How can I create a clear and helpful syllabus?

A good syllabus is one that reflects the best practice of making it accessible to all students. For this, follow Universal Design for Learning principles. The link below will lead you to a site with a "UCD Tool" for creation of syllabi, and an "online file validator" to test docs for accessible design features. There is also an introductory video at

http://www.eeonline.org

It is adviseable to include-

1) a course description

2) your contact information, including office hours - along with any notations on restrictions on your time

3) an accessibility statement, such as that readily found at CSU-Chico's ARC website - http://www.csuchico.edu/arc/

4) an Academic Honesty statement. This is important, and you can find it discussed at length here: http://www.csuchico.edu/prs/EMs/2004/04-036.shtml

5) detail on required books and course materials, if you expect students to check email daily, etc.

6) student learning objectives/outcpmes, aka SLOs.  These must be assessable, so not too broad.

7) Describe graded elements of the course - if possible, link to the grading criteria

8) Offer students a calendar if you are able

9) List policies regarding attendance, late work, or make-ups