Faculty Resources

Course Procedures

Class Rosters and Grade Books

Class rosters, including student e-mail addresses, are available electronically to instructors of record. For information about obtaining access to rosters, call the Jacobs School of Music Academic Scheduling Office, 856-4659, MU116.

Information about the campus calendar, including last day to drop and final exam schedules, is available from the Office of the Registrar. Additional details can be found on the JSoM Academic Calendar.

The use of computer grade book programs (such as Canvas) or spreadsheets is an efficient way of keeping track of student grades, attendance patterns, and general background information (telephone, address, class schedule, etc.). Paper grade books (and other course supplies) are available in the JSoM mailroom (MU006).


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.
  • Textbooks and other required supplies
  • Grading standards and criteria.
  • Policies regarding:
  • A table listing:
    • Topics to be covered in sequence with dates
    • Reading/listening assignments and dates due
    • Due dates for major assignments and exams; 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 Indiana Memorial Union bookstore. The deadline for fall semester orders is April 5, for the spring semester October 5, and for the summer semester March 5.

Instructors may also choose to post articles and portions of books online via Canvas (https://canvas.iu.edu).


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.

Instructors using Canvas may wish to use the Roll Call tool to track attendance.

Accommodating 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 website lists all religious holidays for five years. 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.

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

The campus recommends that each course syllabus contain the following statement: "Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities (e.g. mental health, learning, chronic health, physical hearing, vision neurological, etc.).  You must have established your eligibility for support services through the appropriate office that services students with disabilities. Note that services are confidential, may take time to put into place and are not retroactive; captions and alternate media for print materials may take three or more weeks to get produced.  Please contact your campus office as soon as possible if accommodations are needed. Find your office at: http://ada.iu.edu/students/index.shtml. For more information about providing classroom accommodations, see http://www.iu.edu/~ada/classroom-accommodations/index.shtml.

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 available in the Student Enrollment Bulletin for each semester and from the Office of the Registrar. Examinations must be given during this official time since changing times can lead to schedule conflicts for students.