Getting Started / Orientation for ONLINE STRAND (DISTANCE)

GSL606: Curriculum and Syllabus Design -- ONLINE STRAND (DISTANCE)
Saint Michael's College
Christine Bauer-Ramazani

Welcome to GSL606: Curriculum and Syllabus Design -- ONLINE STRAND (DISTANCE)! Please read carefully and print this out for easier reading/later reference!

Location of the course/ Logging on

The course is delivered through a web course management system called Canvas and resides at the Saint Michael's College Online Portal at the web address: (Use your SMC log-on information to access SMC resources. Please bookmark it by putting it into your Favorites, or better, putting the link onto your Favorite Links bar!!!). The Canvas site can also be accessed via mobile technology (smartphone, tablet). Download the app to your mobile device or use the browser on your mobile device to access the site.

Important notes:
A. Logging on: 1st time access to the Canvas site:
  • Use your Saint Michael's College username as the Canvas username and your Saint Michael's College student ID as the password. 

B. Access to Saint Michael's College email and resources

  1. Resources: Since you are officially a Saint Michael's College (SMC) student, you have access to all of the College's activities and resources. You can find important information on the SMC Web site at
    • SMC email: You have access to SMC mail via our web server at Please see the instructions at Accounts and Email.Your password is the first initial of your first name, capitalized, followed by the first initial of your last name followed by your SMC ID # (a 7 digit number) and ending with an "!". (ex. for jsmith - Js1234567!). Saint Michael's College requires passwords changes at least twice a year.
      For first time log-on, type in
      Domain/username: mikenet/yourmikenetusername

      Password: Capital letter of your first name lower case letter of your username your SMC ID number !
      (No spaces and do not forget the exclamation mark at the end!)
      You will then be prompted to change your password. You will need to put in your account as mikenet/yourusername again. Please see Password Reset and Rules for more information.
    • To access the library resources, see Off-campus and Mobile Access. Use your Mikenet username and password to authenticate (log in).

Course Description and Overview

GSL 606 – Curriculum and Syllabus Design (ONLINE)

This course examines curriculum and syllabus design principles for TESOL programs and applies them to the participants’ current or future teaching contexts. In weekly discussions participants analyze and critique sample documents and develop peer-reviewed elements of a curriculum in stages for a portfolio. Components include a program and learner needs assessment, language proficiency assessment, measurable goals and outcomes, a course outline, and a lesson/unit with activities as well as performance-based assessment plans and instruments. Webinars/chats are part of instruction.
Requirements: Competence in the MAC or Windows operating system; a headset/microphone (USB preferred)

The course takes a hands-on approach to the topic. It examines curriculum and syllabus planning for TESOL programs with respect to assessing the needs of different learners; setting realistic goals; surveying existing programs; examining the purposes of curriculum and syllabus; and evaluating various syllabus types. Participants relate this information to their particular teaching/learning situation and develop appropriate curriculum materials.

Important note: Since this course is online, with students taking it at a distance, we will be learning several technology tools that allow for collaboration at a distance. At the end of this page, I will ask you to send me an e-mail message, stating that you have read and understood the information and accept the terms and conditions specified.

Course Schedule

The course follows the Saint Michael's College schedule for Graduate Programs. Since it is a Saint Michael's College course offered by the Master of Teaching English as a Second Language Program, all participants are bound by the policies and procedures for such courses, including schedule, length of time, grading, deadlines, etc.

Once we get started, the course is 15 weeks in length, starting Monday, January 18 and ending on May 4, with the Final Course Project Portfolio due on May 9. I will email/post information before the start date and expect course content, including assignments, to begin on the first day. Course content will be posted and discussed online, i.e. in Canvas. Each week starts on Monday and discussions end on Saturday, 12:00 NOON US ES/DT; projects are due on Sunday at midnight. Due dates of projects will be specified in the Syllabus.
Special note: I will be presenting at TESOL 2016 in Baltimore April 6-9, but the course will continue as usual.

Course Load/Time-on-Task: The course work corresponds to the 38-hour requirement for 3-credit graduate courses at SMC in that I have scheduled 15 weeks worth of "Tasks" and "Assignments." According to the Academic Policies of the Graduate Catalog, 2015-16, General Academic Requirements, "students spend approximately two to three hours in preparation for each hour of class time." The "Tasks" I have estimated to require about 3 hours of intensive on-task work plus roughly two to three times the number of hours for hands-on preparation and regular weekly assignments. Please note: When you upload your assignments, they receive a date stamp, so it is easy to see if an assignment is late or not. In case of an emergency or extenuating circumstances for not being able to complete the weekly tasks, please send me an e-mail message.

Prerequisite computer skills, books, hardware, software for distance students:

  • Typing: A good amount of typing will be required, mainly for the threaded discussions in Canvas but also for projects. To improve your typing skills, please check out and work with PowerTyping <>

Books: The following textbooks are required:

Hardware: You will need

How/where can you get help if you have a problem or a question?

Course content question/problem: If you have a question/problem regarding the course itself, contact me by e-mail at cbauer-ramazani at, by phone (during the day, U.S. Eastern time) at 1-802-654-2642 or (before 8:30 am and after 7 pm), or at home (posted in the course and will be emailed to you). Please see also the link on the course home page for "Contacting the instructor." Important note: Don't hesitate to call me at home, but please do not give this number out.My home phone number is for your use only, but I'd rather have you call me at home than go through frustrations. Often the frustrations can be solved very easily and quickly.

  • Tech support: In Canvas the best way to get support is to go to the Help menu in Canvas--Search the Canvas Guides, Report a Problem, and Ask the Community.

How is the course/web site organized--the Course Navigation Tools?

How will you interact with other course participants and me?

Ready to get started?

© Christine Bauer-Ramazani, date of last update: June 14, 2016.