OSCQR – Standard #4

OSCQR – Standard #4

A printable syllabus is available to learners (PDF, HTML).

Review These Explanations

Keeping learners on track is a core part of teaching online, and the more information you can provide in advance, the fewer problems and obstacles your learners will encounter. Creating a syllabus is certainly part of any course development process, but providing a syllabus in a format that is available for learners to access online download, and print at their convenience is a key part of the online course development cycle.

Many learners prefer a document that they can print and refer to offline, or keep for their records. Producing a syllabus in a format that is readable and printable (not editable) is the goal. PDF and HTML file formats are recommended over DOC formats.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

  • Create your syllabus in an easily printable format, such as PDF or HTML.
  • Avoid posting DOC(X) files, as these are too easily editable.
  • Consider developing a visual syllabus that illustrates the pathways that learners will take towards mastering objectives in the online course.
  • Check with your colleagues, program chair, or dean, to see if there is a standard format that you should be using when developing your syllabus.
  • Include information related to online course navigation in your syllabus, to make it easier for learners to get started and begin progressing through the course.

Explore Related Resources

Turn Your Syllabus into an Infographic

Chang, S. L., & Ley, K. (2006). A Learning Strategy to Compensate for Cognitive Overload in Online Learning: Learner Use of Printed Online Materials. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 5(1), 104-117.
Podolsky, T., & Soiferman, K. (2014). Student Academic Reading Preferences: A Study of Online Reading Habits and Inclinations. Online Submission.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.
Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Contribute your own ideas or refresh resources by filling out the OSCQR Examples Contribution Form.

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