Office of the Provost
Syllabus resources for spring 2021
After a very long year, we have finally made it to 2021. The last several months were particularly taxing with so many in our community giving their all to support our academic mission. The spring semester will still have its challenges, but there are many ways in which your hard work in the fall has provided a foundation and template to build upon for the spring. I cannot thank you enough for all you have been doing.
In advance of the spring semester starting in two weeks, our office wanted to share with you a few key reminders and resources for your syllabi for the spring 2021 semester.
One of the most valuable resources at your disposal is the syllabus guidance created by CETL, available on their website. A helpful starting point is their syllabus template, which you may review by clicking here. All instructors are welcome to use any of the language in this template to make the process of building your syllabi easier. Additional instructional resources can be found on UConn’s Keep Teaching website.
In particular, I want to draw your attention to a few areas that are new or modified in the context of COVID-19:
- UConn is required to verify the identity of students who participate in online courses and to establish that students who register in an online course are the same students who participate in and complete the course activities and assessments and receive academic credit. Your syllabus should include information for students on the methods you will use in your course for authentication. Please see this resource guide for more detail: https://kb.ecampus.uconn.edu/2020/12/02/authentication-of-students/
- Reading Days are scheduled for April 29 through May 2 in the spring semester*. On Reading Days, you may not hold regularly scheduled or make-up classes, and you also may not have assignments due or exams scheduled for these days. Please be mindful of these restrictions on Reading Days when constructing your syllabus. Fully optional activities including office hours, study sessions, and/or other accommodations may be scheduled during these days.
*Reading Day dates vary for UConn Law and Health programs.
- In the event that the University cancels classes because of inclement weather, this applies to all courses (remote, hybrid, in-person). For asynchronous courses, this may mean that you adjust deadlines by a day or two. Even in the event that the University does not cancel classes amid inclement weather, some of your students may report difficulty with technology or Internet accessibility. Consider including a note about how to contact you in such events, as well as a link to the University’s inclement weather policy, https://policy.uconn.edu/2011/10/27/emergency-closing-policy-2010-2011/.
Finally, we encourage you to share your syllabi with students early this semester – ideally a week before the first day of class. In addition to posting syllabi in HuskyCT for course-enrolled students to view on the first day of classes, faculty are encouraged to send a copy by email to all enrolled students or alternatively upload their syllabus link here (https://ecampus.uconn.edu/syllabuslink/) to provide access to all students so they can better prepare for the semester, as well as make decisions earlier if they determine they would like to drop any classes.
Thank you for all you do to prepare rigorous and engaging course material for your students. Your efforts are noticed and appreciated.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs