Course Development Path to Success

Week 2

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Developing your Course Syllabus

This week we will focus on the development of your course syllabus. If you already have a developed course syllabus please consider revising it using this week's tips.

A note about GSE syllabi:

The GSE Executive Committee reviews and approves all courses including course descriptions. When preparing your syllabus, you should always include the official GSE course description and, if possible, the learning objectives. The course number and name that you are teaching will be included in your contract and you can find the course description on the GSE website.

Many times learning objectives will not be included with the description. If the department you are teaching for did not provide you with the learning objectives for your course, you will need to write them on your own. The Resources list below provides several tools to help you accomplish this.

Week 2 To-Do's

1. Log-in to UBlearns. You should see a Course Template in your UBlearns course list. If you do not see the Course Template in your course list and would like to request access please send a request to

2. Read the following document for more information on the GSE Course Template: What is GSE's Course Template?

3. Copy the Course Template into your Practice Course : Steps for Copying a Course Template. Since the some courses are not yet available in UBlearns, faculty that are scheduled to teach online have been set-up with a Practice Course to begin course development. If you do not see a Practice course in your UBlearns course list please click here to request one.

4. Make changes to the course menu in the Course Template. The recommended menu items are shown in the above document (Steps for Copying a Course Template). View the UBlearns directions for customizing the menu options for your course.

5. Explore the course template. Now that the template is copied over and your main course menu is set-up you should take some time to explore the course template. Notice that the template includes a sample welcome announcement, commonly used discussion forums, sample rubrics (under Course Tools --> Rubrics), course syllabus and course schedule templates, and more!

6. Develop the course syllabus. Click on the Syllabus link in the main course menu. Here you will find GSE's syllabus template. Download the file and save it to your computer. You will re-upload the document once your changes have been made.

7. Make basic edits to the syllabus template. Delete any content that is not applicable to your course/program. Insert your contact information, course description, and course objectives. Contact your department to obtain this information if necessary. If you need to write course objectives please see the resources below for assistance.

Next week we will focus on course design.


The Best Practices Portal (BPP) is an administrative site in UBlearns that houses useful information, tutorials, etc. pertaining to online teaching. You should see the BPP in your UBlearns course list. If you do not have access to the BPP please send an email to

View the Course Design and Organization section of the BPP (located in "Portal Content"). Here you will find extensive resources for syllabus construction including writing objectives and connecting to outcomes.

Further Reading
Click here
to schedule a one-on-one consultation with an instructional designer (either as a web-conference or in person).