Syllabus Resources

What to include in a SMUFlex Syllabus?

Communication is key when teaching a SMUFlex course. As with any course at SMU, the syllabus serves as in some form as a contract between the instructor and students for SMUFlex. Below we have created a series of potential statements for inclusion on a SMUFlex course syllabus related to expectations of course format, online synchronous meetings, and attendance.

These statements can be used as-is or customized to improve communications and expectations about your course in writing to your students. If you have any ideas that you think might be helpful to include to share with other faculty, please email them to We will update this page as needed.

Course Format Statements

  • This is a SMUFlex course. SMUFlex courses are conducted in real-time with some students attending in-person and others participating remotely via Zoom. This allows students and faculty to adapt to changing situations and accommodate short-term absences from the in-person experience. SMUFlex also allows remote students to engage in meaningful ways with their coursework through SMU’s Canvas LMS. SMU classrooms are outfitted with hardware and software that allows for teleconferencing via Zoom. When needed, recorded lectures will be available to students via Canvas. 

  • SMUFlex courses follow the standard meeting schedule for in-person courses. At some institutions, SMUFlex students can change how they attend the course based upon personal preference. At SMU, students cannot self-select meeting-to-meeting whether they attend in-person or via Zoom. SMU pre-assigns the method they use meeting-to-meeting.

Expectations for Online Synchronous Meetings Statements

  • If you are attending the class virtually via Zoom, make sure you connect from a quiet and safe place that will allow you to devote your full attention to the class. Notify any persons sharing that space that you will be busy for the duration of the class to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

  • You are expected to have you camera on, but while the instructor is lecturing, please mute your microphone. During lectures, you may ask questions by clicking on the Participants area and raising a hand. Or, you may use the Chat feature to send your questions to the instructor.

  • The use of headsets are encouraged to minimize background noise. To participate in discussions, press the space bar of your keyboard to unmute yourself and keep the space bar pressed until you are done speaking. 

  • If you need to take a break, make sure to pause your video. That will signal to your instructor that you are no longer in front of the computer and will minimize distractions to the other students. When you return, turn your camera back on.

Attendance and Lecture Recordings

  • While lecture recordings will be available within (_#_)  hours of the class session, you are expected to attend the class either in-person or virtually synchronously. The session recordings will be available in Canvas after the video has been fully processed.

  • Attendance is reflected as part of your participation grade for this course. You are expected to attend the synchronous portion of class either in-person or virtually over Zoom as agreed upon. If you are unable to attend a class session, It is expected you inform your instructor in advance of your absence.