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Curriculum and Academic Policy

Decisions & Syllabus


Decisions from the CAPC

  • Pass: the course is forwarded to Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate will reach out with any additional feedback. Log-in to CIM and see the right side of the screen to determine at what level of approval any proposal is residing. 
  • Pass pending: the course needs revision, but once these revisions are complete, the course can be forwarded to Faculty Senate. Reply to committee feedback email with revised syllabus/updates when completed.  After two months, inactive Pass Pending items will be rolled back to the initiator. Therefore, feedback should be addressed in a timely manner.
  • Revise and resubmit: the course needs revision, feedback will be provided, and the proposal will be returned to its originator. Program should be approved forward in CIM for a new review once all requested revisions have been addressed.


Syllabus Format

Syllabi submitted for review by the CAPC will be evaluated with respect to this Syllabus Format.
Syllabus Format (DOCX) Syllabus Example (PDF)

Syllabus Format Guide

Please review the following recommendations to prevent your proposal from being returned for revision.

Course number and title

  • Make sure the first digit of the Course Number accurately reflects the intended audience.
  • For new courses, check with the Registrar to ensure that the course number you have in mind is available.
  • Pick a title that accurately reflects the content of the course. See Course Title Guidelines before selecting your title.


Instructor information

Name:

Email address:

Office Hours: Typically one hour a week per credit hour; preferably with one of those hours on a day the course isn’t taught.


Course information

Number of Credit Hours: 

Prerequisites: 

  • Evaluate prerequisite courses for curricular alignment and student learning. 
    • New courses: present evidence to support selection of which courses with what grade are to be used as pre-requisites. See Catalog Prerequisites.
    • Course changes: provide evidence that continuing current pre-requisites are supported by data.  Typical evidence will include DFW rates for the course being reviewed as well as for the courses that are used as pre-requisites. To evaluate course D/F/W rates, access Argos file OURDB191 or SFASLST (CRN required) in Banner.
  • Undergraduate courses may not be used as prerequisites or corequisites to Graduate courses.  
  • Only test scores and completed courses may be used as prerequisites (PR); courses in progress may be used as corequisites (CONC).  
  • Some courses may be used as either PRE (completed) or CONC (taken at the same time).
  • Always enter the minimum grade required for the prerequisite as a minus (C-, D-).
  • If you wish to change the prerequisite of a current course, please provide data about student success (or lack of success).

Repeatability: 

  • Courses may be designated as “repeatable” by checking the appropriate box in CIM.
  • "Repeatable" means that the course can be counted for credit multiple times for a program.
  • Example of Repeatable Course: Student completes ENGL 495 (Independent Study) in Fall Semester and earns a letter grade of ‘A’. Student has earned 3 credit hours. In Spring, student repeats ENGL 495 and earns a ‘C’. Student has earned 3 additional credit hours and a total of 6 credits in ENGL 495.
  • Example of Non-Repeatable Course: Student takes ENGL 101 in Fall Semester and earns a D. Student has earned 3 credit hours. In Spring, student repeats ENGL 101 and earns a C. Student has earned 0 additional credit hours.


Course description

  • Longer and more detailed than the catalog description


Learning outcomes

  • Phrase correctly. See TLC Resource.
  • Appropriate to the course level. See Bloom's Taxonomy and Fink's Significant Learning Outcomes.
  • Appropriate in Number - enough to provide meaningful assessment, but not too many as to make assessment unwieldy.
  • Focus on Higher Order issues and not enumerating tasks that will be completed.
  • Ordered from least to most complex.


Course materials

  • Required text and supplies (if applicable) and where students can find them. For all courses, especially GEF courses, consider adopting an open-source text.
  • Optional text and supplies.


Assessments

List for all major assignments/assessments and a brief explanation of the grading criteria for those assignments/assessments. Assignments/assessments and learning activities should be sequenced, varied, and suited to the level of learning. Each course should include multiple formative assessments where students are provided feedback aimed at improving their performance in the graded/assessed competencies and outcomes.

  • Participation: Indicate how participation will be graded (in class activities, quizzes, performance—with a rubric, etc.), how many days the student can miss, and how can the student make up the missed assignment(s).
  • Homework assignments: Indicate how many assignments and how many points each of them are worth. Also provide a general description for each assignment.
  • Papers: Indicate how many papers and how many points each of them are worth. Also provide a general description for each paper.
  • Exams: Indicate how many exams and how many points each of them are worth.
  • Final Exam: Indicate the day and time at which the final exam will be administered. See Schedule.

Note: If any readings or assignments are not from the required texts, indicate if they will be provided on eCampus or another method/platform. For all aforementioned items, there should be rubrics available to students and an indication of where the rubrics can be found/provided.


Grades

Calculation of final grade example

Assignment

Number of assignments

Points

Total points per category

Percentage of Final Grade

Class Participation

N/A

25

25

9

Homework

10

10

100

37

Papers

2

25

50

18

Final Paper

1

50

50

18

Midterm Exam

1

25

25

9

Final Exam

1

25

25

9

Total

 

 

275

100

Standards of evaluation: On a first read through, a student or reviewer should understand how they will be graded on each assignment and exam. Include a rubric for each assignment. State that further evaluative standards will be provided in eCampus or on a handout at a later date.


Grade Scale

Final grading scale: There should always be a chart showing how a range of points or percentages corresponds to the final letter grade.

Example grade scale table

Grade

Points

Percentage

A

275-245

100-90%

B

244-220

89-80%

C

219-192

79-70%

D

191-165

69-60%

F

164 or less

59-0%

Note: WVU does not currently weight +/- letter grades in the GPA.


Midsemester Grade
Example midsemester grade table

Completed assignments by [insert midterm date]

Possible points

Participation

10

4 Homework assignments @ 10 points

40

Paper 1

25

Midterm Exam

25

Total Points

100 (or 36% of final grade)

  • The points assigned and the calculation of the final grade should be simple and easily understood to foster student success.
  • All undergraduate syllabi must have a statement that indicates when students can expect feedback.
  • All undergraduate syllabi must include a statement that explains what the midterm grade will include.
  • A midterm grade must provide “meaningful evaluation,” which is usually 25-40% of the final grade.


Course policies

  • When preparing policies that are specific for your course, make sure that they are equitable and supportive of all students enrolled. Additionally, make sure that these policies are enforceable.
    • Example of unenforceable policy:
      Students earning a grade of ‘F’ in the final exam will fail the course.
    • Example of enforceable policy:
      Final grade assigned in the course is a simple mathematical formula of all grades earned during the semester.
  • To ensure that no syllabus policies are outdated/do not reflect the current language or links, it is best to use one statement directing students to the following link:
    University Policies: https://tlcommons.wvu.edu/syllabus-policies-and-statements


Late work and make up policy

To incentivize attendance and prevent an absence from accruing multiple penalties for students, the best practice is to have attendance-based assignments, making attendance one graded component of the final grade for the course.

For example, quizzes or other graded work that can be done in class or small attendance-based assessments or in-person group assignments.

  • Include a clear late work policy that references WVU’s attendance policies.
  • It is clearer to either accept work, accept it with a point deduction, or to not accept it, according to the policies in the syllabus regarding late work. Deducting points based on attendance alone, or on top of other penalties, is more difficult to administer.
  • Late work and policies on absences should refer to the University Policy  and fill in any additional details
  • If you are including a participation grade, include a rubric in the syllabus or state a rubric will be provided that explains how participation will be evaluated based on their in-class performance.


Course schedule

  • See detailed examples here – Syllabi & Course Schedules.
  • Be sure that the schedule accounts for both the correct number of weeks of instruction and the final exam week and notes all days the university is closed.
  • A schedule must account for activities in every class session (topics outlined for each TR, MWF or other meeting pattern session).
  • Format the schedule clearly and unambiguously, particularly regarding due dates. The schedule should be easy to read.


Assessment rubrics

A detailed rubric must be provided for every major assignment/assessment.