Syllabus Content Resource Page

This document provides a "cut and paste" resource for required content (black text) and examples (blue text) of topics that are often needed for online classes.  Required text should be used as written as these are provided by offices responsible for the topic.  Suggested text should serve as a basis and may be adapted to your course design.


<Course Number and Title>





Office hours: 

Required text: 

Course Description and Objectives


Course policiesattendance, class participation and how it’s evaluated, missed exam policy, extra credit availability, lab safety, grading policies and percentages

Reading: A chapter will be assigned for most weeks in the semester. You will need to review the chapter and read in depth as needed to understand the material.

Discussion forum grading is based on four points: 

  1. Number of posts on the discussion forum for each Discussion topic. (Are you really involved in the discussion? I am looking for real activity focused on learning or sharing class related information)
  2. How well your posting shows your understanding or efforts to gain understanding of the subject.
  3. Your posting provides value to the discussion (basically it is not irrelevant talk – something submitted just to say you did it)
  4. Replies to and comments on other students’ postings on the discussion forum that contribute to a better understanding of the topic or a solution to a problem.

Postings to the discussion forum should be written as you would for a formally submitted paper,not in a texting or instant messaging style (no capitalization, punctuation, abbreviations, etc). Your written word has a large impact of potential employers so let’s practice good writing skills through out the class. Credit will be deducted or not given if postings are not written in a professional manner as described above.

Discussion forums are graded as individual assignments and the average of all postings becomes a weighted percentage of the overall class grade.  Remember that any discussion without a post from you will receive a grade of zero and substantially reduce the credit you receive for class discussions.

Research Paper:  Completed papers are to be posted to the Discussion area under a Topic for Research papers. You are encouraged to review and comment on the posted papers as well as posting questions to the author of the paper via the Discussion. This way we can share and learn from each other about the critical issues we face in protecting information and systems. Participation in the comments and questions portion of this assignment will be considered in your overall grade for Discussion Board. (Details for this assignment are included toward the end of this syllabus)

Quizzes: Each chapter will have a graded quiz that is to be completed in the week the Chapter is assigned. You will be able to find these quizzes in the Assignments section of the class Blackboard site. The quizzes serve to help you evaluate your own understanding of the material and allows me to see how well the class is understanding the material. This is very important to successful online programs since you and I won’t normally see each other face to face in this course. I will provide feedback to the class on problem areas identified by the quizzes as needed. Questions by email or Discussion Board postings are always welcome

Exams: There will be a mid-term exam and afinal exam. Questions will primarily be similar to those of the quizzes so your performance on quizzes is a good indicator of how you will do on these exams. Any content including topics discussed in the discussions or posted papers could also be used as a source for a limited number of exam questions.

Email: The preferred method of communications for this course is via email. I will answer questions, make class announcements which may include changes in the class requirements and provide feedback via email so it is important that you maintain a current email address in Blackboard and frequently check the mailbox for that address.

Software:This course assumes a complete installation of a Web browser, a college e-mail account and access to the Internet.  Because your Web browser may be different from the ones used in the figures of the book, your screens may differ slightly at times. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher is recommended.  

Internet use:  Students will be required to conduct research on line for this class.  Therefore, use of the Internet will be necessary and may be done in a campus computer lab or through the student’s own Internet service.  Because your Web browser may be different from the ones used in the figures of the book, your screens may differ slightly at times. A current version of Mozilla Firefox is recommended if you are working from your own computer.

Moodle:The Moodle system will be a key tool in completing this course so I advise you to take time to get familiar with the content it holds for this course.   All grades are tracked by the Moodle system using the account you set up.  Announcements about the class are posted there too.  Be sure to check it often.  Grade inquiries to the instructor should only be made after checking the “My Grades” section. 

Netiquette:Your discussion and comments should be done in a professional tone (address the issues with facts and your position – no personal attacks or hostilities). In the rare case that a posting violates the required professionalism, you will receive email notification from the instructor (repeated offenses can result in loss of credit for the topic or the entire discussion board grade – instructor’s call).

WARNING: Bad email addresses and full mailboxes create problems for the class messages and prevent you from receiving information. Due to the impact on the class and the demonstrated lack of personal responsibility these conditions present, I will not normally allow any credit lost due to bad email addresses or full mailboxes to be made up.

Grading: The final grade is weighted using the following percentages.

  • Discussion topics                                                        10%
  • Research Paper                                                           14%
  • Chapter Quizzes (12 quizzes worth 3% each)            36%
  • Midterm exam                                                            20%
  • Final Exam                                                                 20%

No Late Assignments: Late assignments will not be accepted as a rule. If you have a true emergency, contact me as soon as possible to receive consideration of assignments you may miss. Since you have the option to work ahead in this class, I recommend you do so to provide time for unforeseeable interruptions and avoid the potential of missed assignments.

Incomplete or unsatisfactory assignment submissions: If an assignment submission does not meet the majority of the criteria of the assignment, it will be returned to you for corrections (like in the business place). No credit will be earned until the assignment submission meets the criteria of the task and may receive no credit if not promptly returned in an acceptable form. Check your grades and email to ensure you have all work completed and credited. Email your instructor if you have questions, problems with assignments or think that there is an error or missing grade.

Exclusion: Substantial failure to complete assignments (nothing turned in during a two week period) may result in the Dean, upon my written recommendation, excluding the student from the course with a grade of "W". This procedure is not used after the last day for dropping a course. Please see me if you think your progress is unsatisfactory.

Academic and Student Support Services:  UVa-Wise offers services through several offices:  Tutoring, Student Support Services, Disability Services and the Writing Center.  For more information and contact info go to

Accommodations:  If you need accommodations due to a disability please make an appointment to talk with Disability Services as soon as possible. Students with disabilities must register with Disability Services to discuss accommodations.  Contact Whitney Wells, Zehmer 152, 276-328-0265 or

Sexual Misconduct/Harassment Statement:    The University of Virginia's College at Wise strives to provide a working and educational environment for all faculty, staff and students that is free from sexual misconduct/harassment. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and other acts of sexual misconduct are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX. The College reaffirms its commitment to maintain a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the college community. To view the UVa-Wise’s Sexual Misconduct/Harassment policy, please visit:

If you have questions or concerns, please immediately contact your Title IX Coordinator listed below.

Tabitha Smith, Title IX Coordinator
Office of Compliance and Conduct
1 College Avenue
Wise, VA 24293
Office: 276-328-0131 | Cell: 276-870-5065 | Fax: 276-376-4876 |

The Honor Code: Students at UVA’s College at Wise govern themselves through an honor system that dates back to the nineteenth century. While the system itself is primarily student-administered, I am a strong supporter of the code and will not tolerate violations in the form of lying, cheating, stealing, or plagiarism. The constitution of the UVA’s College at Wise Honor System is found in the student handbook, The Source.

Research Paper 

The goal of this assignment ….

Topic Approval: 
Upon selecting a topic, submit a Research Topic Selection email to me in the following format for approval:

  • (Your) Name:
  • Topic Selected:
  • Why is this topic is significant (your point of view)?

This input will allow me to see the overall class interests and possibly provide guidance as I deem appropriate.

Posting:The discussion board has a limited number of characters in the Forum text box. You may need to post your paper as an attached text or document file. Make sure the visible text has your Topic title and an introductory statement that would give a viewer of this section an idea of what your paper is about. Length depends on what you need to adequately cover your topic. I am looking for evidence that you understand the topic and have some clear understanding of how to deal with the issues. I would expect most topics will need around 5 pages but I grade by quality – not by word count.