This article provides examples, ideas, and resources for creating a syllabus that is inclusive and accessible to students.
The syllabus template aims to share information and evidence-based practices that help you establish a welcoming, supportive, student-centered syllabus. The underlying purpose of syllabi is to introduce students to the instructor and course purpose, policies, and procedures, and inform false assumptions and misconceptions about online courses (Appleby, Drew, 1994; Ko, Susan, et al, 2010). Also, in general, when students perceive their instructor as approachable, they tend to be more motivated, engaged, and actively involved in their learning (Thompson, 2001; Woodside, Wong, & Weist, 1999).
With that in mind, please review the best practices provided below for creating a welcoming, engaging, and informative syllabus.
Editing the Template
While editing your syllabus, be mindful of the following:
Edit your syllabus to meet the requirements of your School, Department, and/or Program. Suggested text and required text are designated as such.
This syllabus template has many sections-- you don’t need to include all of them
Place sections in an order that makes sense for your course
You can use the sample language as-is or revise it to be consistent with your voice
Students respond best to language that is authentic, warm, welcoming, and encouraging
Avoid punitive language or alarmist text styles (such as bold, red, and underlined styles)
Formatting and images
Keep in mind that this is your syllabus, so feel free to change the layout, fonts, etc. to your liking
Read each line carefully and be sure to fill in the blanks, remove the annotations and instructions