The syllabus provides a road map for students to succeed in your course, laying out your expectations and what students can expect while taking the course.
- course materials copyright
- other health-related absences
- diversity & inclusion
- academic misconduct
- students with disabilities
- resources for creating your syllabus
- language for student well-being
- additional information
There is a growing national trend in which some university students are posting course materials to online platforms such as Coursehero.com without permission. These materials are then made available to other users of that platform. Therefore, to protect the intellectual property of syllabi and course materials, among other materials, it is recommended that instructors take the following actions:
- Educate their students that syllabi and course materials they provide are intended for research and educational purposes only and are protected by U.S. copyright laws. This could be a good opportunity to have a discussion with students about ethical responsibilities and the legal principles concerning copyright.
- Include a statement in the course syllabus to this effect.
- Add a copyright notice to course materials that is distributed or that students download from Brightspace.
Suggested syllabus statement:
“This syllabus, course lectures and presentations, and any course materials provided throughout this term are protected by U.S. copyright laws. Students enrolled in the course may use them for their own research and educational purposes. However, reproducing, selling or otherwise distributing these materials without written permission of the copyright owner is expressly prohibited, including providing materials to commercial platforms such as Chegg or CourseHero. Doing so may constitute a violation of U.S. copyright law as well as MSU’s Code of Student Conduct.”
Note: Copyright protection is not contingent on including a copyright notice on your course materials. The materials are protected as soon as they are created. However, including a notice reminds students of faculty ownership and copyrights and of students' obligations to respect those rights.
Copyright notice for course materials:
“These materials are protected pursuant to U.S. copyright laws. No part of these materials may be reproduced, displayed, or used in any manner or medium without prior written permission of the copyright owner.”
To prohibit recording in the classroom:
Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains permission from the instructor. If permission is granted, any distribution of the recording is prohibited. Students with specific electronic recording accommodations authorized by the Office of Disability Services do not require instructor permission; however, the instructor must be notified of any such accommodation prior to recording. Any distribution of such recordings is prohibited.
Respect for Diversity: It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well-served by this course, that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: genderidentity, sexual orientation, disability, age, first-generation college student, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race,religion, culture, perspective, and other background characteristics. Your suggestions about how to improve the value of diversity in this course are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.
In addition, in scheduling exams, I have attempted to avoid conflicts with major religious holidays. If, however, I have inadvertently scheduled an exam or major deadline that creates a conflict with your religious observances, please let me know as soon as possible so that we can make other arrangements.
(Adapted fromUniversity of Iowa)
Isupportan inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, appreciated, and recognized as a source of strength. We expect that students, faculty, administrators and staffat MSUwill respect differences and demonstrate diligence in understanding how other peoples' perspectives, behaviors, and worldviews may be different from their own.
(Adapted from theUniversity of Northern Colorado)
Statement on Academic Writing and Student Responsibilities:
Students writing in an academic setting are responsible for approaching all assignments with rigor, integrity, and in compliance with the University Code of Student Conduct. This responsibility includes:
- consulting and analyzing sources that are relevant to the topic of inquiry;
- clearly acknowledging when they draw from the ideas or the phrasing of those sources in their own writing;
- learning and using appropriate citation conventions within the field in which they are studying; and
- asking their instructor for guidance when they are uncertain of how to acknowledge the contributions of others in their thinking and writing.
When students fail to adhere to these responsibilities, they may intentionally or unintentionally “usesomeone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without properly acknowledging its source”(http://www.wpacouncil.org). When the act is intentional, the student has engaged in plagiarism.
Plagiarism is an act of academic misconduct, which carries with it consequences including but not limited to receiving a course grade of “F” and a report to the Office of the Dean of Students. Unfortunately, it is not always clear if the misuse of sources is intentional or unintentional, which means that you may be accused of plagiarism even if you do not intentionally plagiarize. If you have any questions regarding use and citation of sources in your academic writing, you are responsible for consulting with your instructor before the assignment due date. In addition, you can work with an MSU Writing Center tutor at any point in your writing process, including when you are integrating or citing sources. You can make an appointment and find citation resources at www.montana.edu/writingcenter.
If you are a student with a disability and wish to use your approved accommodations for this course,pleasecontact me during my office hours to discuss. Please have your Accommodation Notification or Blue Card available for verification of accommodations. Accommodations are approved through the Office of Disability Services located in SUB 174. Please see Disability Services for more information by clicking here.
- Chronicle of Higher Education article: "How to Create a Syllabus: Advice Guide."
- CFE Workshop on creating a graphic syllabus: Giving Students A Visual Learning Map
- Watch the video now (November 28, 2018)
- CFE/Library workshop on Accessibility and Universal Design
- Play recording Duration: 1 hr 26 min (May 5, 2020)
Our many roles as faculty involve understanding students as holistic people. Below is language to guide discussions with your students on the first day of class. You may also want to include it in your syllabus as a way to identify your status as a mandatory reporter and demonstrate your support of student well-being, including mental health and wellness.
Please consider adding the following language to your syllabus and reviewing it with students on the first day of class:
You Are Not Alone
Students at Montana State University have the right to live and learn in an academic environment that is free from all forms of discrimination including sexual and gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence including sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. If you (or someone you know) has experienced or is experiencing these types of behaviors, please know that you are not alone. Resources and support are available at MSU. You can learn more at: www.montana.edu/voice. MSU has confidential resources available to you through the VOICE Center, MSU Counseling and Psychological Services, and University Health Partners Health Services. These services are available to provide support, resources, and referrals to numerous campus and community agencies that can provide the information and support you need.
Please know that if you choose to confide in me, I am required by the university to report to the Title IX Coordinator/MSU Office of Institutional Equity, as MSU and I want to ensure you are connected with all the support the university can offer. You are not required to respond to outreach from the university if you do not want to do so. You can also make a report yourself, including an anonymous report, through [email protected]
Mental Health and Wellness
MSU strives to create a culture of support and recognizes that your mental health and wellness are equally as important as your physical health. We want you to know that it’s OK if you experience difficulty, and there are several resources on campus to help you succeed emotionally, personally, and academically:
Counseling & Psychological Services: https://www.montana.edu/counseling/
Health Advancement: http://www.montana.edu/oha/
Insight Program (Substance Use): http://www.montana.edu/oha/insight/
Suicide Prevention: https://www.montana.edu/suicide-prevention/
Medical Services: https://www.montana.edu/health/medical.html
WellTrack wellness app: https://montana.welltrack.com
Mental Health Screening: https://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/montanastateuniv
Let’s Talk drop-in services: https://www.montana.edu/counseling/letstalk.html
For more details, review the "Faculty Responsibilities" section of the Faculty Handbook.
- MSU language for diversity and inclusion
- MSU Diversity Statement, Diversity & Inclusion Office
- Dean of Students Information on Student Code of Conduct
- Examples of Language To Address Student Absences
- Examples of language for Students with Disabilities
Please feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.