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Syllabus Instructions

Prepared by Micah N. Strait and the Curriculum Committee

Updated 1/19/2019

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Foremost, thank you for working diligently to ensure that Snow College’s curriculum is up to date and appealing to students. It is no exaggeration to say that the courses you help shape will shape our students’ minds and lives. Your work in the Syllabus system will influence the lives of a countless number of individuals.

The following is an explanation of the fields that you will encounter in the Syllabus system and requirements for each field. If anything below is unclear, please let your division Curriculum Committee representative or the Curriculum Committee chair know, and we will try to make things a little more clear for you. For GE syllabi, consult with your GE Committee representative.

General advice for creating master syllabi: Master course syllabi have several intended audiences, including other Snow College instructors, accrediting bodies, transfer institutions, and students. It is critical to balance these audiences when revising or creating syllabi.

On a final introductory note, please involve your dean, chair, and committee representatives as much as possible. They have valuable information about the expectations of approving committees and the state of your discipline in the region. They also have information that will help shape your course so that it is appealing to students and timely relative to the shifting demographics in Utah and your discipline. Your dean, chair, and committee representatives understand Snow College’s programs and can guide you in fitting your course into those programs where applicable.

Step 1. “Syllabus - Creation.”

The first step in creating or reviewing a syllabus is to insert the syllabus into the system. To do this, launch or run the Argos dashboard titled “Syllabus - Creation (MNS).”

When the dashboard appears, you will see a box entitled “Your in-progress syllabi.” The syllabi that appear here are the syllabi that you have created and are in progress or syllabi others in your department or division have created. Do not create a new syllabus for your course if there is already one there for that course. If it is assigned to another faculty member, call the Office of Academic Affairs and have the syllabus transferred to you if you have been assigned to that course.

There are two options for you. First, click the “Copy a Syllabus” button if you want to copy from an existing syllabus. This will let you copy a whole syllabus if you only want to make minor changes. This is helpful for courses that are up for five-year review.  The second option is for you to click the “Create a Syllabus” button if you are creating a completely new course or would like to start from scratch with an existing course.

“Copy a Syllabus.”

On the “Copy a Syllabus” form, you will need to search for the syllabus you want to copy. Enter the four character subject abbreviation (often referred to as the course “Prefix”) in the first upper box and the course number in the bottom box. Then press the magnifying glass icon.

Please be aware that in the search results the most recent version of the course is the syllabus with the highest “SYLL_ID” number, found in the left-most column. This usually means that it is the most complete version of the course unless someone began a revision and then decided not to submit it. Once you select the syllabus you want to copy, select the faculty member who will “author” the syllabus, i.e. the faculty member who will be completing the syllabus.

Then press “Copy Selected Syllabus.” If you want to copy another syllabus, click the recycle button.

“Create a Syllabus.”

On the “Copy a Syllabus” form, select the division and department that will offer the course. Then select the subject or prefix and enter a course number and course title. Please note, Banner only allows 30 characters. Finally, select the faculty member who will be the syllabus author, i.e. the faculty member who will be entering the data into the Syllabus database.

Then press “Create New Syllabus.” If you want to create another syllabus, click the recycle button.

Step 2. Working with Your Syllabi.

Once you have created your syllabus, you will want to enter information about the syllabus by launching or running the Argos dashboard called “Syllabus (MNS).” Similar to the “Syllabus - Creation” dashboard, the welcome screen presents your in-progress syllabi and the in-progress syllabi in your division depending on your role in the system.

Once you have selected the syllabus you want to work on, you will see the “Proceed with Selected Syllabus” button on the left. Press the button and you will see the syllabus editing form.

Before we proceed with an explanation of the fields you will see, please remember that the information you enter will not save unless you press the save button. Press it often and remember to press it before you submit the syllabus for review.

Syllabu Save Button

Step 3. Save and Review.

Press the save button and then review the syllabus before you submit it for approval.

At the top of the screen, you will see a “Report Options” or “Reports” drop-down. Click the drop-down and select one of the syllabus PDFs. Then select “Run” if you are in a web browser or select the preview method you prefer (preview, save PDF, email, or print) if you are using the desktop app.

Review the syllabus and return to Argos to make the corrections as needed. The syllabus you submit should be grammatically correct and free of spelling errors. Remember, not only will your peers read your syllabus to help guide them in their classes, other institutions will read your syllabus during their articulation processes. The syllabus you create represents the quality of the course.

Step 4. Submit for Review.

After you have reviewed and saved the syllabus, press the “Submit for Review” button. If you are sure you wish to submit the syllabus for review, click “Yes.”

Review for Deans and Chairs.

Academic Review. Your expertise and experience are vital for programs to be successful at Snow College. After you receive notification that the syllabus is there for review, please check the academic soundness of the syllabus and review the syllabus for compatibility with your division’s programs, with Snow College programs, and with the mission of Snow College.

Be sure to explain how significant changes (such as credit hour changes within courses or new courses) impact programs and how programs will be adjusted to accommodate the changes. This may require a program revision. Check with your Curriculum Committee representative for further information.

Resource Review. The Curriculum Committee acknowledges your skillful and thoughtful management of limited resources (including workload, budgets, facilities, and needs of programs, faculty, and students). As you review the course, also consider the course’s impact on your division or department’s resources. Your division or department should not be obligated to offer courses it is not financially capable of offering. Indeed, Snow College should not be thus obligated.

As you conduct this review, think of the course’s impact on the programs your division or department offers or to which it contributes. If this course is approved, for example, will it decrease the availability of required courses in a program by reallocating necessary resources? Will it require Snow College to allocate additional resources to a program, department, or division simply to maintain what was offered before the course was approved? Will it require a workload readjustment?

Broadly speaking, a program is only as academically sound as the curriculum offered. That is, if a division or department only has the resources to offer 90% of the curriculum, the program as a whole is not academically sound. Similarly, a program is only sound if it has the resources to cover all the students in that program. Students in a program can only achieve 100% of the academic outcomes of a program if the College provides enough resources to provide all the required courses.

This resource review is to ensure that this new or modified course does not take resources necessary for students to achieve in existing programs. The Curriculum Committee does not, critique, approve, or deny how resources are used. This review is simply an accountability check to ensure a review is being done.

The “Resource Statements” you provide guide the GE and Curriculum Committees in their managing of Snow College’s academic programs. The Curriculum Committee, of which the GE Committee is a subcommittee, “has the responsibility of ensuring that a sufficient selection of program requirements are offered each semester” (Curriculum Committee Constitution). This resource review helps these committees fulfill that responsibility.

In the resource statement boxes on the submission form, please explain how this course will impact the department’s resources: “N/A” or “no impact” is not an appropriate answer. Please provide an explanation that will help the approval Committees evaluate the course’s impact on Snow College’s programs. For instance, if the course is new and new faculty have been hired or have been approved to be hired, explain this. Or if the course is new and funding has been made available from a grant or other source, indicate this. If the course is currently being taught and any modifications to the course do not require additional resources, feel free to state that the course is currently being taught and no new resources are needed.

Importantly, consider the impact this course has on Snow College’s largest program: GE. Each division and most departments play a role in GE and course creation impacts resources. As such, please explain how this course will impact your department or division’s supply of its GE courses. Remember, it is important that new courses or courses under review not diminish or limit the number of GE seats available because that limits the success of the students in Snow College’s largest program.