Review a Syllabus in an Online Course


As a student, one of the first items that you will want to review when you access a new course for the first time is the course syllabus. The course syllabus will list many important pieces of information about the course you will be taking. This tutorial demonstrates a review of an online course syllabus in MyFIRE. 

1.    Once you have located the syllabus in your course in MyFIRE, it is important to review the syllabus to know what it states. The syllabus will outline how a course will run and will outline requirements that you are expected to meet as a student. If needing directions on how to locate a syllabus, refer to the locate a syllabus in an online course tutorial

2.    To begin, the first page of the syllabus will include a table of contents page so that you can quickly navigate to the desired topic when referencing the syllabus. 

3.    The first section of the syllabus will cover the course information. The course information will include the format of the course, the course ID (part of the course code), the course title, the college that course is in, prerequisites if any, credit hours, and the instructor’s name or directions to know where to view the instructor’s name. 


4.    Scrolling down the page, the course description and overview will be listed. This information will briefly tell you what the course will be about.  



5.    Then review the course workload. The course workload is based on the average amount of time needed to complete coursework per week. Time spent on course assignments will vary by student depending on familiarity with course content, reading rate of speed, writing rate of speed, and other individual factors. 


6.    Next, review the course materials for the class. The course materials will be different for each class. Some classes may require the purchase of multiple textbooks, while others may solely utilize online material included in the course. 


a.    Required materials- These are materials that must be purchased or utilized during the course. 

b.    Supplementary materials- These are materials that are not required but may benefit students throughout the course. If your course includes an online textbook that will be listed in your course, the course materials will state that the course is utilizing Follet Access or utilizing open educational resources (OERs). If this is the case for your course, you will not need to purchase textbooks for your course. Note: At the bottom of the course materials section is a direct link to SEU’s bookstore where the materials can be reviewed and purchased.  



     7.    The course topics will include a list of the topics that will be covered during the course. 


8.    The intended learning outcomes are what you will be able to demonstrate by successfully completing the course. These are the goals of the course. 


9.    Next, will be the late work and extra credit policy. The information included within these sections defines if late work and extra credit will be accepted by your professor or the department that oversees your course. If late work and extra credit are accepted, the syllabus will define the terms in which they will be accepted. Note: If you have any questions about the policies, please reach out to your instructor. 


10. The second major section of the syllabus provides a link to all of SEU’s academic policies. The academic policies include SEU’s Mission and Vision Statements, Title IX Statement, Student Services, Class Participation, Official Email, MyFIRE Use, Technical Difficulties, Technical Support, Disability Statement, Academic Honesty, Course Evaluation, Official Withdrawal, Grading Scale, and Netiquette.


11. The third section of the syllabus lists the course schedule. Primarily in online courses, the courses will run for 8 weeks, and each week is separated into aim, learn, and apply sections. This section will also list the days that each assessment will be due. 


a.    Aim- This section includes the learning goals for the week. 

b.    Learn- This section includes all of the material that needs to be reviewed, read, watched, or listened to in order to understand what is being taught. 

c.     Apply- This section includes all of the application assessments that need to be completed to demonstrate the learning of the weekly lesson(s). 

12. The fourth section of the syllabus lists how the assessments (the required learning activities) will be calculated. At the end of the course, the scores from each category will be combined together to calculate your final grade. Note: A points-only based grade book (no percentages included) and a weighted-based grade book (percentages included) calculate scores differently. 

a.    Points-based grade books can be calculated by the addition of points. 

b.    If you would like to calculate your grade in a weighted-based grade book, refer to the how to calculate a weighted-based grade book tutorial

13. Some syllabi have an additional section. If a fifth section is included in the syllabus, then the section will provide additional resources and/or links critical to the course.