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Syllabus Design

Best practices and templates for creating a student-friendly syllabus


As you well know, the syllabus and schedule provide a big-picture view of the course for your students. Together they are perhaps the most important documents you can create for your students, primarily because they describe and chart what the course is about, how you will teach it, and what students will do to learn. After reading the syllabus, your students should feel that major questions have been answered, and they should have an inkling what kind of teaching philosophy you will bring to the course.

Course Planning

Before preparing your syllabus, think through the content, activities, and assessments needed to help students meet the learning objectives. 

Course Outline Template

You will need to be logged in to your NNU Google account to access the template. Once there, click File > Make a Copy to create a customizable document for your own use.

Syllabus Templates

IDT provides a variety of syllabus templates for the different types of courses NNU offers. The advantages?

  • Save yourself time and effort. We even update the academic dates for you each semester!
  • Add your personal touch. You may customize these templates as you see fit.
    • Sections with an aqua highlight are instructions for you.
    • Sections with a yellow highlight are suggested but open to your changes.
  • Comply with federal law. These templates are formatted to be accessible when you copy and paste your course-specific information into each section.

Syllabus Templates for Fall of 2023

Free TA Help

IDT's Technical Assistants are student employees who are trained to convert your syllabus to an accessible template at no charge. Use our IDT TA Request: Course Help form. Please allow at least 4 days for completion.


The University Syllabus Addendum is provided by academic leadership and is required to be linked on the Syllabus page in Canvas. Please copy/paste this link to embed the addendum in your courses. The link will stay the same even when the document is updated.

Contact Us

Center for Instructional Design and Technology • • 208.467.8034 • Learning Commons 146