1. Plan Schedule of Lectures and Assignments
  2. Verify Enrolment
  3. Prepare and Submit Course Syllabus
    1. People to consult
    2. Resources to consult
    3. Contents of the Course Syllabus
    4. Syllabus Template Language – Required
    5. Syllabus Template Language – Suggested
  4. Course Planning Checklist

Plan Schedule of Lectures and Assignments

When you are planning your course schedule, take into account:

  • Academic dates
  • Statutory holidays
  • Days of religious observances
  • Drop/add date

A list of academic dates and deadlines, including statutory holidays, can be found here.

Carleton accommodates students who must miss an exam, test, assignment deadline, or other compulsory academic event for reasons of religious obligation and for student activities. For information, visit academic accommodations. You can also learn more about how to meet accommodations and a list of common days of religious observations on the Equity and Inclusive Communities website.

Remember to include some kind of graded assessment, either 1) before the last day to register for courses in the term (which is generally two weeks into the term) or 2) prior to the financial drop deadline (usually the last day of the first month of the term). As per Reg. 5.3, Carleton requires instructors to provide early assessment (by the 25th teaching day) in order to allow students a fair chance to assess their course participation.

If you are considering a field trip, please discuss the idea with your academic unit’s chair or director before organizing it.

If you are holding synchronous sessions (optional or mandatory), for the purposes of accessibility, it is advisable to record those and to make them available to students afterwards. See the suggested language that you can include in your syllabus for Recording Sessions below.

Verify Enrolment

To review the list of students enrolled in your class, users can go to “Course Admin” > Classlist to see the list of students.

Prepare and Submit Course Syllabus

Your course syllabus must be available to students one week before the start of class (Reg. 5.2). It is strongly recommended that you host your syllabus on Carleton’s learning management system, Brightspace. Typically, instructors must submit their course syllabus to their chair/director and/or faculty dean in advance of that date. Deadlines and procedures vary among academic units, so please check with your departmental administrator. As departmental administrators do not have access to your Brightspace courses, you will be asked to send the syllabus by email.

People to consult

In the early stages of preparing your course syllabus, it is essential that you consult with the following parties. Your department is an especially crucial point of contact—it can often direct you to the syllabi of past instructors of the course, for instance—so always defer to its instructions.

  • Department chair/head/director: help clarify expectations, requirements
  • Departmental administrator(s): help clarify requirements, regulations, preclusions and prerequisites; provide syllabus template (if applicable)
  • Colleagues who teach/have taught the course: help clarify expectations, requirements
  • Teaching and Learning Services: help clarify regulations; review your syllabus/course design

Resources to consult

Add the following resources to your internet browser bookmarks. You will need the information they provide at the planning stages of your course and throughout the term.

Contents of the Course Syllabus

The course syllabus must specify all the elements that will contribute to the final grade and the weighting of each element. Remember that a syllabus is a course contract between you and your students, so it needs to provide all relevant information about the course’s policies, assessments, and so on. Be as clear as possible in order to reduce needless challenges and appeals. Some academic units provide a course syllabus template, too, so check with your departmental administrator.

In the absence of a template, include these items in your course outline:

  • Department, course name and number (including section letter)
  • Academic year and term/session
  • Prerequisites and preclusions (check the calendar)
  • Name(s) of instructor(s)
  • Contact information, including name, title, office number, email address, and office hours
  • TA names, office hours and location, email (if known)
  • Course modality (synchronous, asynchronous, or blended). It is highly recommended that you provide a description of the weekly lesson/module experience you will be asking your students to adhere to. See below for suggested language.
  • For any synchronous components: platform (BigBlueButton, Zoom, etc.), days and times. If you plan to record these, which for accessibility purposes is strongly advised, communicate that to your students on your syllabus. See below for suggested language.
  • Recommended technical specifications to succeed in the course (e.g., a laptop or desktop and not a phone, stable internet, mic, webcam, etc.). For help composing this, check out Technical Specs for New Students.
  • Course websites, if applicable (i.e., Brightspace)
  • Ways to contact you and policies around communications in general. For questions about course content and assignments, instead of relying on email, it is highly recommended that you set up and direct students to use the Forum tool on Brightspace
  • Course description: learning outcomes, topics, catalogue description
  • Required readings and textbooks, supplementary readings. Consider using e-books and Ares e-reserves whenever possible. If you must assign print books, make your reading list known to your students as early as you can—some students will need to make shipping arrangements
  • A statement about Netiquette (i.e., a ‘code of conduct’ or ‘terms of engagement’ for your online class)
  • Dates and descriptions of assignments, midterms, as known. For accessibility purposes, it is especially important that you provide information about the format of any tests/exams. That information helps PMC coordinators to request appropriate accommodations for students based on their needs.
  • Policies: student expectations, instructor expectations, attendance, class participation, missed tests/assignments, late assignments
  • Grading scheme (including the percentage of the final numerical mark formed by each assignment, i.e., tests, papers, exams, etc.). Note: This information MUST be provided
  • Referrals to Carleton’s Student Academic and Career Development Services (SACDS), including Career Services, Academic Advising, Co-Operative Education, and the Centre for Student Academic Support
  • Statements of academic accommodations
  • Statement of academic integrity (check if your academic unit has standard template language)

Syllabus Template Language – Required

Academic Accommodation

For a list of academic accommodation statements that must be included, visit the Current Students website.

Syllabus Template Language – Suggested

Academic Integrity

The University Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as “presenting, whether intentionally or not, the ideas, expression of ideas or work of others as one’s own.”  This includes reproducing or paraphrasing portions of someone else’s published or unpublished material, regardless of the source, and presenting these as one’s own without proper citation or reference to the original source. Examples of sources from which the ideas, expressions of ideas or works of others may be drawn from include but are not limited to: books, articles, papers, literary compositions and phrases, performance compositions, chemical compounds, art works, laboratory reports, research results, calculations and the results of calculations, diagrams, constructions, computer reports, computer code/software, material on the internet and/or conversations.

Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to:

  • any submission prepared in whole or in part, by someone else;
  • using ideas or direct, verbatim quotations, paraphrased material, algorithms, formulae, scientific or mathematical concepts, or ideas without appropriate acknowledgment in any academic assignment;
  • using another’s data or research findings without appropriate acknowledgement;
  • submitting a computer program developed in whole or in part by someone else, with or without modifications, as one’s own; and
  • failing to acknowledge sources through the use of proper citations when using another’s work and/or failing to use quotations marks.

Plagiarism is a serious offence that cannot be resolved directly by the course’s instructor. The Associate Dean of the Faculty conducts a rigorous investigation, including an interview with the student, when an instructor suspects a piece of work has been plagiarized. Penalties are not trivial. They can include a final grade of “F” for the course or even suspension or expulsion from the University.

Course Copyright

It is also important to note that relatively recently, a number of course sharing websites, such as Course Hero, have emerged whereby students post course notes and exams for others to share freely. While we cannot stop this, we would suggest that you include wording in your course outlines to deter these third-party note- and exam-sharing sites from using materials created for Carleton courses. Suggested wording could be:

“Classroom teaching and learning activities, including lectures, discussions, presentations, etc., by both instructors and students, are copyright protected and remain the intellectual property of their respective author(s).All course materials, including PowerPoint presentations, outlines, and other materials, are also protected by copyright and remain the intellectual property of their respective author(s).

Students registered in the course may take notes and make copies of course materials for their own educational use only. Students are not permitted to reproduce or distribute lecture notes and course materials publicly for commercial or non-commercial purposes without express written consent from the copyright holder(s).”

Final Grades

“Standing in a course is determined by the course instructor subject to the approval of the Faculty Dean. This means that grades submitted by the instructor may be subject to revision. No grades are final until they have been approved by the Dean.”

Course Modality

It’s important that students understand the type of course they are registered in. For a description of all 7 course modalities offered at Carleton in Fall 2021, visit this webpage. If you’re teaching an online course, you can also consider using one of the descriptions below, as appropriate, to make sure your students understand what kind of course they have signed up for.

Synchronous Course:

This course is a real-time, online course where the instructor and students meet via web conferencing tools, at scheduled days and times. Instructors and students share information, ideas and learning experiences in a virtual course environment. Participation in synchronous courses requires students to have reliable, high-speed internet access, a computer (ideally with a webcam), and a headset with a microphone.

Asynchronous Course: 

This course is online course where the instructor and students share information, ideas, and learning experiences in a virtual course space. Asynchronous courses do not have required live, scheduled meetings online. However, students are expected to remain up to date with the deadlines and due dates provided by the instructor. These courses require high-speed Internet access and a computer.

Mixed Modality Course:

This course is an online course where there is a mixture of synchronous meetings and asynchronous activities. This means students need to be prepared to meet some of the time online via web conferencing tools at scheduled days and times. The specific dates will be communicated by the instructor in the course outline. The asynchronous activities are intended to provide flexibility to students when the class is not meeting synchronously. Students are expected to remain up to date with the deadlines and due dates provided by the instructor. These courses require reliable high-speed Internet access and a computer (ideally with a webcam), and a headset with a microphone.

Session Recording

Web conferencing sessions in this course may be recorded and made available only to those within the class. Sessions may be recorded to enable access to students with internet connectivity problems, who are based in different time zone, and/or who have conflicting commitments. If students wish not to be recorded, they need to leave your camera and microphone turned off.  

You will be notified at the start of the session when the recording will start, and Zoom will always notify meeting participants that a meeting is being recorded. It is not possible to disable this notification.  

Please note that recordings are protected by copyright. The recordings are for your own educational use, but you are not permitted to publish to third party sites, such as social media sites and course materials sites. 

You may be expected to use the video and/or audio and/or chat during web conferencing sessions for participation and collaboration. If you have concerns about being recorded, please email me directly so we can discuss these. 

Course Planning Checklist

This checklist will help you plan your course and ensure deadlines are met. You’ll also find references to policies, procedures and accommodations, as well as information on assistance with classroom set-up. As always, be sure to check with your dean’s office, chair or director for information specific to your academic unit.

Task Timeline Details

Plan course goals or outcomes.

  • What do you know about students’ prior knowledge, ability, goals and feelings regarding the subject matter?
  • How does/can your course fit into the bigger scheme of your academic units’ curriculum, workplace needs, student development, etc.?
  • Do you have a teaching budget within your academic unit, and for how much? What is the acceptable use policy?
  • What are the course learning outcomes?
  • How will you assess the degree to which students meet these outcomes?

For more information about planning course content, see Assembling Course Materials.

For more information about course design, see Course Design and Use of Multimedia.

Plan lecture and assignment schedule.

  • Are you aware of dates for all statutory and religious holidays?
  • Have you included some kind of graded assessment before the drop/add date?
  • Field trips need to be discussed with your departmental chair/director well ahead of time.

Notify lab technician of your plans and requirements well in advance.

For more information about academic accommodations, see Academic Accommodations.

Review Carleton’s academic regulations and policies.

  • Grading scales
  • Deferral of student work
  • Plagiarism
  • Emergencies – fire alarms, student injuries, theft, etc.
  • Academic accommodation for disabilities, holy days, pregnancy/parental leave
  • What will you be evaluated on in your teaching evaluations?

For more information about Carleton’s policies, visit the Secretariat website.

Meet with TA(s) to review work expectations and guidelines.

The first meeting should ideally be before classes begin. Determine how often (if at all) you will be meeting with your TA(s).

For more information about working with your TA(s), see Working with Teaching Assistants.

Create teaching materials for classes, labs, tutorials, etc.

  • Brightspace or website content
  • Photocopying

For more information about Brightspace, see Computing for Carleton Instructors.

Order or reserve learning materials, such as:

  • Textbooks (through Bookstore)
  • Library reserve lists
  • Coursepacks (through The Print Shop)
  • Audio-visual material (through the Library)

Library reserves:

3 – 4 weeks before start of term


Fall term – June 1

Winter term – October 1

Spring/summer terms – March 1

(You can place orders after these dates, but earlier booking provides many advantages to students.)


Fall term – June 1

Winter term – October 1

Summer term – February 1

For more information about course materials, see Assembling Course Materials.

Plan assignments.

  • How do assignments fit in with learning outcomes?
  • Create grading key at the same time as the assignment
  • In case of labs, have you reviewed your plans and needs with a lab technician?

For more information about developing course assignments, see Course Design and Use of Multimedia.

Establish student communication guidelines and summarize them in the course outline.

  • Office hours
  • Online contact policy
  • Expectations regarding communication with students

For more information about establishing office hours and a student communication policy, see Office Hours and Communicating with Students.

Verify room assignment and enrolment.

If teaching in an e-classroom, arrange for passkey, log-on information and training.

Arrange for a training session in an e-classroom with IMS before your first class.

To book a one-on-one training session with IMS, fill out the request form on their website.

Prepare course outline and submit to department chair/director.

  • Does your academic unit have a template?
  • If not, have you included all information required by the university?

Outlines should be available to students 1 week before first day of class.

Departmental deadlines vary for submitting outline to chair/director.

For more information on developing a course outline, see Assembling Course Materials.

Prepare for the first day.

For more information about getting ready for your first class, see What to Expect During Your First Class.

Ask for informal feedback from students regarding course content, pacing, level, etc.

For more information about collecting midterm feedback, see Feedback on Teaching.

Handle student requests regarding enrolment, grading, extensions, etc.

For more information about academic policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Refer students as needed to appropriate university services.

For more information about university services, see the Student Support website.

Prepare and submit exams to either your departmental administrator or directly to Exam Services (please check with your departmental administrator).

For more information about examination policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Submit in-term grades to students.

As soon as possible after assignments are submitted.

For more information about using Brightspace, see Computing for Carleton Instructors.

Conduct university evaluation of teaching.

Last two weeks of term.

For more information about administering teaching evaluations, see University Teaching Evaluations.

Attend final exam.

For more information about the instructor’s role during formal examinations, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Submit final grades to E-Grades system.

  • If a student appeals a final grade, respond following university guidelines outlined in the undergraduate calendar.

Ten days after last day of exams.

For more information about academic policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

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