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Template for Course Syllabi

Grading System

Evaluation Criteria

  • What is the relative value of each course assignment and expectation?  
  • Can students earn a higher grade if their work steadily improves throughout the semester or is it based solely on the student's average (or cumulated points)?  
  • Which assignments best demonstrate content mastery?  
  • How are your course goals and learning outcomes reflected in the way assignments are valued?
  • Do you curve grades?
Which of the following do you value most?

Higher level thinking Creativity
  Accuracy Correct grammar & organization
Analysis & Synthesis Application
  Research skills
  New Perspectives Logical thought
  • How will group projects be evaluated?

Percentage of Course Grade for Activities and Assignments

How much will each of the following be worth?

  • Class participation
  • Exams & quizzes
  • Papers
  • Research
  • Reflections
  • Labs
  • Performances
  • Artwork
  • In class presentations
  • Group Projects

Do you provide grading rubics for individual assignments?

Class Schedule

This information can be included in the syllabus or designed as a separate document to keep the length of the syllabus manageable. The class schedule might include

  • When and where class will meet
  • When readings and assignments are due
  • Any dates when class will not meet
  • Scheduled guest speakers
  • Days when class will meet off campus or online
  • Dates when exams will take place and papers/projects are due

Emergency Preparedness

In the event of a declared pandemic (influenza or other communicable disease), American University will implement a plan for meeting the needs of all members of the university community. Should the university be required to close for a period of time, we are committed to ensuring that all aspects of our educational programs will be delivered to our students. These may include altering and extending the duration of the traditional term schedule to complete essential instruction in the traditional format and/or use of distance instructional methods. Specific strategies will vary from class to class, depending on the format of the course and the timing of the emergency. Faculty will communicate class-specific information to students via AU e-mail and Blackboard, while students must inform their faculty immediately of any absence due to illness. Students are responsible for checking their AU e-mail regularly and keeping themselves informed of emergencies. In the event of a declared pandemic or other emergency, students should refer to the AU Web site ( and the AU information line at (202) 885-1100 for general university-wide information, as well as contact their faculty and/or respective dean’s office for course and school/college-specific information.