Policies for an Online-by-Design Course: University Requirements

This blog post is part of a series to help you build an online course quickly. It is for people who are preparing to launch their third trimester in course that they thought would be F2F but will begin instead as an online course, those looking ahead to intensive May terms, and those who had planned to teach in person in the summer or fall but now find their F2F classes will be online. To follow along, begin by framing your course, selecting your materials, and choosing your assignments. We now shift to writing the policies for your syllabus? Why–given that writing your assignments is actually more important? Because, in a worst-case scenario, you can start a course without the assignments written, but you need to have your syllabus available to students BEFORE the first day of class so they see if it’s a good fit for them.

I’ve addressed the polices most likely to vary from classroom-to-classroom (like late work policy, office hours, and more), but there are some policies that are probably set by your department or university. Be sure to check your handbook regarding policies about:

  • Disability services
  • What constitutes an A, B, C, D, and F
  • What constitutes a passing grade for the degree program
  • Drop and withdrawal dates
  • Policies about incompletes
  • Policies about assessment data, as well as how students can opt-out of it
  • Policies about course evaluations, including how students ca
  • Anything else unique to your situation

Image result for the school of athens

Above, dozens of men gather to debate and learn in Raphael’s The School of Athens (1509-1511). Statues of Athena and Apollo watch over them. Plato and Aristotle are at the center, and the other figures are famous scientists, philosophers, and others. Public domain.

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