Syllabus Suggestions

IMG_1284When teaching with technology it is important to clearly communicate expectations for using technology in the classroom, or  in an online environment. Below are some recommended syllabus suggestions for faculty teaching online or in tech-rich classrooms:

Tech-related Course Policies and Expectations

1. “Students will be expected to complete all reading assignments as indicated on the course schedule. Any work submitted as your own in Laulima forum postings, exams, class presentations and assignments must include proper crediting of all sources used. Do not “cut and paste” from text on posts, assignments, or exams without proper citations.”

2. “The academic standard is 1.5 to 2 hours of out-of-class student work per credit hour taken. Therefore, a three credit course requires 4.5 – 6 hours of out-of-class work including readings and assignments. Therefore, attendance in the form of online participation is required. Participation is an essential component successful completion of this course. The Laulima platform is used to house communication, activities, and assignments in addition to documenting collaboration and group work. You are expected to log in to Laulima at least X times per week.”

Note Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) definition of credit hour: The Commission defines a credit hour as equivalent to a minimum of each of the following: one semester credit hour for each 15 clock hours of lecture, 30 clock hours of laboratory, or 45 hours of work-based activities; or one quarter credit for each 10 clock hours of lecture, 20 clock hours of laboratory, or 30 clock hours of work-based activities. The conversion of clock hours to credit hours for individual courses may be calculated to include a fraction or decimal but must not be inflated to rounding up. The sum of the course credit hours for a program must equal a whole number without rounding up.

3. “Do not email, text, participate in social media, watch movies, play video games, or “surf the net” during class sessions, class discussions, presentations or activities. Only use your laptop for in class activities. When your classmates are presenting or during lecture, please close your laptops and put away your cellphones.”

4. “Computers and the internet are are a course requirement. However, it is likely that you could possibly have technology-related issues as the semester progresses. However, technology problems will not excuse unfinished work. All assignments and postings are due on the dates indicated on the course guide. Grading and feedback will be given within two weeks of submission date.

Suggested preventative measures are listed below:

  • Save work often. UH student email accounts also have GoogleDocs and other Google applications available.
  • Save drafts of work at multiple stage, labeling file by date, for example “title_5_30”

5. “In a highly collaborative and technical environment, it may be necessary for students to purchase their own connectors in order to project their work. In addition, students should be aware of any personal information on their desktop when connecting their computers to monitors. One way to prevent sharing your personal desktop is to configure separate user accounts on your computer for academic or personal use.”

Kokua Disability Statement

This statement is important to include in all class contexts:

“Classroom accommodations will be provided for class members with documented disabilities or special learning needs. Please contact the instructor for accommodations for the course prior to or within the first week of class. Please contact the KOKUA Program on campus at 808-956-7511 located in the Student Services center on the ground floor, Room 013 to coordinate reasonable accommodations.”

Developing Student Learning Outcomes: Assessment Office

Review the link above for departmental SLO’s. Check with your department for any standards or SLO’s alignment for your course. Example here.

Consider a Syllabus Quiz or Scavenger Hunt

To ensure students had read and understand course policies, consider developing a group activity or individualized scavenger hunt or quiz using your syllabus as the content.

Facebook/Social Media class policy?

Social media has left opportunities for blurring professional boundaries. Some faculty choose to create Facebook pages for their courses. In order to maintain professional boundaries, and student rights to privacy, CTE recommends not “friending” students while they are enrolled in your course. However, if students request to friend you after they have completed your course that seems to be a more appropriate distance. Faculty are welcome to share suggestions and comments below.

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