Welcome to Western Carolina University! We're glad you’re teaching your first course here. As you get acclimated to campus, there are a few things to know:
You'll get a sample syllabus from your chair. Check that course syllabus against our Model Syllabus Template, and reconcile any differences. Note that we recommend placing this text in the rich content editor box in the Canvas Syllabus tool instead of keeping it as a text file. The same content will be copied into the blank course shells for upcoming semesters, so you may not have to use this file at all if you simply update the information in your course shell.
We have also created a more elaborate Canvas optimized system which you can transfer into your course shell which includes this information. Use these steps to get started.
You have been teaching at Western Carolina University for more than a year. You’re familiar with the old Master Syllabus the Coulter Faculty Commons has long maintained or the new Model Syllabus that has replaced it, and all you need to know now is whether institutional policies have changed since you last visited this page.
Here’s a list of updated policy information, with a date/timestamp when it was required for your syllabus:
It is important to build and distribute a document syllabus.
To support existing processes and transparency.
A document copy (Word, PDF) of a course syllabus and course schedule is an important document for an enrolled student, particularly if the student is part of an accredited program, applying to a graduate program, transferring institutions, or seeking additional credentials or certifications. It is not uncommon for the institution or credentialing agency to request a copy of the syllabus and course schedule to verify the course description, outcomes, assignments/assessments, and topics listed in the course schedule meet the requisite requirements and/or knowledge outlined by the institution or agency. The same information is often required of the agencies who accredit our academic programs and must be available for annual reports, re-accreditation, mid-review reports. WCU’s internal program review also requests this information as part of the review process. Currently, the best practice is to have a digital copy of the syllabus (including the course description, outcomes, assignments/assessments) and course schedule of topics for each section of a course available to the enrolled student for their records and a copy on file with the program and department.
It is also important to use the Canvas Syllabus tool.
To equip students with the best chance for student success.
The Canvas Syllabus Tool does not replace a document syllabus that is distributed in class, or shared as a Word or PDF file. The Canvas Syllabus Tool, which is new to WCU faculty who were more familiar with Blackboard, is a student success mechanism:
[i] Garavalia, L. S., Hummel, J. H., Wiley, L. P., & Huitt, W. G. (1999). Constructing the course syllabus: Faculty and student perceptions of important syllabus components. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 10(1), 5-21.
Academic Calendar - Plan your semester with the add/drop schedule, holiday schedule, midterm and final schedule.
Course Workload Estimator - Calculate length of time required for students to read, write, discuss, and test. This new version includes tools for incorporating length of time for videos and podcasts.
Faculty seeking the video waiver/release form for students, referenced on page 14 of the Syllabus Tempalate, should view the Office of Legal Counsel website. The form is provided on the very bottom of their webpage.
For further help with syllabi, including course planning and design, alignment, and assessment, consider a consultation with one of our faculty developers.