This is a discussion of what the goals for the course are and the objectives that will be taken to reach these goals. If you are teaching a general education class or a certification class the course objectives are published in the student handbook (address). The objectives are the methods you will take to meet the assigned goals.
The students need to know your name, e-mail address, where they can reach you by phone and when and where your office hours will be held.
You need to list both the required and the recommended texts and how they can be accessed. Be sure to include the authors' names and the appropriate edition.
Provide the students with information for how their grade will be computed. Let them know whether you will be giving midterm exams, final exams, quizzes, assignments and/or participation and what percent of their grade of the total grade each is worth. You may also want to tell the student the formula you will use to compute the grade.
This can be done in the form of a calendar. On this calendar you give the dates for the reading assignments, due dates for papers or projects and exam dates. Should you have any additional information you would like to include as in holidays or drop dates this is the place where they can be included.
Faculty members expect students to attend class, however, you may have a policy regarding attendance. This policy must be stated in your syllabus so that the students know what your exact expectations are.
Decide whether or not all work is due on the assigned day. If you think that all work should be turned in on the assigned day, you need to state what will happen if the work is not turned in (Will there be a penalty?). If you decide not to have such this policy, then you need to state what your policy is (Will late work be accepted? If so, under what circumstances?).
It is recommended to check with your department chair to make certain that there aren't some course or departmental requirements that need to be included in your syllabus.
You need to clarify what expectations you have for students who work together collaboratively in terms of their assignments...is it okay for them to turn in the same work or must each student do their own work. Also expectations related to plagiarism and cheating and the consequences of each should the student get caught.
The ADA Advisory Council has requested that one of the following guidelines be included in your syllabus.
"Students with disabilities who seek accommodations must make their request by Contacting the Office of Disability Services located at Curtis 112, or call 964-7000. All accommodations must be approved by The Office of Disability Services."
"Students with disabilities that may restrict their full participation in the course activities are encouraged to meet with instructor or contact the SVSU Office of Disability Services, Curtis 112 for assistance."
You may also want to add your policies regarding the use of electronics in the classroom (cell phones, IPods, etc.), arriving late to class, participation, etc. To effectively manage your classroom, it is helpful to put any and all of your policies in the syllabus so the students know what to expect from the onset.