Distance Education

Class Preparation

The Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness has a wealth of information on preparing to teach, class syllabus writing, teaching strategies, technology, copyright and much more. These resources are particularly useful for instructors that are unable to attend face-to-face workshops. Visit www.usask.ca/gmcte/resources/teaching_resources

Academic Policies

Please review the academic policies at policies.usask.ca and www.usask.ca/sesd/policies.

Academic Department Meeting

Arrange a meeting with the department head to review and discuss your responsibilities, class content, class syllabus, copyright, assessments and examinations.


The Faculty/Instructor Statement of Copyright Compliance is an annual digital sign-off for instructors to promote awareness of the policy and produce evidence of the University’s compliance process. The Statement is sent out via e-mail with the subject “Copyright Compliance Acknowledgement Required”.  You will be asked to click on a link to respond to the Statement. For additional instructions and a troubleshooting guide for completing the sign-off, please see usask.ca/copyright/instructors

U of S Library

Distance & Distributed Library Services (DDLS) provides library materials to students taking off-campus classes, as well as support materials to off-campus instructors teaching those classes. If you need support materials and have a University Library card, go to library.usask.ca/offcampus/registerForDDLS.php. Be aware that there are some limits to the amount and level of service that can be provided, such as access to loaned materials from other academic libraries.

Students are encouraged to conduct their own research using the services accessible through DDLS. DDLS ensures that books and photocopied articles requested by students are forwarded to them expeditiously via courier and at no cost. Loan periods are extended for off-campus students to account for mailing time. Please make every effort to inform your students that the University Library utilizes a number of ways to make library materials available to them and encourages them to take advantage of this service.


Become familiar with the Important Dates for the upcoming academic year at www.usask.ca/sesd/info-for-instructors

Class syllabus  

Your syllabus is a contract with the students and cannot be changed without notice. The Academic Course Policy requires that at the beginning of each class, the syllabus must indicate:

  • the type and schedule of term assignments with approximate due dates, as well as the type and schedule of mid-term examinations (if any);
  • learning objectives of the class and of the assignments and examinations
  • relative marking weight of all assignments and examinations
  • whether any or all of the work assigned in a class, which may include any assignment or examination including the final examination, is mandatory for passing the class (as per College policy)
  • attendance and participation expectations, the consequences of not meeting said expectations, and their contribution to the evaluation process
  • the evaluation procedures and their application to the literal descriptors (see section on grades below)
  • procedures for dealing with missed or late assignments or examinations
  • location of rules and guidelines for both academic misconduct and appeal procedures

In general, err on the side of caution and provide your students with as much information as you can about the class in your class outline.

Note: After distribution of the syllabus, no major graded assignment, quiz or examination can be newly assigned without 100% approval by registered students. Please contact Jason Doell (Assistant Registrar) if you have any questions.

Go to www.usask.ca/gmcte/resources/teaching/syllabus for more information on developing your class syllabus.

Student Assessments (Assignments) and Exams

All assessments (assignments, essays, quizzes, midterm exams) and final examinations should be discussed and approved by the academic department head. This can be done at the initial meeting or at a subsequent meeting. The schedule of all assessments must be included in the class syllabus. You must prepare a copy of your final examination and submit it to your department head. The department head will approve the examination and arrange for duplication. See Final Examination page for details.


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