Syllabi can provide an important “first impression” and serve as a factor in establishing course climate. (Ambrose, et al., 2010). Often seen as a “contract” between instructor and student, it is also documents course learning outcomes, content, and assessment. However, the syllabus can be used as a learning tool that communicates important information about course expectations and invites students to the course as collaborative partners in the learning process (Center for Urban Education, 2014).
One of the core values of Illinois State University is Diversity and Inclusion, which encourages creating an inclusive environment. This core value can be reflected in course syllabi when faculty intentionally design their syllabi in ways that equitably support, affirm, and validate all students. Faculty can do this by
The University Curriculum Committee has created an online guide to structuring your syllabus and related procedures.
Student Access and Accommodation Services:
Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and/or medical/mental health condition should contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at 350 Fell Hall, (309) 438-5853, or visit the website at StudentAccess.IllinoisState.edu.
General Education Program
To ensure that students understand the continuity of General Education as a whole and the specific learning outcomes of each course, we ask that you include the Gen Ed statement from the appropriate category on your syllabus. These statements can be downloaded at gened.illinoisstate.edu/faculty_info.
Several units on campus have suggested language to include in syllabi. You may choose to include entire statements or provide links, as seen in the following examples. You may also choose to compose your own statements.
You are responsible for attending class and completing all academic work. Be familiar with which absences are excused under university policy and which are not. You are responsible for making arrangements with me to complete missed coursework after an excused absence. Follow the instructions in this syllabus about any additional absences I excuse for this class. If you need advice on how to manage an extended absence or want notification of your absence sent to your instructors, contact the Dean of Students Office.
(see the guide to Teaching and Learning through Student Absences for additional syllabi suggestions pertaining to attendance)
If you have to miss class due to bereavement for the loss of a family member, active military duty, or required quarantine/isolation for a communicable disease such as COVID, contact the Dean of Students Office to request a formal excused absence notice be sent to your instructors. The Dean of Students Office can send a courtesy notice to your instructors about other absences, but many other absences (including illness) are subject to the absence policy for this course and are not excused under university policy.
As stated in the Undergraduate Catalog, you are responsible for attending class and completing all academic work. Make arrangements with me in advance if you will be missing class due to participation in a Sanctioned University Activity, fulfillment of a religious obligation, exercise of a bereavement leave, or another university-recognized excused absence.
As responsible adults investing in their future, Illinois State University students are encouraged to take control of their own education, especially when life and health challenges interfere with the planned process. When students need to miss class, they must be swift and proactive in working with their instructors to take advantage of learning opportunities, develop mastery of course materials, meet the learning objectives as outlined in the course, and prepare themselves for more advanced learning.
To be socially responsible, I urge you not to attend class if you feel your safety and the safety of your classmates and faculty may be compromised by your attendance. When you need to miss class, you must be swift and proactive in working with your instructors to take advantage of learning opportunities, develop mastery of course materials, meet the learning objectives as outlined in the course and prepare for more advanced learning.
You are responsible for attending class and completing all academic work. You are also responsible for communicating any absences. If you have missed class or know that you will miss a future class, fill out this form (insert link here).
Require answers to all questions so that only a completed form can be submitted. Adjust the settings so that you receive an email when a student submits the form.
You may want to include a link to the form on your Canvas site.
You are expected to be honest in all academic work, consistent with the academic integrity policy as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and any additional syllabus language. All work is to be appropriately cited when it is borrowed, directly or indirectly, from another source. Unauthorized and/or unacknowledged collaboration on any work, or the presentation of someone else’s work, is plagiarism.
Content generated by an Artificial Intelligence third-party service or site (AI-generated content) without proper attribution or authorization is another form of plagiarism. If you are unsure about whether something may be plagiarism or another form of academic dishonesty, please reach out to me to discuss it as soon as possible. Any allegation of academic dishonesty may be referred to Student Conduct and Community Responsibilities, a unit of the Dean of Students Office, for possible review. If found responsible for academic dishonesty, a grade penalty can also be applied.
Illinois State University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for the University community. Ask students to ensure they have downloaded the SafeRedbirds app. Also, note the information posted in each classroom about emergency shelters and evacuation assembly areas (both are indicated on stickers inside every classroom).
See this one-page reference sheet for talking points on the first day of class about this and a few emergency scenarios.
In the classroom and elsewhere, you are expected to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with Illinois State University’s Code of Student Conduct.
Engaging in civil discourse is both a privilege and a responsibility of living in a democratic society. This class will provide both anticipated and unexpected opportunities to engage in this kind of conversation. Thus, we will work to agree on a set of guidelines that ensures that our civil discourse remains civil.
ISU remains committed to creating and maintaining a working, learning and living environment that is welcoming, supportive, respectful, inclusive, diverse and free from discrimination and harassment.
In addition, the Inclusive Community Response Team (ICRT) serves students by fostering an open and inclusive campus and responding to instances of hate and bias. You can learn more about how the team can help and report concerns on the ICRT website.
The Multicultural Outreach Team (MCOT) is a group of staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students in Student Counseling Services dedicated to fostering an equitable, diverse, and inclusive university community for our minoritized students. MCOT offers workshops which promote dialogue about identity, empathy, stereotypes, bias, privilege, power, white supremacy, and systemic racism. Students can learn more about MCOT at https://counseling.illinoisstate.edu/outreach/multicultural-outreach-team/
Life at college can get complicated. If you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, lost, anxious, depressed or are struggling with personal issues, do not hesitate to call or visit Student Counseling Services (SCS). These services are free and completely confidential. SCS is located at 320 Student Services Building, (309) 438-3655.
If you are worried about a friend and don't know how to help, you can call SCS and ask to speak to a counselor. The Kognito simulation, available through SCS's webpage, can also help you learn how to assist your friend in connecting to services.
Proctortrack is an exam proctoring solution available to instructors upon request. To use this service, please fill out this request form.
The following syllabus language, created with input from the Office of General Counsel, is suggested for instructors planning to use this service (Updated 01/05/21):
You will be required to complete your exams for this course through Proctortrack software. You must download the software and complete a test run of the software by XXXXX date. For more information on the onboarding process, here is a short video. You can also read more about this process in this Help Desk article.
If you do not have the necessary technology capacity, please 1) email me to let me know and 2) then contact the Technology Support Center at Help.IllinoisState.edu. The Technology Support Center will assist with setting up your current computer or assist with receiving a loaner laptop that has the necessary capacity.
Students who would like to request an accommodation due to a disability should contact Student Access and Accommodations Services as they would for any exam. Please do so as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for processing your request for an accommodation
If you have other non-technology or accommodation related concerns, more information can be found here.
All students are encouraged to take the Introduction to Technology Online Orientation, found here: IllinoisState.edu/Quickstart.
Additionally, technology support can be found at help.illinoisstate.edu/technology/, which includes hundreds of help articles on everything involving ISU technology, online chat, and phone support at (309) 438-HELP (4357). Walk-up support and computer repair & purchases are available from TechZone located on the first floor of the Bone Student Center as well as TechZone.IllinoisState.edu.
Two software packages are available at no additional charge: Microsoft 365 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) and Adobe Creative Cloud. Students can download these packages for installation on their personal computers.
Students who do not have access to the technology they need to be successful in their coursework should contact the Technology Support Center at help.illinoisstate.edu/technology/ or (309) 438-HELP (4357) to discuss options.
It's hard to learn if you're hungry or couch surfing. If you are having difficulty accessing sufficient food to eat every day, affording required course materials/technology, or securing a safe and stable place to live, help may be available. I urge you to contact the Dean of Students Office to learn more.
The University wants to make students aware that a course may be recorded by the faculty member for later use. Please understand that each faculty member makes an individual decision on whether recording and/or sharing their class materials is warranted. Any recordings that a faculty member makes available are for use by students enrolled in the class and are for the purpose of individual or group study only. The recordings may not be reproduced, shared with those not in the class, or uploaded to publicly accessible web environments. Please do not independently record the course without prior authorization from the faculty member or an approved accommodation from Student Access and Accommodations Services office.
Students may not use audio or video devices to record classroom lectures or discussions. Students with disabilities who need to record classroom lectures or discussions must contact the Student Access and Accommodation Services. Students who violate this policy may be subject to both legal sanctions for violations of copyright law and disciplinary action under the University’s Code of Student Conduct.
Students who wish to use audio or video devices to record classroom lectures or discussions must obtain written permission from the instructor. Such recordings are to be used solely for the purposes of individual or group study with other students enrolled in the class. They may not be reproduced, shared with those not in the class, or uploaded to publicly accessible web environments. Students with disabilities who need to record classroom lectures or discussions must contact the Student Access and Accommodation Services. Students who violate this policy may be subject to both legal sanctions for violations of copyright law and disciplinary action under the University’s Code of Student Conduct.
Tonic for a Boring Syllabus - Faculty Focus
How to Create a Syllabus - Chronicle of Higher Education
Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. Jossey-Bass.
Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Harvard University Press.
Boice, R. (1998). Classroom incivilities. In K. A. Feldman & M. B. Paulsen (Eds.), Teaching and learning in the college classroom. Simon & Schuster.
Center for Urban Education. (2014). Syllabus Review Protocol. USC: Rossier School of Education, CA. Retrieved from https://www.cuesta.edu/about/documents/vpaa-docs/Syllabus_Review_Protocol_CUE.pdf
Ishiyama, J. T., & Hartlaub, S. (2002). Does the wording of syllabi affect student course assessment in introductory political science classes? PS: Political Science and Politics, 35(3), 567–570.