FDU Syllabus Policy

(Approved Spring 2024; Effective Fall 2024 and forward)

Course syllabi are important documents for students and therefore must have certain information to help students navigate their academic experience. A student-centered syllabus focuses on the learner and provides important course information but also provides resources and information to promote academic success.

The following elements are required (unless noted as optional), but how each faculty member provides them and in what order are matters of individual choice. In addition, please note that information does not need to be categorized exactly as it is here (e.g., “Primary Course Information,” “Instructor Information,” etc.)—the items are just categorized here for ease of reference as a checklist. In addition, please note that faculty may want or need to include additional information (i.e., above and beyond what is listed here) on their syllabus based on the course.

Primary Course Information

  • Course Title
  • Course Code and Section (e.g., BIOL 2001-12)
  • Course Credits
  • Academic Term (semester name and dates as per the relevant Academic Calendar)
  • Course Meeting Days/Times
  • Course Location/Modality (in person / online synchronously / online asynchronously / in person and online; specify Building and Room number(s) for in-person meetings)
  • If online or hybrid, details regarding how to join the course (e.g., Blackboard, Zoom)
  • Catalog Description of the Course (as it appears in the official Course Catalog in Self-Service and with a link to the course in Self-Service, e.g. https://selfservice.fdu.edu/Student/Courses/Search?keyword=BIOL1201
  • Prerequisite(s) for the Course (as they appear in the official Course Catalog in Self-Service)
  • Academic Unit in which the Course Is Offered (e.g., program or department)
  • Name of the Director or Chair of the Academic Unit
  • Programs for which the course fulfills requirements (majors, minors) (this may be a statement such as the following: “Please go to your Degree Audit in Self-Service to see what requirements this course fulfills for you.”)

Instructor Information

  • Instructor Name
  • FDU Email Address and Estimated Response Time for Emails (e.g., “I will respond within 2 business days”) and other information about communication with the instructor if relevant (faculty, please note: You must use only your FDU email account for all university-related communication, as per university policy)
  • FDU Phone and/or Department Phone
  • Office Hours and Location (as per relevant University requirements)

Course Materials

  • List of all required books, lab manuals, software programs, etc. (with ISBN and publication information as necessary)
  • List of any recommended (but not required) materials
  • Information regarding where to find/purchase all materials (e.g., FDU Bookstore, OER links)

Course Topics and Learning Outcomes

  • List of course topics (in chronological order)
  • List of course learning outcomes (e.g., “By the end of this course, students will be able to…”); this information should be linked to the learning outcomes for the relevant major or general education category

Course Requirements

  • List of course requirements – e.g., graded assignments, papers, written and/or oral tests or examinations, quizzes, projects, presentations, performances, and/or class participation, among other things, that will be used to assess student performance in the class; course requirements should be clearly connected to learning outcomes
  • Each of the course requirements listed in this section must have a brief explanation of what is required, and when it is due (how it will be graded may be covered here or in “Grading”)

Policy for Late or Missed Assignments, Quizzes, Exams, etc.

  • Statement regarding instructor policy on accepting (or not accepting) late work, missed assignments, etc. (e.g., if you do not accept late work, say so; if you take points off for each day late up to a certain time, say so; etc.)

Course Guidelines for Attendance and Participation

  • A statement on the importance of attendance and participation to learning and academic progress in the course (e.g., As per the Academic Regulations section of the Student Handbook, “Students are required to attend class, arrive on time and participate in all courses for which they are enrolled. Class attendance and participation are essential to academic progress” – this is from the “Attendance” section of Academic Regulations in the Student Handbook.
  • Specific attendance requirements and guidelines for the course, consistent with the policies of the academic department, program, school, and/or college (related note to faculty: please see the Recommended Attendance Practices—link in Additional Resources below)

Grading

  • The weight of each item in the list of course requirements (e.g., final exam = 25% of the course grade)
  • An explanation of the grading process for each item in the list of course requirements; the explanation may be complete or may be brief with a note that more complete information will be distributed prior to a given assignment’s due date; if rubrics are used, include link/reference to location of rubrics
  • Grading Schema for the Course (e.g., what percent / score range = an A, A-, B+, etc.) (as per school/college or program/department policy)
  • Statement of passing grade for the course · University Grading System and Grade Points (link)

Course Schedule

  • Chronological listing of topics and/or learning outcomes by dates in the semester
  • Due dates for all assignments listed on the schedule

Syllabus Subject to Change Note

  • This statement or something like it: This syllabus is a guide to our learning this semester. At any time, the instructor may deem it necessary to adjust the schedule of topics and assignments and will communicate with students accordingly.

Resources for Student Success

  • This statement or something like it: “Students in this course are invited to reach out to one or more of our student support offices for support in this course, other courses, or any aspect of their FDU experience.”
  • In addition, any student with a concern who does not know where to turn may reach out to the Chief Student Experience Officer on the relevant campus. Here at the [Florham / Metro / Vancouver] Campus, our Chief Student Experience Officer is [list just your campus Chief Student Experience Officer below]:
    • Metro Campus: Rashard Mills, rashard_mills@fdu.edu, 201-692-2045
    • Florham Campus: Traci Banks, traci161_banks@fdu.edu, 973-443-8935
    • Vancouver Campus: Jobin Mojtabavi, jobin_mojtabavi@fdu.edu, 604-648-4465

University Policies

  • Students in this course are advised to click on this link [link to be added here prior to the start of the Fall 2024 semester] to see all the academic and other policies relevant to this and every course offered at FDU. In order to save paper, these policies are not published in each course syllabus. These policies include:
    • Academic Honesty and Integrity
    • Attendance (Academic Regulations section of Student Handbook)
    • Chosen Name Policy
    • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Commitment Statement
    • Grade Appeal Procedure
    • Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct / FERPA
    • Statement on Sexual and Gender Identity
    • University Statement of Accommodation

Optional / Suggested Additional Syllabus Elements

  • How to Succeed in This Course (advice for students specifically relevant for this particular course)
  • “Netiquette” Policies if the course is online, remote, or hybrid (or if an in-person courses that uses the Blackboard Discussion Board extensively)
  • Policy on use of technology / electronics in the classroom
  • Expectations for class discussions
  • Advice on how to prepare for classes and succeed in the course
  • Background of the Instructor, Link to the Instructor’s FDU Profile, etc.
  • School/College or program/department policy on use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Additional Information and Resources for Faculty 

FDU Resources 

See “Recommended Attendance Practices” (approved Spring 2024) on the FDU Faculty Blackboard Organization [link to be added]  

Sample Syllabus Templates from FDU Colleges/Schools/Programs [to be added] 

WebCampus Tutorials for Faculty (FDU-created tutorials -Files are arranged in a logical sequence from “top to bottom”, but faculty can browse the “Description” column to locate documents that address specific needs; screenshots of “sample” Blackboard materials as well as links to a selection of supplemental videos and other resources from Blackboard’s Help site are included.) 

Blackboard Learn for Instructors Documentation 

Links to Selected Blackboard Video Tutorials (links compiled by FDU’s Academic Technology; links are to YouTube videos) 

Support for all Academic Technologies at FDU (e.g., Zoom, Qualtrics, and more) 

Additional Resources 

Accessible Syllabus 

 

Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) VALUE Rubrics. 

Creating a Learner-Centered Syllabus and template for Learner-Centered Syllabus  

Gannon, K. (2018). How to Create a Syllabus – Advice Guide. Chronicle of Higher Education. 

How to support student wellness with trauma-informed pedagogy and PRACTICE (tip from Indiana Univ) – all items start with your syllabus and course design. 

Predictability—Inform students of relevant policies and practices and stick to them. 
Relationships—Build in opportunities to connect with you and with peers. 
Access—Ensure students know how to reach you and with what needs. 
Choice—Give students control of parts of their experience where possible. 
Transparency—Be completely clear in your instructions and expectations. 
Intention—Explicitly share the rationale for your decisions and assigned tasks. 
Care—Express verbal and nonverbal care in your interactions with students. 
Empathy—Ask students about their experiences and see through their lens. 

Learner-Centered Syllabus Guide  

Mindful and Learner-Centered Syllabus Toolkit  

Web Accessibility in Mind  

Young, Jennie. Top 10 Ways to Avoid Student Complaintssee “#3. Stop saying, ‘It’s in the syllabus.’”  

 

Faculty, do you have additional resources you’d like to suggest for inclusion on this page? If so, please complete this form.