Policies for Online-by-Design Courses: Revisions and Agreement to the Syllabus

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.

In my course, I include two policies to help students understand how the syllabus is used in the class.

The syllabus is subject to change with advance notice.

Your continued enrollment in this course indicates your agreement to the policies in the syllabus.

I actually put these in the footer of every page, along with the page number, so they see it over and over. And I ask these as T/F questions on the syllabus quiz. Image result for famous painting of students studying

You know what you’re in for, Bub, so be prepared or dip now. Above, a painting of seven scientists gathered around a man in a lab coat. They watch as he analyzes a skull. (John Cooke, 1915, public domain)

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