Unique Components of the Blended/Online Syllabus
Excerpted and condensed from The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips
Consider including the following components, where relevant, to a syllabus for a blended/hybrid delivery course.
- Office Hours and Facilitator Support - What are the unique interactions that will be used? Examples include virtual office hours or virtual conferences.
- Delivery - Have a specific statement about the delivery format to help prepare students for the unique structural characteristics of your style of delivery.
- Rules of Engagement - What rules do you have that set the expectations for online and/or face-to-face interactions; helps foster an environment of inclusion and allows divergent opinions to be explored? You may also consider a discussion of "Netiquette."
- Technology - What are the minimum requirements for technical knowledge and equipment necessary for this course?
- Copyright - Include a statement regarding content and media used in the course, such as this example:
- This course may contain copyright-protected materials such as media clips, images, text materials, etc. These items are being used with regard to Fair Use and/or Creative Commons licensing. Please do not copy, duplicate, download or distribute these items without permission. All copyright materials are credited to the copyright holder.
- Plagiarism and Cheating - Write clear expectations and consequences; possibly include an exercise that involves the use of a plagiarism-checking tool like Turnitin to help students understand the power of tools used to check for plagiarism. Remember, it is easier for learners to plagiarize and cheat in an online format.
- Third-Party Software and FERPA* - This can be done through standard language regarding the dissemination of private/personal information:
- During this course you might have the opportunity to use public online services and/or software applications sometimes called third-party software such as a blog or wiki. While some of these are required assignments, you need not make any personally identifying information available on a public site. Do not post or provide any private information about yourself or your classmates. Where appropriate you may use a pseudonym or nickname (ensuring the facilitators know how to identify you). Some written assignments posted publicly may require personal reflection/comments, but the assignments will not require you to disclose any personally identifiable/sensitive information. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your instructor.
- See FERPA Toolkit.
- Timeliness Response and Feedback Promise - Create a response policy for assignments and communications. It helps students understand expectations and helps prevent them from sending unnecessary emails.
- Technology Support - Include information about Help Desk access or any 24-hour resources, if available, or access to a “Q&A” discussion board forum. This helps prevent a flurry of panicked emails when the inevitable technical problems arise.
- Blended Course Rubrics and Rubric Resources - a list of rubric templates, rubric tools, and examples
- Online Course Development Guide and Rubric - University of Southern Mississippi Learning Enhancement Center’s online resource for rubrics
- Online Course Rubric - Evaluates the effectiveness of instruction of online courses
- Quality Online Course Initiative Rubric & Checklist - Illinois Online Network’s online resource for rubrics
- Online Courses as Learning Scripts: Using Storyboards -- Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning paper
See also relevant pages in this Teaching Handbook:
- Academic Integrity
- Blended/Hybrid Learning
- Course Design & Development
- Student-Centered Syllabus
- Syllabus Development Resources
- WWU Syllabus Guidelines
- FERPA Toolkit
Boettcher, J., & Conrad, M. (2010). The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
* Third-Party Software and FERPA language obtained from the syllabus template, released with Creative Commons licensing (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), provided at the University of Georgia, Athens.