Creating a Syllabus

Online Syllabi Require More Detail

Creating your first online syllabus – or your tenth – can be a more of a task than you may realize. Since you may not see some (or any) of your students in person, your syllabus will need to be more comprehensive and articulate than usual. A well-crafted syllabus not only ensures that students understand your expectations, but also provides you with blueprint for building your Blackboard site. At the bottom of this page you'll find a syllabus checklist and a sample syllabus (used with instructor permission) to get you started.

Standardized templates can help you cover areas specific to online learning communities. You can download and modify these templates for your own course design:

Online Course Syllabus Templates with Instructive Comments.
Download our template and look through the comments in this Document in order to build your syllabus.

Also see the samples below from seasoned online instructors at Stony Brook University in the files section below:

  • Kathy Mitra (CEG 511 | 10-week summer course)
  • Brandi So    (EGL 218 |   8-week summer course)

Want to Know More?

  1. A useful brochure published by University of North Carolina Teaching and Learning
  2. How (and why) to develop a visually dynamic syllabus from Michelle Pacansky-Brock's Teaching Without Walls website.
  3. A paper on syllabus development by the University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching.
  4. An Educause article on the different benefits of synchronous and asynchronous activities in an online classroom.