Online Course Policies

Last updated: 5/9/17

Required Syllabus Additions

If you are teaching an online course, be sure to add the following policies to your syllabus. 

Online Attendance & Participation Policy

Attendance in Online Writing Program courses counts as completing homework and/or some other assignment by the required deadline. A student does not count as having attended and participated in an online course if he or she has only online logged on to the learning management system (LMS). 
  • In a sixteen week term, online instructors must include at least one deadline per week.
  • In an eight (7.5) week term, online instructors must include at least two deadlines per week
  • In a five week term, online instructors must include at least three deadlines per week.  

Class Etiquette

Online Courses require special sensitivity.  Read and follow the rules of “netiquette.”  Comments can seem harsher online than they sound in person. Use care with communication.  

  • Freedom of speech and expression is valued not only throughout the society but also, and particularly, in the academic setting. Equally valued is the respect given to university computer systems and information technology. To that end, students will adhere to the following online code of conduct:
  • Access University of Arizona courses only for lawful purposes.
  • Respect the privacy of other members of the class and other students.
  • Respect the integrity of the University’s computer systems.
  • Respect the diversity of opinions among the instructor and members of the class and respond to them in a courteous manner. Electronic communication consisting of all caps, large font, or bold print may be considered unprofessional and a form of verbal abuse.
  • Maintain an environment free of harassment, stalking, threats, abuse, insults, or humiliation to the instructor and members of the class. This includes, but is not limited to demeaning written or oral comments of an ethnic, religious, sexist (or sexual orientation), or racist nature; and the unwanted sexual advances or intimidations by email, or on discussion boards and other postings in course shells.
  • Abide by all rules and regulations published by the University and agree to be subject to disciplinary actions as described in the General Catalog.

[Adapted from  National University’s Code of Conduct for Online Students]

Grading Response Time

[craft a paragraph that when you will respond to work submission; see the example below]

EXAMPLE: I request that students allow me approximately 1-2 weeks from the date of submission (original suggested deadline, not if the assignment is turned in late), to post a grade, or provide feedback, on any homework assignments, 2 weeks for major projects. (Note: I will make every effort to provide faster turnaround time-however, sometimes faster turn around is not possible).


Optional Syllabus Additions

Late Work

Consider adding the following language to the "Late Work" section of the Writing Program policies.

Although it is possible that the technology can fail, it is ultimately your responsibility to submit the work, in the method requested. (If there is an institutional, server side, technology error, I will learn about it. If no one is able to submit his or her work, a new deadline will be assigned. However, if only a few people were unable to submit the work, it is not an error on the instructor’s or institution’s side.) If you are having difficulty submitting an assignment, it is your responsibility to contact the instructor before the assignment is due. Otherwise, you risk receiving no credit for the assignment.

Required Technologies

List any required technologies for the course, for example: 

Based on the type of projects you decide to submit, you may use other technologies than those listed below based on assignment requirements.

  • Access to a desktop, laptop, tablet and/or SmartPhone with an internet connection (preferable highspeed); you will probably want at least partial access to a technology with a larger screen/composing space.
  • A UA CatMail account (Powered by Google -­gives you access to Google Drive, and other features like Docs, Forms, and Hangouts).
  • Access to the University of Arizona's Desire-to-Learn (D2L) site. 
  • Access to the LaunchPad site associated with An Insider's Guide to Academic Writing.
  • Access to the University of Arizona Library online, especially their  extensive collection of databases.

Technical Support

List appropriate venues for technical support, for example:

If you have never worked in the D2L environment before, it is strongly recommended that you work your way through the tutorials available through the Student Tool Guides on D2L.

Instructors do not provide technical support for students in hybrid or online-­only courses. Students are responsible for solving computer and/or multimedia tech issues with the assistance of the 24/7 IT Support Center through UITS. For more information or to make an appointment, call (520) 626-­TECH (8324) or visit

Communication Policies

Methods of Communication

  • Email: One-on-one contact will be through your official UA email.

  • D2L: Most instructional materials and official announcements will be posted in the course area. 

  • Google Drive: Some instructional materials will be posted in a shared Google Drive folder. Students may also be asked to submit work in the shared Gdrive area.

  • Major Writing Project Submission—will be submitted according to the individual assignment prompts; wome will be produced and shared in Google Drive with a final link being submitted in D2L.

  • Gradebook—Your gradebook will be in D2L.

Communicating with the Instructor

If you have any questions, concerns, or other general comments about the class, the best way to communicate with the instructor is via email. The instructor reserves the right to take up to 72 hours to respond to your communication. The instructor may have to do some grading, look something up, or may just being taking care of his or her own life requirements. Therefore, do not put off your homework to the last minute, have a question, and then expect the instructor to respond prior to the deadline.


Official course announcements, especially those that mark official changes to the syllabus and/or course schedule and assignments deadlines, are made via the “announcements” link in D2L. Individualize announcements and messages will be sent via email to your official UA email. Be sure to check your email and the course announcements page regularly.

Other Policies Related to Online Courses

These do not need to be copied into your syllabus.

Online 101A Students

Since UA Online will rarely have enough students placed into ENGL101A for a given semester, UA Online students placed into 101A will be placed into sections of ENGL101. However, to provide adequate support for the 101A students, these sections will be capped at nineteen (19) and allow no more than three (3) 101A students per section. These students are encouraged to reach out to their 101 instructor for support directly upon registration for ENGL 101, and should be instructed to do so by the Office of Transfer and Placement.