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Elements of an Online Syllabus
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  1. Elements of an Online Syllabus Contact: Melody Buckner Instructional Designer

  2. Define the purpose of a syllabus • Explain difference between an on-campus syllabus and online line syllabus • Identify critical components of an effective online syllabus • Convert a traditional syllabus into an effective online syllabus • Identify some “best practices” to use in the design of an online syllabus Objectives of this presentation

  3. The basic elements and guidelines for the course • Outline the expectations of the faculty and the students • Foundation for measuring the learning experience in the course • A contract or agreement between the faculty and the student The Purpose of a Syllabus

  4. On-campus syllabus • abbreviated because there is verbal explanation. • can be clarified in class. • the faculty sets the tone in person • Online syllabus • requires no verbal explanation. • must stand alone and serve as a guide for the student. • the syllabus set the tone electronically On Campus vs. Online

  5. Course Description • Goals and Objectives • Required Texts • Grading Policies • Academic Policies • Contract between faculty and student Similarities of On-Campus/Online Syllabus

  6. Outline time commitment • Explain instructor availability • Describe the pace of the course • Due dates must account for time zones • Explain how to submit assignments Difference of On-Campus/ Online Syllabus

  7. Links can be placed into syllabus for more explanation • Navigation of course management system • Define the responsibilities and expectations of student and faculty • Role of faculty is: facilitator, evaluator, etc. • Role of student is: active learner, peer reviewer, facilitator, etc. More Difference of Online Campus/ Online Syllabus

  8. Welcome • Faculty information • Course description • Course goals/objectives • Required text/ materials • Course requirements • Student expectations • Student evaluations • Technical support • Technical requirements • Calendar of events Features of an online syllabus

  9. E-mail students the week before class begins • Describe the map or flow of the online course • Emphasize the importance of reading the syllabus • State that the syllabus is a contract • Conduct a quiz over the syllabus • Post a discussion area for questions about the syllabus The Welcome

  10. Photo • Contact information • E-mail address • Phone number (office, cell, Skype) • Office hours • Both synchronous and asynchronous • State how often you will be checking in on the course • Biography information • Professional • Personal (if desired) Faculty Information

  11. Catalog description • Course goals or objectives • What am I going to learn • Why is this important to me • Outline course expectations • What the course is not… • Self-pace • Independent Study • Easier or less time than a face-to-face course • Any other specific course information • Pre-requisites Course Description

  12. Supply the ISBN with title and edition of any text • Recommend where to purchase • Give links, if possible • Supply information about accessing published material on the library database • List any Internet resources with links Require Text and Materials

  13. Describe all activities required of the students during the course including: • Readings • Assignments • Projects • Research • Group work • Assessments • Etc. • State again the objective/goal/reason behind the requirements • State the flow of the course • Weekly or by unit or self pace Course Requirements

  14. Define participation • Is it part of the grade? • Responsibilities • As an individual • As a group member • Time commitment • Due dates • time zones • Discussions (asynchronous/synchronous) • Rubrics help define expectations • Describe the pace and flow of the course • Policy on plagiarism, academic integrity, and ADA compliance Student Expectation

  15. Explain grade criteria • List the components of the total course grading system • Describe the grading percentages, points or scale • Explain the criteria for passing the course or obtaining the various levels of grades • Explain late policies • Describe objective and subjective assessment • Supply students with a Rubric! Student Evaluation

  16. Objective assessment is when there is only one answer. Examples include: • Multiple Choice • True/False questions • Matching • Subjective assessment is when there may be more than one way to answer. Examples include: • Extended response • Essay • Project based • Peer reviews • Reflections or self-review • Good idea – Supply students with a Rubric! Objective vs. Subjective

  17. Example of a Standard Grading Rubric

  18. Example of a Peer Review Rubric

  19. List the University technical support • 24/7 phone number • If available supply the course management system’s (CMS) technical support website or helpline • Contact information for any other resources Technical Support

  20. Include hardware and software requirements • List any software or plug-ins requires and where to obtain them • List required auxiliary devices • Head sets • Web cam • Microphones Technical Requirements

  21. Visual representation of: • Assignment due dates • Assessments • Discussion posts • Group work • Availability of faculty (or unavailability) • This can be done in several forms: • Calendar • List or Table • Spreadsheet • Timeline Calendar of Events

  22. Example of Calendar of Events

  23. Example of Calendar of Events

  24. Objectives in each module • Create the first assignment to orientate the student to the online environment • Explain how the online environment is different from the on campus environment • Student centered (the learner must be proactive) • High level of learning involving: • Critical thinking skills • Reflective assignments (writing skills) • Cumulative assignments (organization skills) Best Practices in an Online course

  25. Maryland Online Training of Faculty New to teaching online:http://www.mdfaconline.org/index.html Additional Resources