Guidelines for Writing Your Course Syllabus
During the first meetings of the class, instructors shall provide course information to each student on the Course Syllabus. This information should include but not be limited to: course SLOs and objectives, grading procedures and requirements, class assignments, instructor office hours, and schedule of events.
Title V requires that college-level courses be of sufficient scope and intensity to require students to study outside of class time. A minimum of three hours of work per week per unit of credit, including class time, is required. This is pro-rated for short-term and lab classes. In addition, the course must require students to engage in critical thinking. Furthermore, there must also be an essay, written component, or skills demonstration. Often the critical thinking component can be combined with the written component by having the student submit a written report as a critical thinking assignment.
- Course Name and Number
- Course Title
- Class Meeting and times
- Units of Credit
- Prerequisite/Advisory as listed in the College Catalog and official course outline from SOCRATES (you should verify each student's documentation; see the section of this Faculty/Staff Resource Guide called "Prerequisite Checking" for more detail)
- MaterialsNeeded -- required textbook(s); supplemental and optional materials
- Instructor Name
- Office Location
- Contact Information (office phone #; voice mail phone #; web page information, e-mail address)
- Office Hours
Student Learning Outcomes/Course Objectives
- Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)/Course Objectives -- list the SLOs from the course outline.These should remain the same as those listed on the official Course Outline in Socrates.
- Optional Objectives --In addition to the SLOs and objectives listed on the official course outline, what additional objectives (if any) do you have for your students?
- Nature of the Course -- Describe the scope of the course and the need for a student to study outside of class.Keep in mind that Title V requires that the course be of sufficient scope and intensity to require students to study a minimum of 3 hours per week for each unit of credit (including lecture and lab time).
- Critical Thinking -- A statement about this component of the course, including terms such as analyze, evaluate, synthesize, etc.(Title V requires critical thinking.Often the writing assignment and critical thinking requirements can be combined.)
- ReadingAssignment(s) -- In addition to the textbook, do you require supplemental reading?
- Writing Assignment(s) -- Describe your requirements; i.e., term paper, book review, lab reports, problem-solving exercises, etc.(Title V requires written work).
- Assignments Outside of Class Time -- Describe homework assignments; i.e., workbook, journal, group, computer assisted activities, web-based research, making sure that assignments are clear, so that students understand what is expected of them.
- Attendance -- A statement of your attendance policy is important.Note:See college/district policy in the Catalog or Class Schedule.
- Supplemental Items -- Does your class include tutorial services, lab availability, web page support?If so, tell your students how to access these services?
- What combination of quizzes, exams, writing and reading requirements determines a student's final grade?
- What effect if any, does attendance have on the student's final grade?
- Describe your grading policy.What scale will you use? If the final examination, alone, can result in passing or not passing, are there sufficient points assigned to it so that this part of your policy is not in conflict with your general scale?
- What is your policy regarding cheating?
- What constitutes proof of cheating?
- How will you apply your cheating policy? For example, does cheating result in a student's failure of a particular assignment or the entire course?
- What is your policy regardingmake-up examinations/assignments?
Methods of Instruction
- Describe your present course structure; i.e., lecture/discussion, group discussion, guest speakers, distance education (TV, interactive TV, asynchronous web based, synchronous web, combinations of multiple modes of distance education).
- Distance Education:Under Title V, the use of distance education must be approved by the college Curriculum Committee.
Schedule of Events
- List is chronological order the dates for reading assignments, tests, term papers, etc.
- Include the date of the final examination.
- Use of Cell Phones -- If you plan to enforce a "turn cell phones off during class policy", it is helpful to include a statement of such on your syllabus.
- Other Expectations -- Other policies you plan to enforce should be stated.