Faculty Resources: Instructional Design and Management

You can manage your classes by logging into Campus Information Services (CIS). Many important links and information can be found under the Student Admin Services menu, including: 

  • Class rosters 
  • Email class list 
  • Manage class links 
  • Records maintenance 
  • Academic reports 
  • Feedback 

Academic Calendar

The Academic Calendar contains important dates, such as registration deadlines for students to add or drop classes, university holidays and breaks, and the final exam schedule. It is important to consider the academic calendar as you craft your syllabus, develop your course calendar, and prepare for each semester. 

Please Note: Final exams must be held during the university scheduled time. This might not be your regularly scheduled class time. Please review the Final Exam Schedule carefully and identify your scheduled exam period. 

Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) 

The Martha Bradley Evans Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is an invaluable resource that the university provides for faculty. CTE offers a variety of services to all University of Utah instructors with an emphasis on best pedagogical practices and strategies for teaching in higher education. Visit the CTE website for resources, services, events, programs, and courses. Supporting U instructors on syllabus construction and course design are among the CTE Consultation Services offered, so be in touch. Contact: 801-581-7597;  


The syllabus serves as a “contract” with your students and a guideline for the course. While general content and layout of the syllabus is up to the faculty member, there are several items that must be included and other items that students will appreciate. At the most basic level, a syllabus serves to provide a road map for a course - both for the instructor and the students. It lays out the trajectory of topics, readings, assignments, activities, and assessments for meeting the course objectives. 

See CTE’s Designing a Course Syllabus for additional help crafting your syllabi. 

You will find a template for creating your syllabus here. This template includes details about university required statements for inclusion on all syllabi. 

It is highly recommended that you share your course syllabus with your students by posting a PDF version on Canvas. Please consult the Canvas Guides for more information on this step. 

Creating the Syllabus 

Content: First, reflect on the course you plan to teach. A syllabus cannot be built prior to course design. So, consider your course learning objectives and carefully map those objectives to your course assessments. Then, bridge these elements by considering which topics, activities and assignments will best help your students succeed in attaining those objectives. The result of this reflection should give you a starting framework in terms of content and learning plan for your students. 

Student Input: Next, consider the amount of Power Sharing you'd like to embrace in your course. At the conservative end of the scale, you will design the entire course and syllabus prior to day one and present them to the students at the start of the semester. At the other end of the spectrum, you might bring a skeleton of your syllabus to class and work with your students to develop the course and finalize the syllabus during the first couple of class meetings. 

Course/Classroom Policies: Depending on your position on the power sharing scale, you will approach constructing policies that are specific to your course accordingly. If you are sharing a lot of power, you might want to leave the policies blank for day one and discuss the options with your students - negotiating a fair policy for issues ranging from attendance and punctuality to food and technology in the classroom. Of course, if you teach a large introductory course for freshman, you will likely want to come prepared with a set of policies in place - informed by your prior experiences with similar groups of students. If the academic unit (department) offering the course has policies that may be pertinent for your course, it may be helpful for students if you include those in the syllabus, as well. 

Attendance Policy: A student who is not officially registered may not attend a university course. The university expects regular attendance at all class meetings. Instructors must communicate any particular attendance requirements of the course to students in writing before the first class-meeting. Students are responsible for acquainting themselves with and satisfying the entire range of academic objectives and requirements as defined by the instructor. Students are not automatically dropped from class(es) if they do not attend. They must officially drop their class(es) by the published deadline in the academic calendar to avoid a "W" grade (see section on Drop Deadlines). Students absent from class to participate in officially sanctioned university activities (e.g. band, debate, student government, intercollegiate athletics) or religious obligations, or with instructor's approval, shall be permitted to make up both assignments and examinations. Unexpected university facility closures due to weather, emergency or disaster may occur from time to time. Students may be required to complete coursework missed due to these or other class cancellations. However, instructors requiring mandatory make-up sessions may not penalize students if they are unable to attend due to time conflicts, etc. 

Required Syllabus Content: There are some elements of the syllabus that are required by either University of Federal policy. Click here for the syllabus template, which includes all of the required statements. 

NOTE: You can view the complete set of Academic Policies here to guide you as you draft your syllabus. These policies address many important points related to grading, attendance, academic integrity and rigor, accommodations based on beliefs and much more! It's a lot to take in, but it can add to your understanding of what your rights and responsibilities are as an instructor and as well as those of the students. 

Schedule: The schedule of topics to explore, presentations, guest speakers and assignments will either be in place on day one or will be negotiated with your students. Either way, you should have a clear schedule in place by the second week of the course to avoid negative student experiences based on lack of knowledge about course expectations, due dates, etc. Themes related to organization are always top points for critique by students when the time comes for end-of-term feedback. To the extent possible, have a schedule in place. You can label it 'tentative' and attach a phrase like this: 

This syllabus is meant to serve as an outline and guide for the course. Please note that the instructor may modify it at any time so long as reasonable notice of the modification is provided to students. The instructor may also modify the General Course Outline at any time to accommodate the needs of a particular class. Should you have any questions or concerns about the syllabus, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor for clarification. 

Setting the Tone: Once the basics of your syllabus are in place, consider the tone you are setting with your students. Again, this will vary depending on your comfort zone with power sharing. You may wish to use 1st person plural (the inclusive 'we') when outlining policies and assignments. Alternatively, you might want to write it 'to the students' using 2nd person singular (familiar 'you'). Consider your audience and how they will read your syllabus. Also, borrowing from rules of 'netiquette' in online classes, keep in mind that ALL CAPS IS LIKE SHOUTING. To emphasize policies or deadlines, use italics, bold or underlining to draw student attention. 

Syllabus Design Tools: CTE has crafted a syllabus design rubric for evaluating your syllabus based on guidelines for useful and recommended content. The elements in the rubric are not required but will give you a sense of what comprises a comprehensive syllabus. In addition, CTE provides a handy syllabus template into which instructors can insert relevant content. Of course, a syllabus is a personal thing and we all want to add our own stamp - so adapt away! It is the 'first impression' of your students for your course, so start off on the right foot! Keep in mind - some departments have discipline-specific requirements for their syllabi, so be sure to consult your department and find out if they have a template or set of guidelines you should use.


Your syllabus must communicate a clear grading criterion for your students. Additionally, it is important that students are provided feedback throughout the semester in the form of grades. We highly suggest that you utilize Canvas to keep your students apprised of their grades in a timely manner. 

University Grading Policy 
The University uses the following grades. The letter grades A through E and EU are used in computing the GPA. 



(4.0 points)
(3.7 points)

Excellent performance, superior achievement 


(3.3 points)
(3.0 points)
(2.7 points)

Good performance, substantial achievement 


(2.3 points)
(2.0 points)
(1.7 points)

Standard performance and achievement 

(1.3 points)
(1.0 points)
(0.7 points)

Substandard performance, marginal achievement 

E (0.0 points)

Unsatisfactory performance and achievement 

EU (0.0 points)

Unofficial withdrawal 


Credit, no credit 






Thesis or independent work in progress




See additional information regarding university grading and expanded explanations for what each grade assignment indicates here

Submitting Final Grades 
The university’s online grade submission system allows faculty and departments to submit grades from anywhere with an internet connection. Grade rosters display up-to-date enrollment information, e.g., late adds and "W" (withdrawal) grades. Completed grade rosters are available for viewing on the web indefinitely. Primary instructors can authorize others, including administrative assistants and T.A.s, to assist with grading. If an instructor fails to assign a grade for students, an EU grade is automatically assigned to the student. For more information on the university’s online grade submission system follow this link to the training manual

Watch your UMail at the end of each session for important deadlines for submitting final grades

A note about assigning I (Incomplete) Grades: The grade “I” may be given for work not completed due to circumstances beyond the student’s control, providing the student is passing the course and has completed at least 80 percent of the work required for the course. Arrangements must be made between the student and the instructor concerning completion of the work, and the agreement should be documented in writing. Copies of the agreement are kept by the instructor and the academic department. If a new grade is not submitted within 1 year, the I reverts to an E (failing grade). The college strongly suggests that faculty members review the information about incomplete grades prior to assigning them. 

A note about assigning EU Grades: EU grades (unofficial withdrawal) can have extreme consequences for international students, including losing their privilege to remain in the country. If you feel that an EU grade is appropriate for an international student, we suggest contacting International Student & Scholar Services for advice

Registration & Withdrawal Policies 


Every student attending classes at the University must register and pay tuition and fees. Students should consult the Student Handbook for detailed registration information, deadlines, and class listings. Students may access the General Catalog and current Class Schedule here

Drop Deadlines
Once the student is officially enrolled and committed to attend class, it is the student’s responsibility to officially drop classes before the “drop deadline.” If a class is not officially dropped, the student will be charged full tuition and may receive failing grades. 

Withdrawal Deadlines (Official Withdrawal) After the “drop deadline” and before the midpoint of the semester, students may “withdraw” from a class or the university without instructor or department permission. Students may officially withdraw (W) from a class or all classes. A “W” grade is recorded on the transcript and appropriate tuition/fees are assessed. The grade of "W" is not used in calculating the student's GPA. 

Withdrawing After the Midpoint
After the midpoint of the semester and up until the last day of class for the course, students may only withdraw from a class or the university if they are facing compelling, non-academic emergencies. To withdraw under those circumstances, they must complete a “Petition for Consideration of Exception to the Withdrawal Policy” – which is available through the appropriate dean’s office. This is the Dean’s Office in which the student is majoring, not the college of the course being taken. 

Failing to Drop or Withdraw 
If a student fails to drop or withdraw from the course, but doesn’t attend the class, the student may receive an EU (unofficial withdrawal) grade. This grade can be assigned by the instructor, or the instructor can choose to not assign a grade and an EU will automatically be assigned to the student for the course. 

Non-Attendance and Non-Performance
The grade of "EU"(Unofficial Withdrawal) is given when a student's name appears on the registrar's final grade report but there is no record of attendance or other evidence of participation in the course. The "EU" grade is treated as an "E" in calculating the student's GPA. When no grade is entered for any person listed in a final grade report, the Registrar shall record an "EU" for that person. The grade "EU" shall be treated as an "E" in calculating grade point averages, but it shall be disregarded in calculating "section mean grade.

Upon the recommendation of the course instructor and the dean of the course-offering unit (or equivalent), the Registrar may withdraw a student from a course for nonattendance or nonperformance of assigned course work. The student shall then receive the grade of "E." Before this grade is recorded under these circumstances, the Registrar shall send written notification to the student and advise the student of the right to appeal to the dean. 

See the Academic Calendar for drop and withdrawal deadlines. 

The Office of the Registrar is located in the Student Services Building. You can contact them here: 801-581-5808 or . 

Academic Misconduct

A student who engages in academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, plagiarism, etc.) may be subject to academic sanctions including but not limited to a grade reduction, failing grade, probation, suspension or dismissal from the academic program or the University. Students can petition a grade for Academic Performance if they can demonstrate that the grading was arbitrary or capricious. This process, including how to appeal, is outlined in Section V., Student Academic Conduct, of the Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty Guide to Advising

The Faculty Guide to Advising contains information and resources provided by CFA Advising. 

Back to the Faculty Handbook Table of Contents