Master Gardener Core Training-Fall 2018
Instructor NameProvide these essentials: your title, contact info, hours available, etc.
Embed an image or short video introduction in place of the placeholder image.
To ensure learners understand that the main way you will communicate with them (via email), include this statement: Your email address is the default for communication, so check it regularly.
Introduce learners to the purpose and structure of the course. This section sets the tone for the course, lets learners know what to expect, and provides guidance to ensure learners get off to a good start.
Provide information to help learners understand the purpose of the course and how the learning process is structured and carried out, including course schedule, delivery modality (i.e., online or blended), modes of communication, types of learning activities, and how learning will be assessed.
Clearly state the length of time and the dates of the course, especially in the case of courses whose dates do not correspond to the standard academic calendar of the host institution, or if the course is self-paced.
Include information about prerequisite knowledge and competencies.
Measurable course learning objectives or competencies precisely and clearly describe what learners will learn and be able to do upon successful completion of the course. They are written from the learner's perspective and use terms that are specific and observable enough to be measured. They precisely describe the specific competencies, skills and knowledge learners will master and demonstrate at regular intervals throughout the course. Measurable module/unit learning objectives or competencies form the basis of alignment in a course because they are consistent with the course-level objectives or competencies.
Introduce the course objectives with a phrase such as
- By the end of this course, you will be able to, or
- Upon successful completion of this course, you should be able to
Convey the idea that critical course components work together to ensure that learners achieve the desired learning outcomes.
Provide learners with an explanation of how the instructional materials, resources, technologies and learning activities are used in the course and how each will help them achieve the stated learning objectives or prepare them to demonstrate course competencies.
Also, provide an overview of steps to complete the course and general activities to support learning. Canvas uses Modules to organize course learning resources.
Each module may include:
- Videos covering the topic
- Readings to enhance student understanding
- Discussions to connect to students
- Quizzes to check understanding
- Assignments to show student mastery of the material
Include a complete description of all course assignments. Provide a concise schedule of assignments and due dates, along with assessment information for each.
Clearly state your plan for response time and feedback on assignments. Frequent feedback from the instructor increases learners' sense of engagement in a course. Learners are better able to manage their course activities when they know up front when to expect feedback from the instructor.
Explain your policy for late submission of assignments.
Clearly state the relationship between learning objectives or competencies and course activities.
Provide learners with an explanation of how the instructional materials, resources, technologies and learning activities are used in the course and how each will help them achieve the stated learning objectives or help them prepare to demonstrate course competencies.
Clearly explain the distinction between required and optional materials in the module.
- List activities that are part of course, due dates, etc.
To create a welcoming learning environment and a sense of community, ask learners to introduce themselves at the beginning of the course. Give them guidance on when, where and how they should do so. You can ask them to respond to specific questions — such as why they are taking the course, what their strategies for success are, what concerns they have, what they expect to learn, etc. — or let the learners decide what to share. You can also give learners the choice of introducing themselves by written, audio or visual means. Consider starting the process by introducing yourself or providing an example of an introduction, or both.
Implement learner-to-learner interaction wherever possible to foster learner engagement. Provide guidance on how to access discussions, explain discussion requirements, and include a complete schedule of discussion topics and dates. Discussions are designed to capitalize on the asynchronous nature of online.
If discussions are a part of the course, be certain the netiquette section is included in the syllabus.
Our discussion forums and course communications are important venues for exchanging ideas and promoting learning. Your instructor and fellow participants wish to foster a safe online learning environment. All opinions and experiences, no matter how different or controversial they may be perceived, must be respected in the tolerant spirit of academic discourse. Constructive criticism and questions are encouraged; however, you will be expected to remain professional and courteous in all of your posts. You are encouraged to comment, question or critique an idea, but you are not to attack an individual.
Our differences, some of which are outlined in the University of Missouri's nondiscrimination statement, will add richness to this learning experience. Please consider that sarcasm and humor can be misconstrued in online interactions and generate unintended disruptions. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course atmosphere. As your instructor, I reserve the right to delete any forum posts or blog entries I deem to be inappropriate for the course.
(Adapted from Online Teaching Foundations)
Assessments and Grading
Describe how learning is going to be assessed. Make sure course assessments are consistent with the course and module learning objectives.
Assessments may include pre- and post-quizzes, formative and summitive assessments, video quizzes, and discussion posts. Be sure all learning objectives are assessed. Provide feedback/rationale for all quizzes.
Provide specific and descriptive criteria for the evaluation of learners' work. These criteria must be tied to the course policy for determination of successful course completion.
Consequences of insufficient class participation should be clearly stated and fair. Criteria and procedures for peer review and evaluation are clear.
If the course grants a letter grade, provide a detailed scale. Students know when and how they will receive feedback from teachers.
At the end of the course, provide an opportunity for anonymous course feedback/evaluation.
Textbook and Reading Materials
Clearly explain the distinction between provided, required and optional materials. Distinguish required materials that are applicable to entire course from those that apply to a particular topic or module. Provide text information and include a link to purchase (Amazon or other source).
Provide learners with a clear and complete description of the criteria that will be used to evaluate their work and participation in the course. State these criteria up front at the beginning of the course. The description or statement of criteria provides learners with clear guidance on your expectations and the required components of coursework and participation. The criteria give learners the information they need to understand how a grade or score on an assignment or activity will be calculated.
Explain how successful completion of the course will be recognized. If the course does not grant academic credit, specify the form of recognition to be received for completion of the course. Examples include
- Pass/fail grade
- Professional certification
- Printed certificate of completion
- Verification of participation
Additional Course Resources
We recommend that you offer additional resources as an additional module or section of each module. These lists will provide reliable resources for students that seek additional information and want to learn more. Provide a detailed description of each additional resource, including what it offers and how to access it, such as within the course or on an external website.
Here in the syllabus as well as in an introductory email, provide learners with detailed, clearly worded information about the technologies they will need throughout the course. These technologies could include hardware, software, subscriptions, plug-ins and the like.
Learners will also need some technical skills, which might include
- Using the learning management system
- Sending and receiving email with attachments
- Creating and submitting files in commonly used word processing formats
- Copying and pasting
- Downloading and installing software
- Using spreadsheet programs
- Using presentation and graphics programs
For the best user experience, we recommend using Google Chrome (63/64) as your browser.
Canvas works well with many mobile devices. See Getting Started with Canvas (insert link to page) for short tutorial videos and app download instructions.
You can find more information on technical requirements on the Canvas website.
For technical questions or issues, please contact Customer Support.
Academic integrity is fundamental to the activities and principles of a university. All members of the academic community must be confident that each person's work has been responsibly and honorably acquired, developed and presented. Any effort to gain an advantage not given to all students is dishonest whether or not the effort is successful. The academic community regards breaches of the academic integrity rules as extremely serious matters.
The university community welcomes intellectual diversity and respects student rights. Students who have questions or concerns about the atmosphere in this class, including respect for diverse opinions, may contact the departmental chair or divisional director, the director of the Office of Academic Integrity, or the MU Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.
Executive Order No. 38 — Academic Inquiry, Course Discussion and Privacy
Faculty allowing recording
University of Missouri System Executive Order No. 38 lays out principles regarding the sanctity of classroom discussions at the university. The policy is described fully in section 200.015 of the Collected Rules and Regulations. In this class, students may make audio or video recordings of course activity unless specifically prohibited by the faculty member. However, the redistribution of audio or video recordings of statements or comments from the course to individuals who are not students in the course is prohibited without the express permission of the faculty member and of any students who are recorded. Students found to have violated this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions of section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining to student conduct matters.
Faculty not allowing recording
University of Missouri System Executive Order No. 38 lays out principles regarding the sanctity of classroom discussions at the university. The policy is described fully in section 200.015 of the Collected Rules and Regulations. In this class, students may not make audio or video recordings of course activity, except students permitted to record as an accommodation under section 240.040 of the Collected Rules. All other students who record and/or distribute audio or video recordings of class activity are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions of section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining to student conduct matters.
Those students who are permitted to record are not permitted to redistribute audio or video recordings of statements or comments from the course to individuals who are not students in the course without the express permission of the faculty member and of any students who are recorded. Students found to have violated this policy are subject to discipline in accordance with provisions of section 200.020 of the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri pertaining to student conduct matters.
If you need special accommodations because of a disability, or if you need materials in an alternative format, please inform your instructor or contact Customer Support .