Course Procedures


For each course the instructor should prepare a course syllabus that provides a day-by-day, or at least topic-by-topic, sequence for the semester. In core courses, these syllabi may be prepared at the department level for the use of anyone teaching these courses. The syllabus might also include required textbooks and/or reserve readings, assignments with due dates, dates of tests and examinations, grading criteria, and attendance policy.

The ideal syllabus should serve as a basic reference document for both the AIs and the students, and as such should include the following items:

  • Teacher's name, title, office number, office telephone, office hours, e-mail address, and where to leave messages.
  • Course number, section, title, meeting days and times, room and building.
  • Pre-requisite(s) of the course.
  • Description of the course.
  • Course goals or objectives.
  • Required purchases: texts and supplies.
  • Grading standards and criteria.
  • Policies regarding:
    Pass/Fail, Incomplete, and Withdrawal marks
    Academic misconduct
    Late assignments
  • A table listing:
    1.Topics to be covered in sequence with dates
    2.Reading/listening assignments and dates due
    3.Due dates for major assignments; date and time of final exam (determined by the campus schedule)
    While such a detailed syllabus may not be appropriate for performance or composition study, students should be informed in writing at the beginning of the semester in very specific terms about the basis for grading. If a certain amount of repertoire is expected to be learned and/or memorized, or a number of compositions completed, these expectations should be made clear to the student. The syllabus should also make clear the policy for missed lessons or classes and how attendance will affect the grade. Putting these things in writing will help to avoid later disputes over grades.


Textbooks and required materials for courses should be ordered through the web site of the Indiana Memorial Union bookstore: http://iubookstore.com (click on the Faculty tab and register through the website). The deadline for fall semester orders is April 5, for the spring semester October 5, and for the summer semester March 5. The IMU bookstore then coordinates this order with private bookstores in town.

Course Packet and Duplication

Many instructors, when planning their courses, find that the commercially published textbooks do not meet their needs. They choose to compile course packets of photocopied material instead. Course packets can be a very useful way to make the best texts available to students. However, producing these packets raises significant copyright issues. Several commercial copy stores in town provide this service and help obtain copyright permissions, if necessary.

All faculty requests for duplication of material for class (including syllabi and tests) should be processed in the Jacobs School of Music through Duplicating Services, located in the mailroom (MU 006 lower level, located between Merrill Hall and the Music Annex).  Ten or fifteen copies of a small number of pages may be duplicated by faculty themselves, using the departmental charge card.  Any larger volume of duplicating should be left for the staff to process.  For supplies and duplication a departmental billing number is required.  Ask Duplicating Services about available formats.

Another option is the e-reserves in the Music Library. Check with the library staff about putting articles and portions of books online for the students to access.

Tests and Examinations

Tests should be announced at the beginning of the semester in the syllabus, and consequences of missing tests should be clearly spelled out. Each fall and spring semester ends with an examination week during which final exams are scheduled. These assigned times are two-hour periods, not necessarily at the same time as the class period. The schedule is always given in the Schedule of Classes (see official Calendars, www.registrar.indiana.edu). Examinations must be given during this official time since changing times can lead to schedule conflicts for students.

Class Rosters and Grade Books

Class rosters, including student e-mail addresses, are available electronically to authorized individuals from the Office of the Registrar. For information about obtaining access to rosters, call the Jacobs School of Music Academic Scheduling Office, 856-4659, MU 117.

Information about the campus calendar, including last day to drop and final exam schedules, is included in the electronic Schedule of Classes each term.

(See http://www.registrar.indiana.edu)

Grade books are available in Duplicating Services (MU 006). The use of computer grade book programs (such as Oncourse) or speadsheets is also an efficient way of keeping track of student grades, attendance patterns and general background information (telephone, address, class schedule, etc.).

Student Absences

In some cases, such as ensemble, attendance is a very important part of the class requirement. In some other classes, attendance may not be as strictly controlled. In any case, policies concerning attendance of students should be clearly defined in the syllabus in advance.

Accomodating Religious Holidays

Indiana University students follow many different religious practices; some of them will need to miss classes for holidays on which the university remains open. In response to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Indiana University observes the following practices regarding student absences due to religious beliefs:

Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in any examination, study, or work requirement on a particular day because of his or her religious beliefs is excused from any such activity. The student will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed, provided that the makeup work does not create an unreasonable burden upon Indiana University. The university will not levy fees or charges of any kind when allowing the student to make up missed work. In addition, no adverse or prejudicial effect will result to students because they have made use of these provisions.

The Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs web site lists all religious holidays for five years; see http://www.indiana.edu/~vpfaa; Religious Holidays. Try not to schedule important exams or deadlines to conflict with such days if at all possible. You should also, early in the semester, tell students that they should inform you in advance about such absences so that you can accommodate them.