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Teaching Resources


(June 2013)

Each course should be of sufficient scope, rigor, and complexity to justify both the number of credit hours assigned to it and the number-level at which it is taught. (AU guidelines identify 3-3.5 hrs of total work per week, including class time, as the appropriate amount of student effort to be expected per credit assigned to the course. A 3 credit hour course, in other words, should require approximately 9-10.5 hrs of student effort per week, including time spent in class.)

Students should be provided with a written or electronic syllabus no later than the second class meeting. The syllabus should spell out the following:

  • Course number and title
  • Office hours and contact information: location of office, office phone number, email address, and a statement of policy about when and how quickly you will respond to student email
  • Course description
  • Specific course objectives, credit hours, and prerequisites
  • Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) as applicable to the course
  • Grading and evaluation procedures, including
    • The grading system and the method of determining the final grade
    • The relative importance of assigned papers, quizzes, exams, and class participation in the determination of the final grade
    • The approximate schedule for examinations (other than final exam)
    • The policy on unannounced quizzes
    • A reminder that students may withdraw (although with a W on their transcript) until midsemester
  • A list of assigned textbooks, readings, and any other required or recommended course materials
  • Specific policies regarding class attendance, including policies involving late submission of written assignments, missed in-class work, and missed examinations
  • A statement that students are responsible for checking class email and Canvas, if you use email or Canvas
  • A statement assuring students of your willingness to comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as

    Students who need accommodations are asked to electronically submit their approved accommodations through AU Access and to make an individual appointment with the instructor during the first week of classes – or as soon as possible if accommodations are needed immediately. If you have not established accommodations through the Office of Accessibility, but need accommodations, make an appointment with the Office of Accessibility, 1228 Haley Center, 844-2096 (V/TT).

  • A statement concerning Academic Honesty such as

    All portions of the Auburn University Student Academic Honesty code (Title XII) found in the Student Policy eHandbook at will apply to this class. All academic honesty violations or alleged violations of the SGA Code of Laws will be reported to the Office of the Provost, which will then refer the case to the Academic Honesty Committee.

  • A statement concerning Classroom Behavior such as

    The AU Classroom Behavior Policy is strictly followed in the course; please refer to the Student Policy eHandbook at for details of this policy.

  • An Emergency Contingency statement such as

    If normal class and/or lab activities are disrupted due to illness, emergency, or crisis situation (such as an H1N1 flu outbreak), the syllabus and other course plans and assignments may be modified to allow completion of the course. If this occurs, an addendum to your syllabus and/or course assignments will replace the original materials.

  • A tentative 15-week schedule which includes
    • Due dates for reading assignments with a reminder that readings should be completed before the class discussion or lecture about them.
    • Due dates for written work, including exams, papers, projects, and other assignments. Exams should not be scheduled during the final three class days of the semester, nor should major papers be due so late in the semester that they cannot be returned to students by the last day of class.
    • The University-established date and time for the final examination. Do not schedule final exams on the last day of the semester or on Study Days (Dead Days). Be sure to follow all University policies about rescheduling final exams, if rescheduling is necessary.

    Along with the information required on undergraduate course syllabi, graduate course syllabi should include a section titled “Justification for Graduate Credit.”

All additions, modifications, and deletions of courses in CLA departments must be approved by both the CLA and University Curriculum Committees. In order to help departments with this process, the following guidelines are provided.

  1. Plan ahead. The curriculum submission process is complicated and time consuming; therefore, all curriculum submissions should be started as early as possible. Submissions not approved at or before the February University Curriculum Committee (UCC) meeting typically cannot take effect until the Fall of the following year. As of May 2017, the university is using a new timeline for Program proposals. You can see more detail on this timeline here: New Program Submission Process.
  2. Course and Curriculum Proposals properly start at the department level. Before completing the required forms, talk with your departmental curriculum coordinator about the planned submission. Individual CLA departments handle the submissions at the departmental level in different ways. For example, Communication & Journalism has a departmental curriculum committee that reviews all submissions before sending the submissions to the CLA Curriculum Committee. Contact the department head/chair for the name of your department’s curriculum coordinator and get his/her advice about your submission.
  3. Determine which electronic form needs to be completed. Visit the University Curriculum Committee’s website and determine which form should be completed. The options are:
  • Course Development, Revision, and Deletion
  • Program Development, Revision, and Deletion

Notes on these forms:

  • Please be aware that there have been until recently different procedures for undergraduate and graduate courses. The differences are described at the links above, but, beginning Spring 2015 graduate courses proposals from CLA will also go through the same electronic system. The instructions that follow are based on the electronic (CourseLeaf) process.
  • Only select “Propose New Course” or “Propose New Program” if your proposal is indeed for a new course or program. If editing an existing course or program you should highlight it in the scrolling list and then click the button below the list to “Edit Course” or “Edit Program.”

Forms that are incorrectly completed will be returned to the departmental curriculum coordinator, and the result will delay the submission.

  1. The University Curriculum Committee has created a list of Best Practices for proposing and reviewing course and program proposals. You should review these as you are working on your proposal.
  2. Understand the forms. The UCC forms are dynamic and change depending on what is being proposed. Furthermore, they use a specific terminology aimed at standardizing information within Banner. You should familiarize yourself with these terms so you can complete the form correctly. There are a few linked resources for understanding the forms:
  • The UCC guide to Banner terminology.
  • The University guidelines for course numbering.
  • This CLA-generated narrative on the most frequently appearing prompts in the CIM forms.
  1. Read and follow all of the UCC guidelines for syllabi. Use the UCC's Guidelines for Syllabus Preparation websites:
  • Justification for Graduate Credit
  • Additional Guidelines for Courses Numbered XX9X
  • Additional Guidelines for 5000/6000 Courses (Piggyback)
  • Additional Guidelines for Distance Education Courses
  1. Ask Questions. Curriculum proposals come through the office of the dean, where undergraduate proposals are approved by a faculty committee and then Assoc. Dean Israel while graduate proposals are approved by a faculty committee and then Assoc. Dean Bobrowski. Contact either of them if you have questions about your proposal or the process.

Course Proposal Detail Guidelines

Some explanation and tips

Effective Term: the default answer here should be the Fall semester of the next academic year. Changes approved by UCC after February typically do not take effect until fall of the following calendar year (So a May 2015 approval becomes effective in Fall 2016 semester).

Course Number: Auburn University has guidelines on course numbers available here   Your department should also have and follow plan for how to number courses within these guidelines.

Justification for new course / course changes: This does not have to be lengthy, but why are you doing this? Will this change correct some problem or deficiency in the current curriculum? Is this change connected with other changes in the department and curriculum?

Course Title: You get 50 characters here, but think about how the course will display not only in the bulletin but also in the semester-by-semester course listings for students. You want to capture the essence of the course in the title, but you want to do so in the earlier rather than the later characters (which may be truncated). For example, why use “A Study of the Art of Printmaking” when you could use “Printmaking”?

Course Credit: There are subcategories here. And a course can have more than one schedule type.

Schedule Type: “Lecture” is probably the most common across the college, but choose the appropriate category like “Studio” or “Special Topic.”

Contact/Group Hours: How many hours will the class/studio meet during the week? We round up, so the MWF class meeting 50 minutes adds up to 3 hours. For most LEC schedule types, #contact hours = #credit hours. STU can be 2:1  

Weekly or Per Term? Choose “Weekly”

Credit Hours: How many credits will a student receive for successfully completing this course? Most typical answer is “3” but we have classes in the college ranging from 1 to 4 credits. Some internship or practicum courses may have a range of hours for this answer (like 1-6) which will require/allow the schedule builder to enter the appropriate number when creating the course section each semester.

Anticipated Enrollment: how many students do you anticipate will typically be in this course section in a given semester.

Can the Course be repeated? Can a student take this course more than once for credit? If you select “Yes” a new window will appear asking you to identify the maximum hours of credit a student could earn in this course (e.g., a student might repeat a 3 credit course twice for maximum of 6 hours).

Grading Type:  Will you give “Standard Grades” of A, B, C, etc. or is this course to be graded “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” (Pass/Fail)? There are other options here, but these are by far the most common.

Prerequisites: What course (or courses) must a student complete before enrolling in this course? If you have simple pre-reqs (i.e., no “choose one of three” type of pre-reqs), leave this entry blank and go to the next item.  Describe your requirements as simply as possible here (e.g., “HIST 3800 min. grade C” or “(HIST 2010 or HIST 2070) and (HIST 2020 or HIST 2080)”)

Prerequisite Courses: What course (or courses) must a student complete before enrolling in this course? Click the green + button to the right and use the pop-up menu to select the course or courses that are required. This section can handle “and” but not “or” operations.

Corequisites: If a student must be registered in a particular class in the same term they register for this course, use this section to indicate it. This probably makes the most sense for a required laboratory/practicum to accompany a particular course.

Restrictions: This section can do some of the same work as the Pre-reqs, but is based on things other than specific courses. “Exclude for non degree” is an inelegant way of saying a student has to be a major. You can also use the free response box for Other Restrictions to narrate more complicated restrictions on enrollment.

Course Description: The description that will appear in the AU Bulletin. Limited to 40 words, this should be a clear and concise summary of the course.

Overlapping or Duplication of Other Units Offerings: How your course relate to courses in other disciplines? If another unit or units will be particularly affected by the changes you propose, you should reach out to those units to document their awareness, understanding, and support for the changes (attaching email is sufficient).

Resources: This is a question about what is going to be needed in terms of personnel, facilities, and other resources to teach the class. The only easy answer here is to say “existing resources are sufficient.” If that is not true (you’ll need a particular type of equipment or a new faculty member will have to be hired), then you will need to document that arrangements are in place to answer these needs.

Course Objectives/Outcomes: At the end of this course, what will students know and be able to do? The most successful outcome statements are measurable and student-centered.

Is this course considered University Core? If you mark “yes” it will open new questions for you about what SLOs the course addresses and how the outcomes will be assessed.

Course Content Outline: What are students going to do in the class? This section should be designed as a 15-week course (once approved, the course could be taught as 5 or 10 week summer course too, but for proposal it needs to be described as 15 weeks). Do not use specific dates (e.g., March 15) but instead divide by weeks (e.g., Week 1, Week 2, etc.). What is the topic of the week and/or class meeting date? What assignments will students have due for that week and/or class meeting date?

Assignments/Projects: List all quizzes, projects, reports, activities and other components of the course grade. Provide a brief description of each assignment or component of the course grade, connecting the assignment to the course learning outcomes. When is the assignment due?

Rubric and Grading Scale: List all components of the course grade with total points or percentages for each. Explain how the percentage total will translate into a letter grade (e.g., A>90%; B=80-89%; etc.)

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