Syllabus

Organizing Your Online Course

A photograph of a desk with two monitors, a keyboard, a coffee mug, and papers.

Clear and consistent organization will allow you and your students to focus more on learning the actual content of your course, not only from the beginning of the semester but throughout the remainder of the course. The beginning information in a course along with the course syllabus are both areas where you can answer initial questions up front, prevent some questions from needing to be asked, and/or prevent other problems from coming up. There is no fool-proof perfect way to put a course together – but there are a lot of things that you can do that will make it easier for everyone involved and make it more enjoyable.

Designing a Start Here Section for Your Online Course

A photo of a start line on a running track.

In a face-to-face course, instructors often spend part of the first-class meeting going over the syllabus and class policies with students. Creating a designated Start Here area in your online course is like this. This is a place where you can include the most important information that students need to know to get off to a good start in your course. A Start Here area also allows you to emphasize things that are important for this course or expectations that you have for how students will interact with the content, each other, and you.

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