Teaching & Learning

Creating an Accessible Syllabus

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Creating an Accessible Syllabus

The syllabus is the students guide in their online learning expererience so it is necessary to create a comprehensive syllabus for their usage.

It is important to communicate learning outcome expectations to your students. Organizing topics and assignments, identifying required texts, and explaining course policies in the syllabus for an online course is not much different than for an in-person course. Be as specific as possible to minimize student confusion and questions.

MSU Syllabus Requirements and suggestions

Effective fall 2005, MSU instructors are required to distribute a course syllabus, either in print or online, to their students at the beginning of the semester. The Ombudsman at MSU has prepared a web page outlining university requirements of what must be in a a syllabus as well as other helpful suggestions of content and university policies and procedures to include.

Instructors should consider including:

  1. Course number and title, section number (if applicable) and scheduled class time;
  2. Course Web site (if applicable);
  3. Instructor's (and TA's, if applicable) name, office address, phone number and e-mail address, with recommendations on which method of contact the instructor prefers;
  4. Tentative deadlines for required and recommended readings;
  5. Tentative schedule of course topics;
  6. Required field trips, rehearsals, etc., scheduled outside of regularly-scheduled class time, along with any accompanying fees and tickets;
  7. Make-up policy for designated course work;
  8. Tardy policy and its impact, if any, on grades;
  9. Common test dates for all sections of a multi-section course, as approved by the unit;
  10. Course prerequisites and restrictions, as they appear in the Description of Courses catalog;
  11. Information about required learning-management software, such as ANGEL;
  12. Any course procedures unique to the course that might cause students to reconsider their enrollment in the course, and
  13. Policy for use of cell phones, calculators and other electronic equipment in the classroom.


An accessible syllabus template is available on MSU's Web Accessibillity website.