CSU, Stanislaus

According to the Senate resolution 12/AS/82/EX, there are basic requirements that you must provide to your students.  You don't have to print  it on your syllabus, but you do have to give them the information.  Therefore,  you  might as well put in writing. The necessary information includes:

  1. Course goals, objectives and requirements
  2. The instructor's grading policy, including whether +/- grades will be assigned
  3. Attendance requirements
  4. Policy on due dates and make-up work
  5. Required texts and other materials
  6. Policy on assignments
  7. The availability of the instructor outside of class, including office hours, office telephone number and/or email address
  8. That in courses for which some or all of the above information is not appropriate, students be advised of the expectations for such courses, that any such information be made available to students no later than the end of the first week of classes; and that any changes in course requirements be communicated to students in an expedient and timely manner.

Frequently Asked Questions (These can all be answered by a syllabus that addresses the above 8 points)

Information that will contribute to a successful learning environment:

It is your responsibility to set up the environment for your class.  If cell phones interfere with your navigational equipment, then you need to let students know how you expect them to behave and what the penalties are for not following your guidelines.

 

Academic Integrity should also be covered

Here is an example from Cathlin Davis's College Writing course syllabus, "Plagiarism (passing off another’s work/words/ideas as your own) will not be tolerated, and will mean an immediate F on the assignment, and possibly in the course.  I expect that all work you submit will be your own.  Please read and become familiar with the ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY in your student handbook."

 

Links to others who have thought and written about syllabi.  

 

How to avoid a grade appeal

The majority of grade appeals result from problems with a course syllabus and most grade appeals involve new instructors.  All appeals take time and effort, so spend a little time thinking about your syllabus and you will not have to assemble a two inch pile of documentation later.  

While there is no legal basis for considering the syllabus as a contract, many students view it as an intractable contract between the student and instructor.  Often it is wise to state that your syllabus is not a contract, put this in writing on the bottom of the syllabus.  Check out K. Stone's statement at the end of  her Biochemistry syllabus.  You will also want to make a statement regarding this as you go over the syllabus in class.

Information for specific types of courses:

General Education courses

Learning goals for GE classes should be on the syllabus.  We need to explain to students the value of taking GE classes.  These courses expand their knowledge base to make them informed citizens and these courses increase their understanding of their world and their role in it. 

Writing Proficiency Courses

 

Examples of Syllabi

We need more syllabi for examples.  Please volunteer to share your work with others.  Send Koni Stone an Email message with the links to your syllabus or send a hard copy to Koni Stone in Chemistry.  

Brought to you by the Syllabus Project members* (Yvonne Leal, John Garcia, Cathlin Davis, Dan Bratten Bob Koehler and Koni Stone) and the FDC.  

*New members are welcome!  Send Koni Stone an Email message if you would like to join us.

You are all invited to our Syllabus Workshop August 31 from 8:30-12.  Please bring a copy of your syllabus to the workshop.

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Last updated by Koni Stone on 08/24/2008 .