Teaching a subject you’re familiar with can provide value to individuals looking to solve a specific problem. If you’ve created an online course to facilitate this process, it’s essential to make a syllabus. Doing so will help students understand more about the course, such as the content, online learning environment, grading and student responsibilities.
The first step in creating a practical syllabus is making sure you can be contacted when a student has a question. Listing your name, contact information and preferred contact method will let students know who you are and how you can be reached.
The course information section of your syllabus design should include your course title and course description. Writing a thorough explanation defining the course’s purpose should help students understand more about what they can expect to learn by taking the class. Making it interactive may also be beneficial. A recent Adobe Education Exchange article said, “moving to a more interactive syllabus is a good step toward helping students stay on track and it’s something students will view regularly throughout the term.”
In this section of your syllabus design, you’ll want to add a title describing each of the modules you’ll be teaching. Including a list of objectives for each module will help clarify the topics to be learned. Adding information on required study materials and any online resources can help students understand what they’ll need to study in addition to going through each module.
Understanding how and where to access your course should be listed in this section of your syllabus. Including contact information for technical support can also be helpful. Providing a list of compatible devices may also be helpful to add here. This allows students to know if they’ll be able to take your course via their smartphone or a PC.
If a student is taking this course to get a certificate, grading may be involved. In this situation, adding an explanation of grading criteria and the components making up a final grade should be included. Providing instructions on the process used to submit assignments, attach documents or label emails should also be added. Defining the policies for late assignments and the criteria required for passing grades will clarify your expectations from students. Don’t be too soft, so students will keep motivated. But also don’t go too strict. or learning will turn into an unpleasant experience with a lot of “Someone please take my online class for me!” pleas and search queries.
It’s also important to refresh students about the material with a course outline and a schedule of the modules being taught. Depending on the class’s timeframe, this might include a day-by-day or week-by-week schedule, listing each class, the topics to be covered and any assignments, quizzes or activities, and when they will be due.
Listing general class policies and netiquette in the last section allows students to know how they are expected to conduct themselves when taking the class. Addressing incompletes or any special needs can also be included.
Organizing your course outline and helping students understand what they can expect from your online course should be more efficient to create when you use one or more of these sections when developing your syllabus.