What is the syllabus template?

This template is provided for you to use as a guide in the development of a syllabus for all your courses, regardless of mode of delivery (hybrid, online and seated). We encourage you to modify the content in this template to personalize your syllabus to match your teaching approach and aesthetic.  Please remember all syllabi need to be approved by your department chair or program director.

How to use this template:

  • Red text in this template indicates content an instructor should modify to adapt the syllabus to his or her course.
  • computer iconA computer icon (or yellow highlightingindicates content that pertains only to online and/or hybrid courses. This icon and content can be deleted from syllabi designed for seated courses.

NOTE: The icon images in this template will not copy directly into the text box Blackboard.  If you’d like to include the icon images, you will need to save them to your desktop and insert them into Blackboard using the “insert image” function.

Use either of these formats to edit your syllabus directly in Word.

New for Summer 2017

We have created a Module you can use in your CANVAS site as a replacement for the standard syllabus document.

Want to try it? 

Just follow the Using the new Syllabus Template CANVAS Module instructions and get started.



Embedding your syllabus directly into CANVAS is easy! Watch this short video to learn two ways to embed your syllabus into your CANVAS site:

Here is the html file (edit these AFTER you embed them in CANVAS)

Here are the word files (edit these BEFORE you embed them in CANVAS)

This document lists the deans, department chairs, program directors and other staff under the direction of the provost or Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Use it to complete the information needed in the “Academic Grievances” section of your syllabus.

Here is a summary of the changes that were made from the SP 17 to SU 17 template:

Why is the syllabus important?

You should think of your syllabus as serving three important purposes:

  • the syllabus as a contract

your syllabus should clearly spell out policies and procedures that you will follow in your course

  • the syllabus as a permanent record

often syllabi are used by students seeking to transfer course work to other higher education institutions

  • the syllabus as a learning tool

your syllabus can be a place to share the relevance and importance of your course, and to set a tone for a positive learning environment for the entire semester

adapted from:The Purposes of a Syllabus, Jay Parkes and Mary  B. Harris, Retrieved from: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~coesyl-p/syllabus_cline_article_2.pdf

Why does this template change so often?

To remain innovate and adaptive, OTC frequently finds it necessary to change policy and procedure.  Each time a change is made to a policy or procedure the syllabus template is revised to reflect those changes.  We also ask for feedback and input from faculty and staff on the template and incorporate any suggested changes as quickly as we can.  Finally, many regulatory agencies (HLC, DOE, etc.) are asking us to make more information readily and publicly available to students, and the syllabus template is one way we can address those regulations

Keep up on the latest information and research on syllabus best practices

We have all heard the cry “students don’t read the syllabus”… either from ourselves or colleagues.  But, we also know there is a need to clearly communicate expectations to our students.  How do we bridge that gap?

Well.. it turns out there is a large field of both peer-reviewed research and informal data about syllabus best practices.  Here are some of the latest if you’d like to check them out.

Peer-Reviewed Research 

All of these are available to OTC faculty by searching the OTC databases using the “Resources” tab in MyOTC (be sure you are logged in to my.otc.edu

  • More Content or More Policy? A Closer Look at Syllabus Detail, Instructor Gender, and Perceptions of Instructor Effectiveness, by Jade S. Jenkins, Ashley D. Bugeja, and Larissa K. Barber (2014)
  • Negotiating Your Syllabus: Building a Collaborative Contract, by David M. Kaplan and Monika K. Rendard (2015)
  • The 21st-Century Syllabus: From Pedagogy to Andragogy, by Charles J. Fornaciari and Kathy Lund Dean (2014)
  • The Syllabus: A Place to Engage Students’ Egos, by Mark Canada (2013)
  • Effect of Syllabus Tone: Students’ Perceptions of Instructor and Course  by Richard J. Harnish and Robert K. Bridges (2011)

Informal Data