Syllabus Support

The following information will assist instructors in ensuring syllabi align with current COVID and MSU policies, especially as outlined in the Code of Teaching Responsibility.

As you are creating or reviewing syllabi, we encourage you to consult these resources and consult with the University Ombudsperson, Keep Teaching, and related resources for support as needed.


Academic Integrity & Misconduct

Academic integrity and addressing issues of academic misconduct for faculty and staff can be found on the MSU Ombudsperson and Dean of Students websites.


Engaging with Students about COVID-19

For more information on how to engage with students to support behaviors that help reduce exposure to COVID-19 and how to best disseminate and communicate updates, please review this presentation.


The Art of Confrontation

Building a sense of shared community and establishing behavioral standards by which all community members will abide greatly minimizes the potential for disruptions. Instructors can accomplish this task through effective syllabus design, classroom management, and norming positive social behavior. This resource breaks down the principles for enforcing classroom standards.


Student Support

Instructors should consider putting campus resources on the that promotes and norms help-seeking behavior for academic, personal, and health related concerns. MSU wants to stress that seeking help is a strength, not a weakness.

Resources are posted to the Keep Learning website, but a few highlights include:

  1. Academic Support – in addition to these general resources, you should consider noting the availability of College and unit help rooms, study sessions, and tutoring options specific to your class, course, or discipline. Online classes should think about tips for the students to be successful as well.
  2. Mental Health – please highlight the availability of Kognito and CAPS Connect as options for students to engage.


Attendance Policy

Attendance policies and the repercussions for non-attendance are the purview of the class instructor. MSU suggests the following guidance related to COVID-related absences:

  • Clearly state the class expectations for attendance and consequences for non-attendance in the syllabus, including your policy for illness.
    • Consider how you will accommodate students who might need to be absent for two or more weeks.
    • Instructors are encouraged to give students the benefit of the doubt and not require medical evidence and make accommodations as best as possible.
  • Clearly state the class policies related to missing quizzes and submitting late work and the consequences for missing or late work.
  • Suggest to students that they reach out to their advisors, College Student Affairs offices, and instructors if they will need to miss class due to COVID.
  • Encourage the students to establish a peer network of support in case they need to miss class. To get the name out of a few students in class or teach them how to use D2L, so they can reach out to appear if they need assistance or to get notes.
  • Provide information about the grief absence process and consider being generous if students report they have experienced a loss; consider putting in links to CAPS and other support services listed on the Keep Learning Website.