The Montclair Syllabus

The Montclair Syllabus is embedded in Canvas courses as of fall 2021.  To preview, go to SYLLABUS in your Canvas course. If you do not have a course assigned yet, see below.

What is expected in an MSU syllabus?

This course runs from [Date 1] to [Date 2]

Course Modality: 

Class Meeting Specifics:

 Professor Information

  • Professor Name:
  • Department:
  • Office Location:
  • Availability/Office Hours:
  • Email:
  • Phone #:

Course Description

[Suggestion: To align with students’ expectations, use the catalog or standard department course description to at least start your course description.]

Course Goals & Learning Objectives

[Course Goals: Course goals are broad, general statements of what students are expected to learn as a result of course completion. They are not necessarily easily assessed. They are what students should know, understand, or appreciate. If your department has developed course goals for this course, incorporate these into your own course goals.]

[Learning Objectives: Learning objectives are clear, measurable (able to be assessed) statements that contribute to the achievement of course goals. Strong learning objectives use action words, and many instructors find Bloom’s taxonomy helpful in creating learning objectives. If your department has developed learning objectives for this course, incorporate these into your own course objectives.]

Course Materials

Required Materials: [List all required texts and resources. Provide estimated costs and suggested methods for sourcing, including whether resources are available at the library. Faculty are encouraged to directly link to library resources (books, ebooks, databases, etc.)  and place texts on reserve at the library, and consider using open educational resources.]

Recommended/Optional Materials: [List any additional readings and course materials, and include access information.]

Course Schedule

[Faculty may create and link to a new page with all the schedule details, or embed the schedule within this syllabus page.]

Important Dates Fall 2021 (Academic Calendar)


  • [Specify any email preferences you have; for example:
    • Be sure to include the full “COURSE ID” (ECON101_05FA21) in the subject of all emails.
    • Typically I respond within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. If you do not hear back within 24 hours, please resend your email.]
  • [Specify any other communication methods you accept.]

Assessment and Grading

All activities must be completed within the dates specified. Your final course grade will be comprised of several components as outlined below:

Grading Breakdown (Component/Percentage of Overall Grade):

  • Component 1, % [for example, Group Projects, 30%]
  • Component 2, %
  • Component 3, %
  • Component 4, %
  • Component 5, %

Evaluation of Student Work: Each assignment is accompanied by a rubric or other explanation of the criteria used for evaluation.

Quizzes/tests: [If you use a proctoring tool (such as Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor) for online quizzes/tests, inform students of related information here and specify your policy]

Late Work Policy: [specify your policy]

Attendance Policy: [specify your policy]

Other Policies: [specify any other policies or expectations you may have, including those related to health and safety, participation, classroom climate, extra credit opportunities, test or exam conditions, etc.]

Course Grading Scheme: At the end of the semester, the numerical grades earned for each assignment will be translated into letter grades using the following common formula.

A: 94-100%; A-: 90-93%;

B+: 87-89%; B: 84-86%; B-: 80-83%;

C+77-79%; C: 74-76%; C-: 70-73%;

D+: 67-69%; D: 64-66%; D-: 60-63%; (undergraduates only);

F: 59%

Canvas Support

University Policies

Campus Resources

Technical Support


Document design suggestions for your syllabus

  • Become familiar with the guidelines and resources available through the University’s Digital Accessibility Initiative;  note especially the FAQs that provide step-by-step guidance on how to enact accessibility goals.
  • Keep visual impact and navigability in mind.
  • Use serif fonts for main text, sans serif for headings and captions.
  • Chunk content and signpost (with headers, links) effectively.
  • Use icons, sidebars, horizontal rules, etc., in addition to bold, italics, and regular text.
  • Be consistent in your formatting (proofread).
  • More detailed and advanced syllabus design guidance can be found here.

Additional suggestions:

  • Make key components of your syllabus available to students before the course begins — ideally two weeks in advance.
  • Attach the syllabus to your welcome email.
  • Open CANVAS early, making syllabus available for students who may add the course after you’ve sent an introductory email.
  • In web page-based syllabi, include brief explanations of policies, major assignments, etc., and provide links to fuller ones.
  • Outline tech support policies, netiquette, and how the online course differs from a face-to-face one.
  • Duplicate information: Post the whole syllabus on the course site, but also copy and paste relevant sections into your assignments, forums, announcements, etc.


Barkley, E.F., Cross, K. P., & Major, C.H, & (2005). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Grunert O’Brien, J., Mills, B.J., Cohen, M.W. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

McGlynn, A. P. (2001). Successful beginnings for college teaching: Engaging your students from the first day of class. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.

Stephan, J. (2000). The Syllabus and lesson plan. In D. E. Grieve (Ed.). Handbook II advanced teaching strategies for adjunct and part-time faculty (pp. 55-62). Ann Arbor, MI: Adjunct Advocate.

University of Minnesota Center for Teaching and Learning (n.d.). Syllabus tutorial. Retrieved from

Updated 8.6.21