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What’s in a syllabus?

Your course syllabus can be organized and formatted however you wish.  Some guidelines endorsed by the QC Academic Senate (back in 2009) are provided here, by the Office of the Provost.

Course information

A well-designed syllabus should include the following elements. Please see the rubric at https://t.ly/ioZO

Course information
Course title, department and number, number of credits and number of hours
Catalog description Pre-requisites
Pre-requisites for the course and requirements (e.g., Pathways) the course fulfills (if you are unsure about these, ask your chair or look up the course in the College bulletin..
Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes for the course and how these outcomes map onto assignments or activities.
Required and recommended texts and materials
Include information on how to acquire or access these. Include in this section information about what online resources students will need to access, and with what frequency; provide information about how to access these resources (where to get an account, where to login).
Schedule
A tentative schedule, or at least information on assignment due dates and in-class exam dates. Make it very clear when your class meets in person and what is expected of students for sessions during which you will not meet. Include a statement that the schedule is subject to change and that the instructor will notify students in writing of any changes.
Mode of instruction
The CUNY-wide definitions of mode of instruction are below. For more details, visit https://cetllqc.commons.gc.cuny.edu/mode-of-instruction.

  • In-Person: All required class meetings occur on campus, during scheduled class meeting times. Material that is provided online, via a learning management system or website, does not displace any of the required contact hours that would normally occur in a scheduled In-Person class.
  • Hybrid (blended): Online contact hours displaces some portion of the required contact hours that would normally take place in a scheduled in-person (face-to-face) class.
  • Fully online: All required contact hours are online. All the classwork, examinations, quizzes, writing assignments, lab work, etc. are fully online.
    Assessment
    Include a description of how student grades will be determined, including all components that contribute to the final grade and their relative weight.
    Pathways
    If your course meets the Pathways requirements, include a statement to that effect and list the discipline-specific learning outcomes.

    Course Policies

    Sample text is provided for the elements below. If you will be using both an electronic and a paper syllabus, remember to spell out the URLs in parentheses.

    Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
    Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should register with and provide documentation to the Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities, Frese Hall, Room 111. They will provide a letter for you to bring to your instructor indicating the need for accommodation and the nature of it. This should be done during the first week of class. For more information about services available to Queens College students, contact the Office of Special Services for Students with Disabilities (718-997-5870) or visit their website: https://www.qc.cuny.edu/sp/
    CUNY Policy on Academic Integrity
    Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion as provided at Academic Integrity Policy.
    Netiquette
    Please maintain a professional demeanor when posting online. You can be respectful even when you have a difference of opinion. Treat others as you’d want to be treated yourself. Don’t type in all caps, as that is the online equivalent of shouting. If you need to emphasize a word or phrase, use italics.
    Statement on Student Wellness
    As a student, you may experience a range of challenges that can interfere with learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, substance use, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may diminish your academic performance and/or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. QC services are available free of charge. You can learn more about confidential mental health services available on campus at: Counseling Services Department
    Use of Student Work
    All programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies. For these purposes, samples of student work are occasionally made available to those professionals conducting the review. Anonymity is assured under these circumstances. If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
    Course Evaluations
    During the final four weeks of the semester, you will be asked to complete an evaluation for this course by filling out an online questionnaire. Please remember to participate in these course evaluations. Your comments are highly valued, and these evaluations are an important service to fellow students and to the institution since your responses will be pooled with those of other students and made available online, on the Course Evaluations page. Please also note that all responses are completely anonymous; no identifying information is retained once the evaluation has been submitted.
    Tutoring or other support services
    If your students need tutoring, direct them to the Academic Support Center
    Technical Support
    The Queens College Helpdesk, (718) 997-4444, support@qc.cuny.edu) is located in the I-Building, Room 151 and provides technical support for students who need help with Queens College email, CUNY portal, Blackboard, and CUNYfirst.
    OPTIONAL - if you are teaching a hybrid or face-to-face course, the following should be included in your syllabus
    CUNY Guidelines For Safe Campus Reopening

    • Students must thoroughly wash their hands before using any computer terminal and wipe the keyboard and mouse prior to using the equipment.
    • The use of cloth face coverings is required among all students and faculty when 6 feet distances cannot be maintained. Face coverings must be worn as feasible and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult. For more information, visit Use Masks to Slow the Spread of COVID-19
    • Students and instructors must wear masks at all times when not presenting
    • Wash hands at key times, as described in When and How to Wash Your Hands
    • Do not touch the face covering. Visit the CDC site for information on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings

    Finally, to make creating a syllabus easier, download and customize this template: https://t.ly/62-ka

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