/ Provost's Office

Syllabus Guidelines

The syllabus is a critical roadmap to the intellectual journey we embark upon with our students. This website provides tips and resources for crafting this important map. Additionally, we have provided required syllabus elements and language (including a template) for courses being taught in the fall 2020 semester.

When crafting your syllabus, confirm that you are adhering to the credit hour policy in your course design (see the General Academic Regulations section of the Course Catalog; also on pages 21–22 of the Catalog PDF).

Required Elements with Common or Pre-set Wording

Required elements for fall 2020

  • Extra instructional hours
    Because of the shortened semester, we seek to give you the same instructional time as other semesters on campus. Toward that end, extra instructional time will be added to this course to make it equivalent to the instructional time that occurs in a traditional semester.

  • Healthy behaviors statement
    Students, like all faculty and staff, are required to wear face coverings (mask, face shield, bandana or other coverings) to cover their mouths and noses during all indoor course activities.

    Additionally, students must adhere to physical/social distancing protocols (e.g., stay six feet apart from individuals, enter and exit at labeled doors in a staggered fashion) as directed by the instructor, posted signage or the college. Please note that some laboratory and studio courses may require instructors to get closer than six feet to students to achieve the learning objectives. This will be kept to a minimum both in frequency and duration. Students who have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, body ache, shortness of breath, chills or sudden loss of taste/smell will be excused from class and should stay home. Students experiencing these symptoms should contact the Health Center and email their instructors.

    To protect the health of everyone, instructors have the right to ask those students not complying with these requirements to leave the class. We see adherence to this policy and other safety regulations as a demonstration of one of our core values of Hope: to be a caring community. Let us all express this value in placing the care for one another as a top priority.

  • Recorded and Live Streamed Class Session Access Restrictions

    Because of the unique nature of this semester, the college seeks to offer all students the opportunity to participate in courses despite possible health concerns, travel restrictions or other barriers that will prevent full participation in face-to-face courses. To that end, the college will be recording and/or live streaming many courses throughout the semester. This approach to recording sessions will be a benefit to many students who find themselves unable to attend a particular course session in real time. These recordings are designed to be seen only by members of the particular class being recorded. The recorded and/or live streamed course access is intended for instructional purposes only and students may not share or distribute the recording or live streaming with anyone or any group.

Required Elements with Variable WordingWording is left to the instructor's discretion

Requiredelements for fall 2020

  • Disability-related Accommodations
    Disability and Accessibility Resources (DAR) has a very helpful faculty and instructional staff resource guide. In this guide are a few examples of syllabus statements. Here is one of the example statements:

    “Hope College is committed to providing equitable learning environments to all students. If you have a temporary or permanent condition that requires accommodation(s) (including but not limited to: mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical,or health-related), you may call Disability and Accessibility Resources (DAR) at 616.395.7925 to schedule a meeting with a specialist or visit the DAR website to request accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process among you, your instructor(s) and DAR. You may request accommodations at any point in the semester, but DAR encourages you to initiate the process early, as accommodations are not granted retroactively. Your course instructors will receive an email from DAR verifying the approved accommodations.”

  • Contingency plan for faculty absence

    Give a short description of the plan to maintain continuity of teaching, should you become ill or need to care for an ill family member. Please note this plan should also be submitted to the department chair or program director.

  • Contingency plan for alternate instructional modality
    Identify how you will deliver the course if the college needs to move to remote
    operations. If you are already teaching online, you do not need this section. If known
    prior to the onset of the semester, the plan should include any assignments, delivery
    changes or assessments that will be different if the course moves to online.
    • The plan should be described in the syllabus but can be very succinct. For example, for F2F courses, examples could be as brief as:
      • “Professor Y has agreed to cover my courses for me during my absence.”
      • “I have all my lectures pre-recorded and will ask students to watch them during my absence.”
      • “If I am feeling well enough, I will pre-record lectures prior to the F2F class time and ask students to view them during the class meeting time.”
      • “I will switch to online asynchronous teaching during my illness or quarantine.”

  • Attendance

    Instructors are encouraged to take attendance for all courses this semester in all instructional modalities. If students are absent and do not notify you (per one of the guidelines given to students), email the students to check on their welfare and encourage them to attend class regularly. If students do not respond to these emails, complete the following form, which will allow staff members to conduct more outreach with students:https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?HopeCollege&layout_id=3.

    Recognizing that there may not be an asynchronous online equivalent to all assignments and learning opportunities, faculty may encourage students who miss an excessive number of classes to consider withdrawing from a course and taking it at a later semester (if possible) in order to preserve the integrity of the educational experience.

  • Academic honesty and integrity statement
    From the Course Catalog:

    Academic Integrity is based on the principles of honesty and individual responsibility for actions. As these principles are applied to academic life at Hope College, it follows that a student will not:
    • Give, offer, or receive aid on examination other than that specifically allowed by the professor.
    • Do course work in a manner that is inconsistent with the standards of conduct set forth by the professor.
    • Falsify or fabricate data. This has particular application to laboratory work and research.
    • Engage in conduct that destroys another person's work or hinders another in their academic endeavors. This has particular application to computer files, library resources, and laboratory or studio work.
    • Knowingly represent the work of others as one’s own. This includes plagiarism

      Academic Integrity statements are also a part of the student handbook and faculty handbook.
Highly Recommended Elements In most cases, wording is left to the instructor's discretion

  • Course description (from the course catalog)
  • Course objectives
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Writing expectations
  • Evaluation criteria and grading scale
  • Statement on final exam