Online Course Syllabus Template

Instructions for Creating an Accessible Syllabus in MS Word (Windows) (Google Doc) - (web version) - (print version)

Instructions for Creating an Accessible Syllabus in MS Word (Mac) (Google Doc) - (web version) - (print version)

The following is a brief description of each section of the syllabus template including some with suggestions on what to put in that section. You can download the syllabus template here: Online Course Syllabus Template

Instructor Information

Include your name, preferred email address, and your online office hours. Include the format of your offices (Chat, Zoom, etc.)

Communication Statement

Also include your preferred email address here, along with your expected response time. For example:

  • Contact me using my WIU Gmail address: email@wiu.edu. I will generally respond to emails and voice messages within 24 hours except on weekends, in which case I will respond on Monday. In addition to the weekly office hours posted, I am willing to schedule one-on-one online meetings by request.

    Grades and feedback will be posted to the grades tool within 48 hours of the assignment’s due date.

Other items to include are the details of your online office hours or any other communication options you want to provide.

General Course Information

Include the course catalogue description, pre/co requisites (if any), course goals, and the course objectives. Below is an example of course goals and objectives:

Course Goals
The goal, as a result of taking this course, is to be able to apply best practices in teaching online to your own course or subject area resulting in (1) an online course syllabus that meets or exceeds WIU Online Course Standards and (2) a sample online instructional module.

Learning Objectives
Upon successful completion of this course learners will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast online instruction with classroom instruction.
  • Apply a learner-centered approach to teaching online.
  • Describe how distance in space and time impacts communications and learning.
  • Develop effective online communication strategies that encourage and develop student collaboration and an online learning community.
  • Compose course goals and objectives consistent with both curricular goals and the nature of teaching online.
  • Develop online course activities, assignments, and assessment measures based on the course goal and objectives.
  • Discuss issues, define barriers to success, and explore best practices in managing the "virtual classroom."
  • Define copyright and intellectual property issues as they apply to developing online course materials.
  • Develop an online learning module.

Required Material

In addition to required textbooks include information about any other requirements such as software, and etc. Below are sample statements that identify additional materials that students may need for your course. If there are no other required materials state that in this section.

Sample technology needs:

Software - You will need a word processor for this course capable of saving a document in MS Word Format. Because you are a Western Illinois University student, you automatically have free access to Google Docs and a Microsoft 365 account which will both meet this requirement. Learn more about these at the following websites.

  • Google Apps for Education at WIU: http://www.wiu.edu/googleapps/
  • Microsoft Office 365: http://www.wiu.edu/university_technology/office_365/
  • You will also need to create a free Zoom account - https://zoom.us

Hardware - Additionally, you will need to have a web camera and microphone for use in the live video conferencing portions of the course. Today, many computers come equipped with these. If yours does not, we recommend the following camera/microphone combo for this course. However, this model is not required as long as you have a functional webcam and microphone for participation.

  • Logitech C922 Pro Stream Webcam - https://www.bestbuy.com/site/logitech-c922-pro-stream-webcam/5579380.p?skuId=5579380&ref=212&loc=BM01&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsK-58oTA3AIVybbACh2hBwyXEAQYASABEgKmfvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Online Activities Participation Requirements

Here are several examples of participation requirements depending on the type of activities you are using in your course.

  • As a student in this online course you are expected to actively participate throughout the week in order to promote a meaningful and engaging learning experience. Weekly attendance (logging in) is recorded each time a student logs into their online course. It is mandatory that all students log into their online course a minimum of _______ times a week. The academic week for this online course is Monday at 12:00am CST through Sunday 11:59pm CST.
  • Weekly participation is mandatory. Participation demonstrates the completion of weekly assignments as defined by the faculty, based on course requirements and may include, but is not limited to:

    • Submitting an academic assignment.
    • Completing a quiz or exam.
    • Participating in a posted online academic discussion
    • Reading and responding to at least two peer assignment submissions
  • Participation is expected within the week of the scheduled assignments or it will not count towards that assignment grade. A student’s failure to maintain active participation in an online course may result in reduced grades.

Participation in Discussion Boards

In order to earn full credit for online threaded discussion, students must make substantive contributions to the online discussion as determined and outlined in the syllabus and make two responsive posts to others per discussion thread. You are encouraged to post on multiple days of the week, but are not required to do so to earn your participation points for this course. Examples of online participation include:

  • Follow-up to classmate’s initial discussion posts that integrate course theories with a practical application of the subject, perhaps offering a different personal observation or experience or referencing real-world examples, current events, or presenting further research you have conducted on the topic.
  • Interaction in classroom discussion that demonstrates deeper and broader thoughts about a topic, rather than just rephrasing what the textbook has presented.
  • Asking additional, relevant questions about the topic.
  • Communications are presented in a professional and supportive manner, and with respect.

More Examples of Participation Requirements

Online Discussions
Each week you will be required to participate in an online discussion. There will be 8 in all. Participation in this discussion area must be completed before 12:00 a.m. on Monday morning of the following week. For participation to count for grades it must be within this time period. Original posts and responses to peers must be thoughtful, constructive and well developed. A grading rubric will be provided as a guideline for constructing your posts and responses.

Group Projects
Students are required to participate in two group discussions hosted via Zoom during the course. All students must participate and work collaboratively with their peers. A peer evaluation rubric will be provided to outline expectations prior to the beginning of each project.

Absences
Absence due to illness, personal emergency or technical difficulties should be reported to the faculty member the same day that the absence occurs. If technical difficulties are the reasoning for an extended absence it is the student’s responsibility to find another source for Internet service, such as a Public Library, Internet Café, or a family member’s/friend’s computer. Failure to notify the faculty member will be considered a missed student deadline.

Additional Example:
Students are required to participate in 1 face-to-face orientation meeting on the Macomb Campus, 3 (one per week whole class checkpoint Zoom classes weeks 2 - 4), 4 (at least one per week group discussion/working virtual meeting via Zoom that is recorded and submitted during weeks 1-5), conduct 1 class session throughout weeks 5-8 on a given topic, and participate in 4 weeks worth of online discussion in which each student will post an initial response and review at least 2 peer responses per week.

The academic week for this course is Monday at 12:00am CST through Sunday 11:59pm CST.

Participation is expected within the week of the scheduled assignments or it will not count towards that assignment grade. A student’s failure to maintain active participation in the online portion of this course will result in a reduced grade.

Online Discussions
Participation in the discussion area must be completed before 12:00 a.m. on Monday morning of the following week. For participation to count for a grade it must be within this time period. Original posts and responses to peers must be thoughtful, constructive and well developed. A grading rubric will be provided as a guideline for constructing your posts and responses.

Group Projects
Students are required to participate in four group discussions hosted via Zoom during the course. All students must participate and work collaboratively with their peers. A peer evaluation rubric will be provided to outline expectations prior to the beginning of each Project.

Absences
Students are required to participate in two group discussions hosted via Zoom during the course. All students must participate and work collaboratively with their peers. A peer evaluation rubric will be provided to outline expectations prior to the beginning of each Project.

Policies and Expectations Related to Netiquette

  • Remain professional, respectful and courteous of others at all times.
  • Keep posts on-topic and professional. Use professional language and accurate terminology. Proofread your posts before submitting them. Avoid using slang and emoticons in your discussion posts.
  • Unless warranted by the topic, refrain from discussions of religion and politics.
  • If you become upset with a peer’s post, wait a day or two and cool down before providing a response to that post.
  • Do not post private comments on the discussion board.
  • Inappropriate and offensive posts will be removed.

Course Work

Provide detailed information for all activities such as discussions, assignment, quizzes, etc.

Course Schedule

Provide a detailed, week by week, schedule that includes due dates.

Graded Activities

Provide a breakdown of how activities will be graded.

Grading Scale

Provide your grading scale. For example:

  • 90% - 100% - A
  • 87% - 89% - A-
  • 84 - 86% - B+
  • 80% - 83% - B
  • 77% - 79% - B-
  • 74% - 76% - C+
  • 70% - 73% - C
  • 67% - 69% - C-
  • 64% - 66% - D+
  • 60% - 63% - D
  • 57% - 59% - D-
  • 56% or below - F

Student Participation and Netiquette

Include your expectation for students participation in the course as well as how to use proper netiquette. For example:

You will need to login to the course on a regular basis throughout the week.

Communication online is different than that of face to face classes. Try to use good "netiquette" when communicating with your classmates. Remember that your fellow students can't see your facial expression or gestures. All of these elements add to our face to face communication every day without us really noticing it. Please keep this in mind when you are commenting on others ideas, giving constructive criticism, or just interacting with the class in general. It is expected that everyone will treat others in this course with the same respect that they would wish to be treated!

Additional Info On Netiquette - The Core Rules of Netiquette - http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES (FOR ALL EXAMS):

A student has the following two options for attempting proctored exams:

Option 1 – Electronic Exams on the Macomb and QC Campus (Free to student)
Please recognize that while you can attempt the quizzes for grade online in a non-proctored environment the same does not hold true for exams. Examinations are offered at no cost to students in the testing facilities on the Macomb and the Quad City campuses. While you will see folders/icons relating to exams within the module structure, you will not be able to access these, as they are password protected and require a “Lock-Down-Browser.” The testing facility administrators on the Macomb and the Quad Cities will log you into the appropriate browser and get your examination process initiated. Prior to taking your examination, you will be asked to present a photo ID such as a driver’s license or state identification to your proctor. The requirements and procedures for examinations depend on where the examination will be proctored. See the appropriate requirements below:

  • For Exams Proctored at the Quad Cities Campus:
    Students living in the Quad Cities area may take examinations under the supervision of personnel at the WIU Quad Cities campus. Call to schedule a time for the examination. WIU Quad Cities requires a minimum of 48-hours advance notice before taking an examination.
    WIU Quad Cities
    3300 River Drive
    Moline, IL 61265
    (309)762-3999 – Extension: 64567
  • For Exams Proctored at the Macomb Campus:
    Students living near Macomb may take all examinations in the Distance Learning Office, Horrabin Hall 10, WIU. Call 309/298-2496 to schedule a time for the examination. A minimum of 48 hours advance notice is required before taking an examination.

NOTE: Please recognize that there are a limited number of testing stations available at both testing facilities and reservations in advance are highly recommended. Advance scheduling is also recommended, as there are peak testing times during the semester and not reserving a testing spot will prevent you from completing your tests in a timely manner.

Option 2 - Electronic Examination – Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor – (Cost to Student $10)
Students who do not live near the WIU campuses and wish to attempt the electronic versions of the exam may do so using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus monitor. They will also require a webcam that plugs in with a USB cable and allows you to provide a complete scan of the work environment prior to the beginning of the test. Please recognize, that the use of the lock-down browser and the accompanying webcam are intended to provide the proctored environment and you are responsible for all aspects of maintaining academic integrity. This convenience of untethering you from a proctored environment cannot compromise the academic integrity of the course.

Individuals who breach the academic integrity of the course will be assigned a failing grade for the COURSE. You are governed by the student code of conduct at WIU and details pertaining to the same are available at: WIU - Student Code of Conduct

Nuts and Bolts of setting up and using Respondus Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor
Watch this short video to get a basic understanding of LockDown Browser and the webcam feature. A student Quick Start Guide (PDF) is also available. Then download and install LockDown Browser from this link

To ensure LockDown Browser and the webcam are set up properly, do the following:

  • Start LockDown Browser, log into MKTG 327 – Summer 2017, and select this course.
  • Locate and select the Help Center button on the LockDown Browser toolbar.
  • Run the Webcam Check and, if necessary, resolve any issues.
  • Run the System & Network Check. If a problem is indicated, see if a solution is provided in the Knowledge Base. Troubleshooting information can also be emailed to our institution's help desk.
  • Exit the Help Center and locate the practice quiz named “Getting Started” in the documents folder of the course.  This will provide you with an opportunity to get familiar with the testing environment and the use of the technology associated with using Respondus Lock-down Browser and Respondus Monitor.
  • Upon completing and submitting the practice quiz, exit LockDown Browser.

When taking an online exam that requires LockDown Browser and a webcam, remember the following guidelines:

  • Ensure you're in a location where you won't be interrupted
  • Turn off all other devices (e.g. tablets, phones, second computers)
  • Clear your desk of all external materials not permitted — books, papers, other devices
  • You will be asked to authenticate your work environment and identity prior to the start of the Have a removable USB based webcam that will allow for a complete scan of your work environment that will confirm the integrity of the work space.
  • Please recognize that this is a closed book, individual effort, and any breach of academic integrity will result in an automatic failing grade for the COURSE.
  • Remain at your computer for the duration of the test
  • If the computer or networking environment is different than what was tested above, repeat the Webcam and System checks prior to starting the test

To produce a good webcam video, do the following:

  • Avoid wearing baseball caps or hats with brims
  • Ensure your computer or tablet is on a firm surface (a desk or table) — not on your lap, a bed, or other surface that might move
  • If using a built-in webcam, avoid tilting the screen after the webcam setup is complete
  • Take the exam in a well-lit room and avoid backlighting, such as sitting with your back to a window

Remember that LockDown Browser will prevent you from accessing other websites or applications; you will be unable to exit the test until all questions are completed and submitted.

Important Note on Examinations and Quizzes:
It is important for you to know that the questions associated with quizzes and exams for grade are attempted by each of you at a unique time period within the slotted time. For this reason, grade related materials are not placed in the public domain or returned to you after grading. Disseminating this information is a violation of the student code of conduct. While I will be unable to give you access to graded quizzes and exams you are more than welcome to discuss your exams, quizzes, assignments or your grade situation at any time by calling me, scheduling an office visit if you are on campus, and in a more limited sense via e-mail. At no time will grade related questions be returned to you.

Procedures:
Be sure to complete the required readings and quizzes before attempting an examination. If you are planning on taking your examination on the Macomb or QC campuses, please schedule the same well in advance. While you can always attempt any of the graded components ahead of the stated due dates, please do not write to me seeking extensions as they create a dual standard.

Required Information

The following section are required and already included in the template

  • Western Online Technical Requirements
  • Technical Requirements
  • Students Rights and Responsibilities
  • Academic Integrity
  • Accessibility Statement
  • Title XI