Not all students who show up on the first day are aware that they have selected a CIC course. Others do not have a clear idea of what a computer-integrated course involves. Addressing these questions and concerns on the first day of class can be a tremendous advantage. Specifying the expectations and requirements that go hand-in-hand with a CIC course on your syllabus is also a good idea. In order to adapt your syllabus to reflect the computer-integrated environment, you will need to make a few additions. The most basic information that you will want to include is listed below.
Most instructors include on their syllabus a brief paragraph or two that defines "CIC" and sketches out the day-to-day activities in each of the Mary Gates classrooms. It is particularly important for students to understand the distinction between the computer classrooms and the more traditional classrooms and for them to be aware that the class will be alternating locations. Your syllabus should emphasize that CIC courses are first and foremost writing courses—your class will utilize the technology available in the lab to work on active reading, writing, peer review, revision, and critical thinking. The following is an excerpt from a CIC syllabus:
As part of the English Department’s Computer Integrated Classroom (CIC) program, we will have access to technologies not available in the traditional classroom. Half of our class periods will be held in Mary Gates 082, a networked computer lab. You will be using the computers to conduct research, participate in online discussions, complete group exercises, draft and share work, and comment on your peers' essays. With these opportunities come a few additional requirements. You will need to bring work to class electronic form; doing so may require you to convert your files into Word format. Note that technical savvy is not a course prerequisite; students will receive instruction in all technical tools used in the classroom.
The CIC classroom allows students to produce, access, revise, and archive work that can be included as part of a participation grade. Although you may choose to make use of online tools, indicate to students that your course requires collaborative, in-class participation. CIC courses are not distance-learning classes.
Electronic Discussion and Responses
Some instructors require their students to contribute a minimum number of electronic discussion postings over the course of the quarter. Others require students to post weekly responses to course texts. Still other instructors use the discussion board in real time during class. If your class includes electronic discussion, indicate how online postings will be counted in students' final grade. Will they include a sample of postings in their portfolio? Will you use credit/no credit grading and count electronic discussion as participation?
Peer Reviews and Group Work
CIC instructors frequently use the lab for in-class electronic peer review or small-group activities in which students discuss a course text while taking electronic notes. Include information about peer review and group work on your syllabus, explaining how they are weighted in the final class grade.
Reading Journal and Freewrites
At the beginning of each lab class, you may ask students to freewrite or compose a reading journal entry. For some instructors, such activities are heavily weighted as a participation requirement.
You will probably want to detail for students the formats their assignments will take. Instructors often ask to receive written work in a variety of forms. In addition to the usual paper copy (which some instructors find preferable for grading purposes), students may also submit written work in electronic format to a Canvas assignment space, Catalyst Dropbox, or a Canvas or GoPost discussion board. The use of electronic format raises content and design questions: will students be allowed to integrate images, hypertext, video, or audio into written essays or create work in these modes?
In specifying where and when you want students to submit electronic files (in paper format or online at the beginning of the period, online the night before class meets, etc.), make sure to indicate which submission methods are not acceptable (email, for example). Also let students know what to do if online tools break down.
Since students my use programs or operating systems different from those in the lab, they may need to save files created at home in a format usable in the lab and vice versa. You may want to suggest that students look over the file conversion section of the CIC Student Guide if they have a Mac or if they use a word processing program other than Microsoft Word.
The CIC Student Guide
The CIC Student Guide explains CIC policies and gives detailed information on using the computers and programs available in our lab classrooms. Although you may not use all sections of the guide, it's useful to list the URL on your syllabus.
File Saving and Transfer
Students will need several reliable methods to back-up their work and to transfer any materials from their home computers to the Mary Gates classrooms. Students may use cloud services, email attachments, FTP or memory sticks for this purpose.
UW Net ID and Email Address
It is best to note on the syllabus that students must have both a UW Net ID and UW email account, even if they forward messages. All Catalyst tools use UW Net ID to identify users, and MyUW's automatic class email list generator uses UW email addresses. To create a class email list, log onto MyUW, select Teaching from the left-hand column and click Request class email list in the My Course Resources area. Consider including the class list address on your syllabus.
CIC syllabi should include general EWP policy statements regarding plagiarism, accommodations and complaints. You may also list the CIC administrative staff as contacts for any questions or concerns regarding classroom technology.
Lab Classroom Conduct
Although the CIC Student Guide lists general policies regarding use of lab computers, you may want to include on your syllabus additional expectations for using computers during class.
Because your class incorporates technology, emphasize to students that technology glitches do not constitute a valid excuse for late work. Explain the importance of maintaining backup copies of all files. Also let students know acceptable alternative methods of submitting work should online tools malfunction. If you ask students to bring work to class in electronic format, consider requiring them to transfer this work via two methods (memory stick and cloud service, for example).
To view sample syllabi, follow the links below. Note that sample materials may be password-protected with the username and password distributed in 131 TA training.
- CIC Syllabus Checklist
- English 110
- English 111 [Sample 1 :: Sample 2]
- English 121
- English 131
- English 197 and 198
- English 281
- EWP Policies for Students
Descriptions of all EWP policies, some of which you may wish to copy and paste into your syllabus.
- EWP Sample Course Designs
Here you'll find sample syllabi for all courses taught in the Expository Writing Program. Note that the page is password-protected with the username and password distributed in 131 TA training.
- EWP Syllabus Design Guide
Page includes course calendar templates, as well as waivers, policy statements and a list of outcomes to copy and paste into your syllabus. Note that the page is password-protected with the username and password distributed in 131 TA training.