Defining expectations

Clearly state expectations for the course:



Course description

This description can be found in the College Catalog and Departmental Course Syllabus, and is likely already in your syllabus. It should include information about what content the course will cover and what it will prepare students for, as well as prerequisites for taking the course.


Course objectives

Clearly posting objectives in a prominent location on Blackboard (e.g. course information section) helps to remind students what their learning goals are and what they should be able to accomplish through this course.  These objectives also set up a marker for students to measure their progress against.  NOTE: For further explanation on the difference between Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes refer to CCSU Libguides.


Course syllabus

The syllabus should:

  • Conform to Office of Academic Affairs (OAA) guidelines
  • Be uploaded as PDF (This improves portability and platform-independent access to the information.) Students may have trouble opening MS Word documents if they don’t own a version of the software or have an older version. It’s simple to convert a document into a PDF in MS Word.


Contact information

Typically, this is the first opportunity for faculty to post a self introduction and contact information. Details include several methods for communication and availability:

  • A short biography with relevant information about teaching style, research interests and expectations about the course
  • A photograph (or a representative image) of the instructor
  • Contact information and procedures including office location, relevant phone numbers, and e-mail addresses
  • Information about turn-around times for replying to emails or voicemail
  • A policy for communicating with students in the event of a system failure

Textbooks and requirements

What do students need to be able to prepare for and participate meaningfully in the course?

  • Textbook(s)
    • Electronic course pack in PDF and/or HTML format
    • Information on required textbooks, including acceptable editions and their ISBN numbers
    • Purchase information and links for required textbooks (where applicable), including the price for both new and used versions
    • Textbook availability at the college library
  • Other classroom materials
  • Required hardware and software


Online participation policy

In an asynchronous course, students need to develop strong time management ability. For this reason, students need to understand how much time they should be participating in the online course, so they can plan a realistic schedule for participation.

  • What is the expected pace of student attendance and participation?
  • How often do students need to visit  and actively participate on Blackboard? For example: Students are required to visit the virtual class and contribute in a discussion forum at least two days a week to be considered present.


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