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Designing an Effective Syllabus

Resources to help faculty and staff design an effective syllabus to engage and motivate students

Online/Blended Learning Syllabus Template

The purpose of this document is to provide faculty with a template syllabus that includes topics and examples that are considered best practices, with special considerations for online and blended courses. This is the syllabus template approved by the Committee on Teaching at Marquette University with adaptations for online courses. (created July 2020, revised August 2020)

This document was drafted by CTL and Digital Learning in July 2020. For questions regarding this document, please contact María Parés-Toral ( or Jen Maney ( 

Covid-19 Syllabus Statements

This document contains suggested language for the following topics: 

  • Special Statement on COVID-19
  • Wearing Masks in Classrooms is Required 
  • Facemasks are not a Substitute for Social Distancing 
  • Commitment to Inclusion and Equity
  • Health-related Class Absences
  • Attendance and Participation
  • Technology Requirements

This document was drafted by CTL and Digital Learning in July 2020. For questions regarding this document, please contact María Parés-Toral ( or Jen Maney ( 

These are suggested topics and language. Adjust based on your individual course. 

Attendance Guidelines for Faculty for fall 2020

This document details various attendance considerations for: 

  • accommodations 
  • grading
  • expectations for students in syllabi
  • flexible options for withdrawals/incompletes

Syllabus Essentials

Below are a list of some key areas that would be good to include on your syllabus. 

Items that are bolded and have *** are items that have special online or blended course considerations.

See the syllabus template above for more help with each of these "essentials."

  • Contact Information
  • Office hours***
  • Course description
  • Course overview
  • Required Textbooks, Resources, and Materials***
  • Course Learning Objectives/Outcomes
  • Communication Policy***
  • Attendance and Participation***
  • Late Work Policy***
  • Assignments
  • Discussions***
  • Important Dates
  • Grading and assessment
  • Course Policies***
  • Accommodation statement***
  • Resources for Students***
  • Class Schedule***

Resources for Students

Below is a link to the main "Student Resources" page. This link should be included in the syllabus or specific resources should be listed within the syllabus.

Check out the other sections of this guide (Statements and Resources for Students and Academic Support for Students) that list other student resources available at Marquette. 

Accessibility and Accommodation Statements

Covid-19 update from ODS: 

The office of Disability Services is also prepared to help students process accommodation requests based on medical or personal needs related to COVID-19. Please contact as soon as possible if you feel you may need to explore modifications related to a disability or COVID-19, even if htat need may not be immediate.

Incorporating Ignatian Values Into Your Syllabus

"Cura Personalis" Statement

This sample Cura Personalis statement was drafted by Dr. Melissa Shew (College of Arts & Science, Philosophy, summer 2020). 

This statement explains what cura personalis is, what it means to the mission of Marquette, and links to resources for students that care for their whole person.