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Syllabus Development

Are you new to teaching? Do you want to be sure to include all the university policies and procedures in your syllabus? You've come to the right place!

The course syllabus is an agreement between the instructor and his or her students to establish the rules of engagement for the course and what is required of students for them to receive credit for the course. Here are some things that are generally included in a university syllabus:

  • Course title and section number
  • Meeting day(s), time(s), and location
  • Course description
  • Course objectives
  • Instructor's name
  • Course fee(s) amount and specifically what those fees will cover
  • Textbook(s), resources, and/or materials that will be required to complete course assignments
  • Evaluation methods and criteria including:
    • Assignment overview,
    • Assignment grade weighting, and
    • Grading scheme
  • Attendance policy
  • Late work policy
  • University policies:
    • Academic freedom and professional responsibilities
    • Academic integrity
    • Sexual harassment/Equity
    • Withdrawal policy
    • Incomplete grade policy
    • Resources for students with disabilities
    • Diversity statement
    • Grievance process
    • Emergency procedures

The university policies can be found in the Student Code of Conduct and on the Provost's website.

Canvas Syllabus Resources

If you are creating your syllabus in Canvas, there are some resources available to make this task a little more manageable. To utilize these resources, navigate to the Syllabus link in your Canvas course.
  1. Click on the Edit button.
  2. Click on the spaceship icon in the top, right-hand corner to launch the USU Design Tools.
  3. Click the Create/Edit Syllabus Content drop-down menu.
  4. Click Add/Rearrange Syllabus Blocks, then click on the + Add Blocks button.
    1. A list of helpful sections/topics will appear. Click on the + button next to each topic you would like to include in your syllabus. As you add topics from the list, they will appear in the body of your syllabus. You can add/revise then content as you add different topics or wait until you have a full outline and go back and edit the text.
    2. If there is a topic you would like to include that isn't already in the list, click in the field at the top of the Add Blocks window, type in the desired topic title, then click on the + button to the right of the field.
  5. To add the grading scheme that you have set-up in the settings of your Canvas course, click on Canvas Grading Scheme and click the + Add Grade Scheme Block button. If you haven't set-up a grading scheme yet, there will be prompts to walk you through the process.
  6. To add the university policies, click on the Institutional Policies section drop-down. You may add specific policies by topic, or add the entire University Policies Block. In the event that the university policies change or additional resources are added, they will be updated the next time you edit your syllabus and launch the USU Design Tools.
  7. Be sure to click the Update Syllabus button when you are finished making changes.

Syllabus Tracker

To see samples from other courses, a list of available course syllabi can be found by going to