The course syllabus is one of the most important documents an instructor will create for their students. On this page, you’ll find information on the elements that ECU requires faculty to include on their syllabi, as well as some recommendations and examples that might spark some ideas!
ECU Minimum Syllabus Requirements
For Standard Courses, the ECU Faculty manual states that syllabi should be available for students on the first day of class and should include, at a minimum, the following elements:
- Instructor’s office location, office phone, and email
- Office hours
- Textbook(s) and other required course materials
- Student learning outcomes
- Assignments and tests
- Evaluation system and grading scale
- Instructor’s policy on academic integrity
- Instructor’s policy on late work
- Statement about accommodations for students with a disability
- Final Exam information
- Course Designation Statements (e.g. Writing Intensive statement for a course with a WI designation; Service Learning statement for a course with a SL designation)
“For non-standard courses, including Independent Study Courses, regardless of delivery method, a learning contract must be submitted for the approval of the unit administrator. The learning contract must clearly specify the course requirements, including but not limited to the expected student learning outcomes, number of hours of expected work, grading information, and scheduled meeting times with the faculty member. To generate a learning contract for a non-standard course, faculty should complete a form similar to this example. When the form is submitted, a learning contract is automatically generated and sent by e-mail to the unit administrator for approval.” https://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/fsonline/customcf/currentfacultymanual/part6.pdf (part VI, section V) (East Carolina University Faculty Manual Part VI, 2020)
This Word Document lists the requirements and recommendations outlined in the ECU Faculty Manual relative to course syllabi.
A copy of your final syllabus should be provided to your Unit administrator.
Some departments at ECU prescribe a standardized and consistent format for syllabus development, and others allow flexibility in relation to syllabus formatting and content. Check with your department to ensure you are following guidelines appropriate to your specific unit. Part VI of the Faculty Manual outlines long-standing guidelines designed to ensure students know about key policies, standard operating procedures, and support resources available to them at ECU.
General Syllabus Resources
Below, you’ll find several general resources to guide and inspire you as you design the different elements of your course syllabus. These are not authoritative. They are meant to spark ideas about information, formatting, and techniques to tailor your syllabus to set the base understandings and tone that you desire.
- How to Create a Syllabus: Overall guide to creating a course syllabus from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- UDL and Your Syllabus Methods for making your syllabus appropriate for all learning styles and learners with disabilities.
- 6 Easy Tips for a Clearer more Engaging Syllabus Visual design and organization principles to make your syllabus more readable and engaging.
- Creating a Warm Learning Climate Methods for increasing student engagement through utilizing a warm writing tone.
Going Beyond the Basics
(After you have ensured that your syllabus is clearly written, thorough, and accessible, it’s time to have some fun! These next few pages are designed to spark ideas about how to highlight introductory information about your course and reinforce class content and goals.)
- Assessment and Rubrics – Creating course assessments and rubrics.
- Engaging Students with the Syllabus: Guides to using syllabus quizzes, scavenger hunts, and Easter eggs to help students explore your syllabus.
- Infographic Syllabi: The Infographic syllabus provides a graphical representation of the syllabus content to students.
- Additional Concepts for you to consider as you explore the best way to use a syllabus to present your course to students: