Without the structure of an in-person class and teacher, it is very easy for students to get lost and confused. Confusion about assignments, deadlines, and requirements is a major challenge for online students. Increasing course structure can result in higher grades for all students, but especially for student groups that are underrepresented in STEM .
Check out an example of a syllabus from CSU Channel Islands
Get inspired by an example of syllabus with pre, in, and post class activities from the blended learning toolkit at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Find more syllabus design tips from the Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning (3 minute read, includes links to more detailed information on specific topics).
Consider Principle #4: Organize Course Content Intuitively from this article from The Chronicles of Higher Education - How to Be a Better Online Teacher.
Find more tips for organizing your bCourses site from UC Berkeley’s IT knowledge base (3 minute read, includes links to more detailed bCourses tutorials).
1. Eddy, S. L., & Hogan, K. A. (2017). Getting under the hood: how and for whom does increasing course structure work? CBE Life Sciences Education 13(3). https://www.lifescied.org/doi/full/10.1187/cbe.14-03-0050
2. Jaggars, S. S., & Xu, D. (2016). How do online course design features influence student performance? Computers & Education 95 270-284 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360131516300203
3. Miller, S. and Tanner, K. (2017). A portal into biology education: an annotated list of commonly encountered terms. CBE Life Sciences Education 14(2). https://www.lifescied.org/doi/10.1187/cbe.15-03-0065 (#44, syllabus)
4. Miller, S. and Tanner, K. (2017). A portal into biology education: an annotated list of commonly encountered terms. CBE Life Sciences Education 14(2). https://www.lifescied.org/doi/10.1187/cbe.15-03-0065
5. Petersen, CI, et al. (2020). The tyranny of content: “content coverage” as a barrier to evidence-based teaching approaches and ways to overcome it. CBE Life Sciences Education 19(2). https://www.lifescied.org/doi/10.1187/cbe.19-04-0079