tips for creating your syllabus:
Once your syllabus is complete, please also upload it to Purdue’s Course Insights syllabus archiving system. For questions related to the syllabus framework, email email@example.com.
Note: The Purdue syllabus guidelines are influenced by Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation (IMPACT) and the resources available through Purdue’s Brightspace learning management system (LMS). It also addresses criteria of the valid and reliable syllabus rubric published by the University of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence (Palmer, Bach & Streifer 2017). Components fall under five categories: 1) Essential course information, instructor contact information, and course description, 2) Specific, student-centered learning outcomes and objectives that are clear, articulated and measurable (Bristol et al 2019), 3) Assessment strategies for all graded assignments that make explicit connections between learning outcomes, activities, and content, 4) Pedagogical approaches and activities that help students achieve the course outcomes and objectives, and 5) Policies and approaches that foster engaging, student-centered learning environments.
Adena Young-Jones, Chantal Levesque, Sophie Fursa & Jason McCain (2019): Autonomy-supportive language in the syllabus: supporting students from the first day. Teaching in Higher Education. DOI: 10.1080/13562517.2019.1661375.
Levesque-Bristol, C., Flierl, M., Zywicki, C., Parker, L.C., Connor, C., Guberman, D., Nelson, D., Maybee, C., Bonem, E., FitzSimmons, J., & Lott, E. (2019). Creating Student-Centered Learning Environments and Changing Teaching Culture: Purdue University’s IMPACT Program. National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).
Palmer, M. S., Bach, D. J., & Streifer, A. C. (2014). Measuring the promise: A learning‐focused syllabus rubric. To Strengthen the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development, 33 (1), 14-36.
Research indicates that syllabi can increase student motivation and create equitable learning environments through transparency about key expectations for student learning and engagement. Consistent with the University’s Course Syllabus Policy, all courses at Saint Louis University are expected to have a syllabus, and all syllabi are expected to provide students with basic information about key aspects of the course.
Below are the required syllabus components for all SLU courses, as well as recommended syllabus components and other considerations that can enhance syllabi. Click the down arrows next to each header to expand the text and learn more.
Please note: Academic units and programs (like the University Core) may require you to include additional information in your syllabus. Please check with program leaders if you need information about additional, program-specific syllabus content you should include.
The University's Course Syllabus Policy aims to ensure that all students have access to consistent information about their courses and about University-level policies. The policy identifies nine components that must be a part of every course syllabus. These nine components constitute a minimum; academic units may require additional components, and instructors may choose to include other information. The policy specifies the information that must be included in every course syllabus, but it does not dictate a particular format or order for how this information is presented in a syllabus. Academic units may require additional components to be included in course syllabi, and individual instructors certainly will want to add other course-specific information, as well. Required syllabus statements are available as a module in the Canvas Commons, for those who wish to import the statements directly into their Canvas courses. Click here for a printer-friendly version.
a. Course number/section
b. Course meeting time(s) [if applicable]
c. Location [if applicable]
d. Pre-requisites/Co-requisites [if applicable]
e. Catalog Course Description
a. Instructor name (including TA and peer instructors, if applicable)
b. Where, when, and how to contact the instructor
a. List course learning outcomes, objectives, and/or competencies
a. Textbooks and/or course texts
b. Other materials and/or equipment (e.g., calculators, art supplies, lab safety equipment, medical equipment, hardware requirements, software access, virtual proctoring requirements, digital storage devices, special clothing, musical instruments, etc.)
a. List of components on which students will be evaluated (e.g., exams, projects, essays, participation, presentations, etc.)
b. Grading scale(s) governing the course
c. Policy on late or missing work/exams
d. Penalties on missed classes and/or tardiness [if applicable]
e. Catalog Course Description
Insert and/or link to the required Disability Accommodations Syllabus Statement
Note: Due to accreditation requirements, regulatory differences, and/or location-specific resources, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, and SLU Madrid have their own standard language for syllabus statements related to disability accommodations. Faculty in those units should seek guidance for syllabus requirements from their dean's office.
Insert and/or link to the required Title IX Syllabus Statement
Note: Due to accreditation requirements, regulatory differences, and/or location-specific resources, the School of Law, the School of Medicine, and SLU Madrid have their own standard language for syllabus statements related to Title IX. Faculty in those units should seek guidance for syllabus requirements from their dean's office.
In addition to the nine required components listed above, many instructors also find it useful to include information about or guidance on a range of other topics. The following list is drawn from common practices at SLU, as well as from the literature on effective syllabus construction and on creating inclusive courses that support student learning and success. This list is by no means exhaustive or in order of priority. Note: For some academic units, items on this list also may be required. Click here for a printer-friendly version.
Below are additional suggestions drawn from the literature on effective syllabus construction and adopted by some SLU instructors. The Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning can assist instructors who wish to learn more about items on this list. The Reinert Center website also may provide additional information about these considerations. Click here for a printer-friendly version.
A graphic/visual representation of the major components of a course can help students connect to the larger purpose of a course and/or to better understand the relationships among the components of the course. Learn more about the content of a graphic syllabus here.
Sharing a brief description of your philosophy of teaching can provide students a way of understanding what they will experience in your course and why.
Explaining what constitutes successful "engagement" or "participation" in your course helps to make those expectations explicit and visible for all learners. This can be especially helpful for first-generation and international students, as well as others whose backgrounds may not have prepared them well to understand the "hidden rules" of successful academic engagement.
Consider sharing tips for how to be successful in the course. For example, you might provide guidance on effective study strategies for your particular content area or tips for how to read course content effectively. Generic study or reading strategies may not work for your particular discipline or the kinds of concepts or texts you teach. Being transparent about what successful students do in your course or your discipline can help students meet your high expectations.
The Syllabus area of the myCourses course template is organized into the following sections:
Much of the information needed for the Course Information and Expectations section—particularly the all-important learning outcomes and assessment methods—should be taken directly from the official Course Outline Form for your assigned course(s). Your department chair or program head can provide you with the form(s) and guidance on what is and is not modifiable in the transition to a course syllabus. If you are designing a new course, however, you will need to successfully complete the RIT course proposal process.
Before completing the Course Policies section, we encourage you to first consult our companion webpage, RIT Policies for Your Syllabus. The External Resources section (below) provides helpful information, advice, and examples for developing the remaining sections of your syllabus.
Regardless of where you are in the syllabus-design process, you can always request one-on-one consultations with a CTL staff member.
Cardinal Health’s senior vice president of global logistics, said of their implementation of the Kinaxis’ supply chain planning (SCP) solution, “I was scared! I put my name on the line.” He added, “we needed results in the first year.” Pete Bennett, and his co-presenter, Mary Byrne, the vice president of supply and demand planning, spoke during a presentation at Kinaxis’ user conference Kinexions. They had every right to be worried. A previous supply planning implementation, of an SCP system from a different supplier, had not gone well.
When it comes to supply chain planning, the right technology solution can make a big impact on a business’ agility and resilience. Cardinal Health, a global manufacturer and distributor of medical, surgical and laboratory products, is focused on continuous improvement of service. Global logistics leaders wanted to Strengthen service levels, lower costs, and fortify Cardinal Health’s supply chain planning process. The company made a bold decision to implement the Kinaxis Rapid Response advanced supply chain planning (SCP) solution with its AI-based technology platform. While change is always risky, leaders were confident that this decision would propel the business forward.
Cardinal Health’s medical segment manufactures, sources and distributes Cardinal Health branded medical, surgical and laboratory products. This segment also distributes a broad range of non-Cardinal branded products and provides supply chain services to hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers in North America. The medical segment’s supply chain consists of 61 North American distribution centers and 27 global manufacturing plants. 94% of US and Canadian healthcare systems use Cardinal Health in one capacity or another.
The previous SCP implementation had not gone well. It was an IT-led implementation where a planning model was developed, the solution implemented, and then planners - who had not been sufficiently prepared and trained - were expected to use a system significantly different from the legacy systems they were familiar with.
Implementing supply planning solutions is hard. As with any major technology change, it can be challenging to balance business requirements and IT schedules all while protecting the customer experience. Ideally, you wouldn’t want your customer to even know that you implemented a system change. Indicators of success are critical.
If you are implementing a warehouse management system, for example, you scan something, you put it away, you store items, you replenish, you build pallets. The system either works or it doesn't. A consultant knows immediately if things are not working, and the solution can be quickly fixed. However, when implementing an advanced supply planning solution, the signals are not always immediately clear. Many companies have negative impacts on customer service levels during the first five months of implementing an advanced supply planning solution, Mr. Bennett explained. The team at Cardinal Health was determined that this would not be the case for their customers. They had set a goal of zero disruptions to customers for the entire implementation. This was a bold and risky move.
With planning systems, there is a delay between cause and effect. Companies typically expect that inventory levels will drop and service levels Strengthen at the end of the first month. If they don’t, there is deemed to be something wrong with the planning system. Company leadership, planners and customers begin to doubt the system. Teams will then revert back to their former tools, often times using Excel.
Based on hard won learnings, Mr. Bennett and Ms. Byrne put together an almost perfect implementation. This was accomplished despite a difficult IT environment - the company had 28 different systems that needed to be integrated into their planning system.
The key success factors were:
A Dedicated project Team for both IT and Business – One of the most unique elements of the Cardinal Health team’s approach was in setting up a dedicated implementation team with peer-to-peer matched roles from IT and from the business. This was one of the toughest decisions they made as a leadership team. As Mr. Bennett explained, “I literally pulled my top talent out of the day-to-day planning team and my IT business partner did the same. We knew we wouldn’t be successful unless this was their only focus.” This is the penultimate example of leadership commitment. It is incredibly rare. But Ms. Byrne and Mr. Bennett saw it as fundamental to the success of the project.
Count them! Two Centers of Excellence - A center of excellence (CoE) is a team that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and training in a focus area. Cardinal Health developed two COEs. They already had a Supply Planning COE. This is not uncommon among multinationals who have implemented SCP. This COE was tasked with improving sales & operations planning (S&OP) maturity and supporting other strategic business process initiatives and best practices.
The leadership team added a second COE to lead the implementation, design and deliver training, act as the “Genius Bar” for Kinaxis technology questions, and generate future strategy for technology success with the new platform. This was unique. Mr. Bennett and Ms. Byrne listed this as the second-most fundamental success factor.
Efficient Hypercare Transition – Hypercare support did not occur all at once. Hypercare in most IT projects is the period of time immediately following a system Go Live where an elevated level of support is available. For a considerable period in what the Cardinal Health team called a “double launch”, planners used both their legacy planning system and the new Rapid Response planning application. It was not until all planners were comfortable with the output from the system that planners exited the legacy systems (Cardinal Health had no less than five different systems across multiple teams and business) and switched solely to the Kinaxis RapidResponse application.
Planner Metrics – They implemented adoption metrics on how often planners were using the planning application or if they were experiencing any pain points in the system. If a planner stopped using the application, or used it less, that was apparent to supply chain executives and could be addressed and solved.
Intensive Training – Training started a full year before the go live. There was both in-person and on-line training, all complemented by continued virtual training sessions and frequent skills assessments. They did not assume that just because planners had received training, they were comfortable with the system. Senior planners would identify planners that seemed to be struggling with the new system. If necessary, a trainer would fly to the site and provide one-on-one training.
The implementation team also surveyed planners’ level of confidence throughout the training. It was not until 96% of the planners said they were comfortable with the system that they went live.
It was important to have quick wins. The company got them. Within two months of implementation, the service level had improved several percentage points. Inventory decreased almost exactly as RapidResponse predicted it would. The planning team was able to optimize inventory movement across the network.
The results differed by division. But over time, service levels improved by up to 10% while inventory was reduced by over 20%. The backlog was reduced to less than 17% of revenues. And all of those occurred while the customer experience was protected during the transition.
Taking risks can result in success for both a company’s operations and their customers. And certainly Mr. Bennett and Ms. Byrne took a risk when they admitted they had learned how to execute an almost perfect implementation based on hard-won experience. I applaud them for their honesty. People in the audience really sat up and listened to what they had to say.
The Rutgers Executive MBA program abides by a philosophy called the "Cycle of One," and it's embedded into your learning experiences here. More than acquiring necessary business and management knowledge, we are committed to growing you as leaders so that you can apply what you've learned in the classroom to the decisions you make in the boardroom.
Managers often begin their careers as lonely interns and then power through their mid-career by mostly working in teams. But at the end, when they make it to the corner office at the C-level, they often have to make hard decisions alone—it is indeed “lonely at the top.” This progression—the lonely intern, then the team player and then finally the CEO making difficult and poignant decisions alone—is our “Cycle of One.”
Rutgers Executive MBAs are trained to think on their feet—to think fast and to be bold enough to make rapid-fire decisions alone, if and when they have to.
To foster this, throughout the program, students participate in short Cycle of One exercises where an urgent situation demanding a quick decision, is presented to the participants. Many of these situations are embedded in Historical context; there is a huge emphasis on Leadership in History in this program. You play the part of the CEO, and are given moments to quickly respond. There is no team discussion, no coach, no mentor, no internet—this critical decision must be yours and yours alone, and must be made expeditiously.
Welcome to the Cycle of One.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Teaching (PhD) is a residential degree program that develops graduates with the intellectual and moral background necessary to provide high-quality, long-term leadership at the university level in the field of curriculum and teaching. Students learn to conduct research, prepare teachers, educate other professionals, and perform all duties necessary to thrive as university faculty members.
The degree requires 70 hours of coursework — including 58 hours of coursework in curriculum and instruction, plus a 12-hour cognate specialization — and successful defense of a dissertation.
Due to the time commitment, it is recommended that PhD students attend full-time, but the program may be completed on a part-time basis. Full-time students typically complete the program in four years, while completion for part-time students varies.
Most courses can be taken in the evening and the summer, so that professional teachers can continue working full time.
Students in the PhD program have opportunities to
For more information:
Dr. Kevin Magill
One Bear Place #97314, Waco, TX, 76798
Many of the decisions affecting the success of a course take place well before the first day of class. Careful planning at the syllabus design stage not only makes teaching easier and more enjoyable, it also facilitates student learning. Once your syllabus is complete, teaching involves implementing your course design on a day-to-day level.
Follow a few basic steps to help ensure your syllabus is more accessible by individuals with disabilities:
Syllabi communicate the design of the course, its goals, organization, expectations, and requirements to students. Key components of the syllabus are listed and explained below.
Course number, title, term, year, meeting times, and location. You may want to include a course description, whether from the General Bulletin or a more developed version of your own. provide a brief explanation of how the course fits into the larger curriculum: Is this course for majors? Does it meet Global Miami Plan requirements (and which one[s])? Is it part of a Thematic Sequence?
Specify any prerequisites or co-requisites.
Clarify the relevance, purpose, and scope of the course.
Faculty are advised to include this information on the syllabus:
Course materials provided to you, including presentations, tests, outlines, and similar materials, are copyright protected by the faculty member(s) teaching this course. You may make copies of course materials solely for your own use. You may not copy, reproduce, or electronically transmit any course materials to any person or company for commercial or other purposes without the faculty member’s express permission. Violation of this prohibition may subject the student to discipline/suspension/dismissal under Miami’s Code of Student Conduct or Academic Integrity Policy.
State your plans for communication and interaction with students. To help your devise your communication plan, access this resource curated and adapted by the CTE.
Books, course packets, calculators, art supplies, etc. Let students know what materials are required and where they can purchase or access them.
Please note: Books purchased via iTunes are not refundable.
Course outcomes should be tied to the SLOs of the major or degree program and, if applicable, those of Liberal Education. If you know that assignments for your course may be used for program assessment, please notify students that their work may be used for this purpose. The following language is suggested:
In addition to being evaluated by your course instructor, this academic work may be:
Any work that can be connected with you will not be shared with a public audience nor will it be used for other purposes, such as published research, without your explicit written consent.
Assessment data are used by the university to determine how effective we are at cultivating successful students and achieving learning goals, not to evaluate your work as an individual student.
If you have expectations for how the students will conduct themselves in class, articulate them in the syllabus. This is the place to include information about your expectations for attendance, tardiness, personal use of technology, safety procedures in laboratories, class participation as well as return of student work, make-up examinations, and late work.
You may also wish to explain your expectations relating to an inclusive classroom by referring to the Code of Love and Honor.
Instructors are obliged to follow the class attendance policy in the Student Handbook (MUPIM 5.2).
Provide guidance to students about what they should do in class rather than what they should not do.
When possible, provide a reason related to the learning environment. Examples:
Clarify your expectations regarding attendance, along with citing Miami’s class attendance policy (Student Handbook 1.9). Be sure to provide short assignments during the first few weeks of the course to ensure that students are actively participating in the course and also enable you to provide meaningful midterm grades to your first and second-year students. Make sure that you use the photo roster to indicate students who have not attended or actively participated in the course.
Include a note in the syllabus informing students that they need to notify you within the first two weeks of class for a full-semester (full-term) course or in the first week of class for a sprint or part-term course if they will be unable to attend class due to a religious holiday. The following is an example of language that can be used:
Miami University recognizes that students may have religious observances that conflict with class sessions. Students need to provide written notification of class session(s) that will be missed due to these observances. Notification must be within the first two weeks of class (two weeks for full semester classes, one week for sprint/partial term classes). Please see the University Class Attendance policy website for the detailed policy and the current list of major religious holidays and celebrations. Additional information may be found on the Student Life website.
For additional support, refer to Instructor Considerations for Attendance and Participation: Guidelines to Support and Increase Student Learning from the CTE.
The following language is taken from the website of the Office of Academic Integrity:
As a scholarly community, we must be clear about expectations for academic integrity in the classes we teach. Based on research of best practices for syllabi language, Miami recommends inclusion of the following in a syllabus:
The Office of Disability Resources suggests that faculty include a statement like this on their syllabus:
If you are a student with a physical, learning, medical, and/or psychiatric disability and feel that you may need a reasonable accommodation to fulfill the essential functions of the course that are listed in this syllabus, you are encouraged to contact the Miller Center for Student Disability Services at 529-1541 (V/TTY), located in the Shriver Center, Room 304.
To help students to receive mental health support, faculty may wish to include a statement such as:
If you are a student who may be experiencing mental or emotional distress, you are encouraged to call Student Counseling Service (513-529-4634). For emergencies outside of business hours, the Community and Counseling and Crisis Center (844-427-4747) has a 24-hour hotline.
Look up the academic calendar on the Office of the University Registrar’s website so that you are aware of when your class will be meeting. The University Registrar assigns final test dates. You should find the final test schedule on the Office of the University Registrar’s website and include the date and time of your final test on your syllabus.
Identify the key topics, assignments, and exams. provide as much information as you have about the work the students will be doing. You may want to tie the listing of the course activities back to the student learning outcomes for the course. You may want to include rubrics for major assignments here, or you may want to note here that more detailed information about assignments will come later.
You may wish to note that any of the course activities listed in the syllabus may be subject to change under certain circumstances, such as to enhance student learning.
Provide a list of readings (with full information) and where students might be able to acquire or access them.
Include a list of assignments, and specify which are graded and how they will be evaluated. Consult the Comprehensive Course Assessment Review and Improvement Tool or CCARIT developed by the CTE and HWCE to help you consider, analyze, and Strengthen the features of assessment practices and materials in your course.
Build in opportunities for formative feedback, and scaffold assignments carefully. Be clear about how you will calculate the final grade. Is there a set number of points for the semester, or are you using weighted grades? Be sure that what students are graded on, and therefore their course grades, will be tied to the course learning outcomes, activities, assignments, and assessments.
Include a list of resources (including locations and hours) for academic support that can help students to succeed in the course, such as the Rinella Learning Center and Howe Center for Writing Excellence.
Oversees curricular implementation, including: approval of all new and revised courses, revisions to individual majors/minors, implementation and evaluation of distribution requirements. Oversees Off-Campus Study curricular issues. Evaluates and approves self-designed majors (with advice on petitions from the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs). Oversees the execution of policies re: grading, honors, transfer of credit and progress towards degree (in consultation with CEP as necessary). Sends a faculty representative to meetings of the Calendar Committee. Subcommittees may be formed as needed. This committee will meet at least once per semester with CEP. During discussions involving personnel matters, the committee may exclude student members.
The CIC's charge is included in the the Faculty Handbook. See section VI.D., pp. 66-7 and note that page numbers may shift in future editions of the handbook.
CIC Procedures and Principles (PDF)
The idea behind the disproportionate response to this one passage seems to have been that any statement that recalls the way slavery was presented to America’s children until the 1960s — as a benevolent institution whose dissolution subjected the South to unfair punishment — must be decried as a menace that threatens a return to old assumptions. This exemplifies a snag in argumentation that I observe frequently. Too often the idea of the slippery slope is presented as a given, rather than as an assertion requiring evidence. The idea that this one sentence in an otherwise rather ordinary document must be treated as so fearsome implies that we teeter always upon the possibility that students will be taught a vision of slavery out of “Gone With the Wind.”
But I’m not sure I see real evidence of that, or anything close to it. I certainly do not detect maximal nationwide enlightenment about slavery. But I do perceive that America has become infinitely more informed about slavery than it was 50 years ago. Signature works such as “Roots” (the 1977 original of which was remade seven years ago), “Amistad,” “12 Years a Slave” and others have imprinted the horrors of slavery on the public consciousness in a way that was all but unknown in popular culture before the 1970s. There now exists a massive literature about slavery, both popular and academic, written by both white and Black authors, with key works amply covered in the national press. The widespread adoption of the term “enslaved person” rather than “slave” is testimony itself to the degree to which awareness has changed.
Given that the Florida curriculum proposal overall takes its cue from exactly this seismic change in awareness over its hundreds of directives in more than 200 pages of social studies curriculum, whence the idea that a single sentence threatens to return us to the racist ignorance of the past? To propose such an idea is, in its way, to dismiss the work so many have done to change minds. It also subverts constructive engagement for the theater of politics.
There are, to be sure, other things in the curriculum that also need fixing. It refers to “acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans but … not limited to 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, 1919 Washington, D.C., Race Riot, 1920 Ocoee Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the 1923 Rosewood Massacre.” The “by” here has justifiably attracted attention, in implying that brutal riots such as those on the list occurred in part because of violence from Black people themselves. That is so nonsensical an idea that I assume the work group is referring to later riots in which Black people committed acts of violence in protest against acts by white vigilantes and/or policemen. And as such, the passage should be fixed. The group was given only a few months to compile the curriculum, and errors like that happen in haste.
But in general, if I had been handed this curriculum before the outcry, my impression would have been that it was going to offend the anti-woke crusaders of the right, not critics on the left. It is such a standard-issue coverage of what slavery was that it is, again, almost surprising that Ron DeSantis would want it to go out under his name. I would have processed that single “benefit” sentence as a tip of the hat to an idea, hardly uncommon among Black people thinking about our history, that even slaves exercised a degree of agency and human strength amid the horror of the condition imposed upon them.