Why the syllabus is so important

The syllabus is essential in online courses because it allows faculty members to:

  • Set the structure and tone for the course, covering what the instructor expects from students as well as what students can expect from the instructor.
  • Establish a contract with the students by stating the learning outcomes or objectives, policies, requirements, and procedures for the course.
  • Provide information about course materials, assignments, and grading for the course, mapping all assignments to the course learning outcomes or objectives.
  • Convey enthusiasm for the subject matter and for teaching.

ODL has developed the following checklist to provide minimum standards for a quality online syllabus. It is based on national standards of best practice and instructional design principles. Please consult the checklist as you prepare and finalize the syllabus for your online course.

Also, please check with your department or program for any specific guidelines or requirements for syllabi.

Syllabus Checklist

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