Prepared by Micah N. Strait and the Curriculum Committee
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
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
“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
“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
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
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.
- Division. In the “Division” dropdown, select the academic division in which the course will
- Department. In the “Dept.” dropdown, select the academic department in which the course will
- Subject. In the “Subject” dropdown, select the course subject or prefix designation.
- Course #. Enter the four-digit course number identifier. Remember that under Regents policy
R470, we should give similar courses similar course numbers. Also, ensure that the
course number fits into the numbering system given by Regents policy R470-5.
- Title. Enter Course title. The title should identify the course subject as efficiently as
possible. Roman numerals or phrases such as “Introduction to” should be used to indicate
a course level or position within a sequence. No two courses may have the exact same
title unless they are cross-listed courses, which means that they are the same course
but have different subject designators. Remember, only 30 characters will fit into
Banner. If a course title is over 30 characters, the Registrar’s Office will need
to abbreviate the course title.
- GE Area. Select the GE area this course will meet in the “GE Area” dropdown. If the course
is not a GE course, do not select a GE area.
- Catalog Description. Enter an exciting and appealing explanation of the course. As we intend students
to read this section, it should be direct, informative, and as free of jargon as possible.
Please write 1-4 grammatically correct sentences. Indicate if a course is a prerequisite
in a series of courses (The Curriculum Committee pays close attention to catalog descriptions.)
Catalog descriptions should include cross-listed courses, repeatability, and fees.
It is important to note that transfer institutions will read the catalog description
for articulation purposes. Though many may request the master syllabus, many do not.
- Justification. Explain why this course should be taught at Snow College. Include a statement identifying
courses most like this course at other USHE institutions. The following are examples
of common reasons: (1) course fulfills a General Education requirement; (2) is required
for a specific major or degree; (3) is required for certification or employment; (4)
is required for transfer to another institution; (5) reflects a unique strength of
the college or faculty; (6) responds to a unique need of the college; and (7) responds
to a unique need of the community. If the course fulfills a requirement for an A.A.S.
degree, (1) indicate that an appropriate advisory committee has recommended that the
course be adopted, (2) explain how the course will contribute to employability, and
(3) summarize evidence that this is so.
- Prerequisites. Identify these by course prefix and number. Indicate whether an equivalent course
or experience is acceptable. If a test score is required or may serve as an equivalent,
specify both the test and the score. “Permission of the instructor” is a useful catchall
as long as such permission is granted judiciously. If a student must have certain
physical abilities to successfully complete the course, these must be specified as
well. Please confer with the ADA Coordinator to determine the precise language in
which a physical prerequisite should be announced.
- Corequisites. Corequisite courses must be taken when a student takes this course. Identify these
by course prefix and number. Indicate whether an equivalent course or experience is
acceptable. If a test score is required or may serve as an equivalent, specify both
the test and the score. “Permission of the instructor” is a useful catchall as long
as such permission is granted judiciously. If a student must have certain physical
abilities to successfully complete the course, these must be specified as well. Please
confer with the ADA Coordinator to determine the precise language in which a physical
prerequisite should be announced.
- Course Content. Provide a general outline of course topics, themes, and/or learning tasks. Remember
that this section should be specific enough to distinguish this course from other
similar courses and inform potential transfer institutions what students learn in
the course but general enough that any qualified instructor may use it to create individual
course syllabi. Transfer institutions carefully consider content when considering
articulation, so this section should include content that any student who takes this
course from any instructor will be exposed to. (You may wish to work from a course
schedule or a textbook table of contents, but beware of creating a “laundry list.”)
- Semester to Begin. Select the semester this syllabus will govern the course.
- Five-year Review. This is the semester the course must be reviewed.
- End Semester. This is the last semester the course can be offered without a review.
- Syllabus Type. Designate whether this course is a new course, a five-year review syllabus, or is
a modification and a five-year review.
- Contact Information.
- Credits. The number of credit hours the course is worth. Compute credit hours according to
the following formulae. One standard 50 minute period = 1 hour. One lecture/discussion
hour may count for no more than one credit hour; it may count for less. Two laboratory
or practicum hours may count for no more than one credit hour; they may count for
less. For more information, see the “Academic Credit” section in the “Academic Policies”
part of the Catalog.
- Lecture. Enter the number of hours the course meets in a single week for lecture
- Lab. Enter the number of hours the course meets in a single week for lab or practicum.
Lecture and lab hours must correspond appropriately with credit hours.
- Repeatable. Designate with a “Y” when the course may be repeated for credit. This means that
the course can count for credit each time a student passes the course. This is usually
not checked. If you wish to limit the number of times a student will receive credit
for a course, enter the limiting text in the box below “Repeatable.”
- Variable credit? Check this box if the course has a credit range. For example, check this box if students
can register for this course for 1-3 credits.
- CTE? Check this box if the course is part of the CTE division and will be offered for
non-credit or has a clock-hour requirement.
- Offered for non-credit. If the CTE box is checked and this course will be offered for non-credit, then enter
- Clock Hour Requirement. Enter the number of clock hours a student must log with this course.
- Contact Hours. This is a calculated field for how many lecture and lab hours a course will require
- Workload. This is a calculated field that calculates the CHE assigned to the course.
- FTE. This is a calculated field that represents the amount of a full-time faculty member’s
FTE this course represents. (credits/15)
- Max Class Size. Maximum that can ever be registered in one section. The maximum enrollment for a
course is tied to pedagogy, not room size.
- Optimum Size.
- Semesters Offered. Mark the semester(s) this course will be taught. Note, if you mark a semester, the
department is obligated to offer the course. “TBA” is an acceptable response.
- GE Outcomes. Snow College’s General Education Outcomes are so essential to the mission of the
college that virtually all courses (not only GE courses) will likely address at least
one, as appropriate. In this section, explain the extent to which this course teaches
to one or more of the following outcomes. (Skip any outcomes that do not apply.) The
text on the left is the GE outcome. The box on the right is where you explain how
students will be assessed, e.g. tests, written assignments. Please provide an explanation
of how the outcome will be achieved and how it will be assessed. For GE courses, outcomes
1, 2, and 6 are required, while 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 are optional. Please see your GE
Committee representative for further requirements.
- GE Knowledge Area Outcomes. If this course is a GE course and you selected the GE area from the dropdown menu
in the “Basic Course Information” area, the outcomes for that GE area that are active
for the begin-semester you selected will appear. The text on the left is the outcome
that is associated with the selected GE area. You only need to fill in the assessment
box to the right of outcome boxes. Please provide an explanation of how the outcome
will be achieved and how it will be assessed. The assessment method for each outcome
must be found in the Key Performance Indicators. See GE Committee representatives
for further requirements.
- Student Learning Outcomes. These are course-specific outcomes not already mentioned in the GE Outcomes or GE
Knowledge Area Outcomes sections. First, list the outcome in the boxes to the left.
Briefly describe what a successful student will know, feel, or be able to do as a
result of taking this course. Be wary of outcomes that are difficult or impossible
Finally, show how the student will demonstrate they have achieved the outcome
in the boxes to the right. Explain the methods that will be used to assess achievement
of the intended outcomes. The most common methods of assessment include quizzes, tests,
exams, essays, portfolios, and performances. There may be others as well. The assessment
method for each outcome must be found in the Key Performance Indicators.
Snow College recognizes three distinct kinds of outcomes: cognitive, behavioral,
and affective. Cognitive outcomes identify facts and concepts that students will know.
Behavioral outcomes identify skills that students will be able to perform. Affective
outcomes identify values that students will believe or qualities they will feel. Some
courses teach to all three kinds of outcomes; other courses teach to only one or two.
- Statement on Pedagogy (Teaching Method). Explain the pedagogy (method or practice of teaching) that will be used to engage
students and encourage learning. If you are using high impact practices, please identify
and explain those here as well. Possible teaching methods include the following: lecture,
group/class discussion, interactive experiences, hands-on experiences, service learning,
- Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are assessment measures that will be used to assign a grade. These should correspond
to assessment measures listed in Outcomes. Use a sliding scale to provide more flexibility
for individual instructors. If desired, enter a general statement respecting this
course’s KPIs in the large box. Enter KPI percentages (low and high) in the small
boxes to the right. Please do not enter a “%” in these boxes.
- KPI Range. These two boxes show you the total percentages for the KPIs you have entered. The
low side should be below 100% and while the high range should be greater than 100%.
- Instructional Mediums. Please mark each instructional medium applicable to this course.
- Lecture: A lecture is a traditional method of instruction where students meet weekly for
a specified number of hours; students are there taught a subject by a member of the
- Lab: A lab is an instructional activity in a setting providing specialized facilities
or equipment for students to master the subject matter either by performing experiments
or practicing the skills being learned. The instructor generally supervises, assists,
answers questions, etc., rather than making presentations. A lab is separate from
the lecture although it is often associated with a lecture.
- Lecture/Lab: The integrated lecture/lab is a class that has some lecture and some hands-on components
but does not require a separate time like a traditional lab. It is scheduled like
- IVC: Interactive Video Conferencing courses are taught via broadcast to distance sites
around the state (including other campuses). They are generally taught like a lecture.
- Online: Online courses are taught completely online through a learning management system
or other such means. Students are not required to be physically present at a campus
- Hybrid: Courses that are part online and part lecture. Students are required to be physically
present on campus at least part of the time.
- Internship: Internships are temporary, on-the-job experiences intended to help students identify
how their studies in the classroom apply to the workplace. Internships are individually
arranged by the student in collaboration with a faculty member in the chosen discipline
and a supervisor at the workplace.
- Workshop: A usually brief intensive educational program for a relatively small group of people
that focuses on techniques and skills in a particular field.
- Texts and Materials. Identify one or more exemplary texts to be required by the course. (The texts that
are actually used may be different as long as they substantially resemble the exemplars.)
In place of a date or edition, write “current edition.”
If students are required to purchase non-textual materials, provide a list. (Do
not make the list so specific that you would be obliged to revise the Syllabus at
the slightest change.)
If no text or materials are required, indicate that.
You may also indicate if it is according to individual instructor’s discretion.
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
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.