Structuring a Syllabus for an Online Course

A syllabus provides the students with a road map for the course.  The syllabus for a face-to-face course and an online course, can and should look somewhat different.

Online courses function differently than a traditional face-to-face course and students may need information that would not necessarily be included otherwise. Examples include:

  • Netiquette
  • Technology requirements
  • “Attendance” requirements
  • Prerequisite technology skills
  • and more!

When adapting a syllabus from a face-to-face course, or creating a completely new syllabus, use this document, Key Sections of a Syllabus for an Online Course (PDF), as a checklist to ensure that you are providing a comprehensive road map to your students.

You can also use it as a guide for creating a “Getting Started” module, or a course introduction video!

This resource document was adapted from:

Kelly, R. (2011). 11 Strategies for Managing Your Online Course. (pp. 5-6). Madison: Magna Publications, Inc.

Using MOOCs to Recruit Paying Students

A recent article in The Chronicle reports on a new movement where “each participating university will allow students anywhere in the world to take an online course free. If a student then decides to enroll at the university, the university will count the credit hours earned in the MOOC toward a degree without charging the student.”  The goal is to attract students who can be successful in existing degree programs.

Read the full article “Universities Try MOOCs in Bid to Lure Successful Students to Online Programs.”

Canvas ‘Open Labs’ added to training schedule

The library has added a number of Open Labs to help faculty make the move to the Canvas LMS. During the open labs faculty are invited to come in and work on their courses. Trainers and Instructional designers will be available to provide one-on-one assistance. All labs will be held in the Library’s classroom — POY 218 and will last from 2pm-3:30pm. You don’t need to register.

Open Lab Dates

February 1st
February 22nd
March 1st
March 22nd
March 29thApril 12th
April 26th


A Visual Look At The Life of Martin Luther King Jr


Monday, January, 21, 2013 is Martin Luther King Day. I ran across this infographic today and thought it provided an excellent timeline to remember and honor his legacy. View the article “A Visual Look At The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.” This simple visual representation gives us the opportunity to remember and teach about his fight to achieve racial equality.

martin luther king infographic, full description in linked article

University of South Florida’s online programs ranked among best in the country

Reported in the Tampa Bay Times today, The University of South Florida is one of the best universities to attend online, according to new education rankings. The ranking comes from the Guide to Online Schools, an index that lists schools with the overall best and most affordable online programs, using data from the federal government’s National Center for Education Statistics. USF made its first appearance this year, coming in at 25. It’s the only Florida public university on the list.

Read more in the Tampa Bay Times.