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CAS Curriculum FAQ

How does the course approval process work?

Proposals for new and revised courses are reviewed at the college level by the CAS Curriculum Committee (CASCC) and at the university level by the the UO Committee on Courses (UOCC).  Please refer to this PDF file for further details on the process.

What is Courseleaf?

CourseLeaf is a curriculum management software package that the UO uses to help manage the process of curriculum approval and catalog publishing.  CourseLeaf streamlines the process and ensures that all details involved in curriculum management are clear and easily accessible.

What is a CIM?

The Course Inventory Management or CIM module of CourseLeaf is the form used to store information about a given course.  It is designed to elicit all information required by UO curricular review committees. Faculty committees and administrative authorities at the department-, college-, and university-level review proposals on-line for completeness and compliance with university policies.

How do I get to Courseleaf?

Use https://nextcatalog.uoregon.edu/courseadmin/ to begin a new proposal and https://nextcatalog.uoregon.edu/courseleaf/approve/ if you need to check on something currently in your Courseleaf Workflow.

How can I found out who has access to Courseleaf in my department?

Kathy Warden, the Curriculum Coordinator for the UO Committee on Courses, has full access to the CourseLeaf user list and can give departments information about who does or does not have access to CourseLeaf as a Faculty Proposer or as a Departmental Curriculum Coordinator.

How do I change who has access to Courseleaf in my department?

The Department Head may use this form to notify Kathy Warden of a change of Departmental Curricular Authority. In smaller departments, the Department Head may choose to act as the Departmental Curricular Authority.  This person is in charge of leading any curricular change discussion within the department and may also approve individual course submissions in CourseLeaf, depending on how the Workflow is set up.

The Departmental Curricular Authority may extend Faculty Proposer access to any faculty member within the department.  This enables individual faculty members to take responsibility for the courses that they are proposing or modifying.  The Departmental Curricular Authority may use this form to request Faculty Proposer access.

How do I make a good syllabus?

CAS is currently developing resources that will help model ideal course syllabi.  In the meantime, faculty should refer to this detailed Syllabus Checklist which has been developed to guide faculty in syllabus production.  A simplified version of this checklist is used during CAS’s first round of approval for all new or modified courses.

The Teacher Effectiveness Program website is also good resource of information regarding the development of a course syllabus and the creation and assessment of learning objectives or outcomes.

Program-level learning outcomes. Each CAS department is required to formulate and post a list of learning outcomes for every degree program it offers (undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates; and graduate M.A. and Ph.D. programs). A list of available program-level outcomes is available here.

Course-level learning outcomes. It is CAS policy that each course syllabus should include a list of expected learning outcomes for that course. Guidance is available here.

Per UO Senate legislation, each department is required to formulate and post discipline-specific grading rationales. Such rationales should articulate the general standards of academic achievement in a given discipline and not be formulated in a way that binds individual instructors. Departments should devote specific attention to A+ grades in their posted rationales. They should also discuss the degree to which grade inflation threatens to compromise their evaluation practices and, if appropriate, develop discipline-specific ways to address this problem.

A list of departmental grading rationales (still under construction) is available at http://gradeculture.uoregon.edu.

How do I propose a new course?

Please submit a complete syllabus and enter full curricular review as described on the CAS Curriculum Development page.

An experimental course (numbered 199, 399, 410, or 510) may be offered for up to three years without committee review.  If a department decides to offer the course regularly thereafter, it should submit a formal proposal for a new course that carries a permanent number.

How do I change an existing course?

CourseLeaf provides access to the detail of all previously approved permanent courses listed in the UO Catalog. Changes to these existing courses are made through the “Edit” function in CIM and will appear in red/green mark up.  The system provides a list of all other courses linked to the course being changed (e.g. because they rely on the course as a prerequisite) so that departments can work with colleagues to avoid disruptions.

Significant changes, listed below, require submission of a complete syllabus and full curricular review as described on the CAS Curriculum Development page.

  • changes in the number of credits for the course
  • major changes to title or description of a course
  • changes to the special status of an undergraduate course (group-satisfying, multicultural, honors, B.A. foreign language, B.S. math/computer science.)
  • changes in class format from in-person to an online or hybrid class

Smaller changes may be requested by e-mailing Mike Jefferis in the Registrar’s Office, bypassing CourseLeaf.  These include:

  • Requests for minor editorial changes to course title or catalog description.
  • Changes to the expanded course description (ECD) for a group-satisfying General Education course.
  • Requests to change the grading options, repeatability criteria, pre-requisites, or other enrollment conditions for a course.

Changes to the format and/or enrollment size of a course (e.g. lecture with sections, lecture without sections, seminar) are at the discretion of individual departments, unless additional GTFs or other resources are needed from CAS.

Can I include film screenings in my class?

The CAS curriculum committee has adopted the following recommendation regarding film screenings in class: “Class time devoted to viewing films should be framed within active pedagogical strategies including pre-viewing exercises and follow-up evaluation and critique. Ideally, screenings during class should be limited to excerpts of films that the students have already seen outside of class. If viewings are required almost every week, supplemental meeting times for film screenings outside of regular class times should be arranged and clearly indicated in the course description.”

Can my course count for General Education requirements?

Departments may wish to apply for General Education status for their courses.  General Education courses are those bearing group-satisfying and/or multicultural status. There are three groups (Arts and Letters, Social Science, and Science) and three multicultural categories (American Cultures; Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance; and International Cultures).  See Comprehensive criteria for Gen Ed, an excerpt from the appendix within CAS Instructions for Using CIM.

Courses counting for General Education credit require additional justification and, in the case of group-satisfying courses, more rigorous college- and university-level review. Procedures, criteria, and policies are embedded within the on-line CourseLeaf form.

How do I create an online or “hybrid” course?

Online classes or hybrid online/in person classes are now supported in Courseleaf.  The Student Engagement Inventory has fields for Online/Hybrid hours of engagement at both the graduate and undergraduate level.  Classes that are online-only would complete these fields.  Classes that are hybrid would complete both the online fields and the “traditional” fields.

The policies and workload expectations for online, hybrid, and traditional courses are all the same. Departments that wish to create a new online or hybrid course must complete a course proposal through Courseleaf.  Departments that wish to add the option of online/hybrid teaching to an existing traditional course must submit a course change request through Courseleaf.  Syllabi reflecting the method of teaching are required.

How do I remove (“drop”) an existing course?

A department may request to drop a course by using CourseLeaf to submit a Deactivation.  First, however, it should consult with any other academic programs whose curricula and/or enrollments may be adversely affected by the change (e.g. if the course being dropped serves as a prerequisite to a critical course in another program). Once a course has been dropped, its number cannot be used for another topic for seven years. 

We dropped a course.  Can we get it back?

Courses that are not taught for three years are dropped from the catalog.  A course that was dropped less than three years ago may be reinstated.  Send a brief explanation, along with the name of the instructor and the term they have agreed to teach it, to Mike Jefferis. No changes may be requested at this time.  If a course has not been taught for six years, it is no longer eligible for reinstatement.  A new course proposal must be submitted for full curricular review.

Can I change a number on a course?

Course renumbering is not always possible. Interested faculty should contact Mike Jefferis.  If renumbering coincides with a substantive course change, a proposal to add a new course must be submitted.

I want to create a new major.  What do I do?

This cannot be completed within CourseLeaf.  The first step is for the host department’s Head to meet with their Divisional Dean to discuss the various issues surrounding development of a new major.  Some things to consider are:

  • Is it really a new major or just a new subdivision within an existing major? If it is a truly new major, the HECC Proposal for New Academic Program form will need to be completed. If it is a new track or concentration, the department should lay out the proposal in narrative format. Degree plans showing how it relates to existing requirements are helpful.
  • Will requirements rely solely on existing courses or on new ones yet to be regularized?  If the requirements include new courses, those new course proposals need to be started in CourseLeaf so that they have been approved by the UOCC before the Undergraduate Council’s review of the program proposal.
  • When does the department want the new major or major track to take effect? Typically this date would need to be at least a year after department-level approval is achieved.

If the department receives approval to create a new major, all supporting material for the new major must be collected for presentation to the CAS Curriculum Committee by one of the following deadlines:

For consideration during Fall term – September 1st

For consideration during Winter term – December 1st

For consideration during Spring term – March 1st

The CAS Curriculum Committee will add the proposal to the agenda for that term’s review.  You may submit your information via CAS Curriculum Coordinator, Elizabeth Milner.

I want to create a new minor or certificate.  What do I do?

This cannot be completed within CourseLeaf.  The first step is for the host department’s Head to meet with their Divisional Dean to discuss the various issues surrounding development of a new minor or certificate.  The department head should also prepare either the New Undergraduate Minor Program form or the Proposal for a New Certificate Program form available on the Academic Affairs website.  Some things to consider are:

  • Will requirements rely solely on existing courses or on new ones yet to be regularized?  If the requirements include new courses, those new course proposals need to be started in CourseLeaf so that they have been approved by the UOCC before the Undergraduate Council’s review of the program proposal.
  • When does the department want the new minor or certificate to become active? Typically this date would need to be at least a year after department-level approval is achieved.

If the department receives approval to create a new minor or certificate, all supporting material for the new major must be collected for presentation to the CAS Curriculum Committee by one of the following deadlines:

For consideration during Fall term – September 1st

For consideration during Winter term – December 1st

For consideration during Spring term – March 1st

The CAS Curriculum Committee will add the proposal to the agenda for that term’s review.  You may submit your information via CAS Curriculum Coordinator, Elizabeth Milner.

How should I address academic integrity issues?

Instructors are referred to the following websites and resources:

UO Academic Integrity website

Student Conduct and Community Standards website

The sale of course notes by students to other students is an ancient practice made more problematic by the advent of dedicated websites, particularly commercial ones, facilitating large-scale dissemination of such materials. Instructors may attempt to assert copyright of lecture notes and slides (e.g. by including a “©” notice on their course materials) but intellectual property rights are difficult to enforce in practice. While no formal rule law otherwise forbids the sale of course notes, it is a violation of UO policy for students to use Blackboard or other University-sponsored electronic media (such as email) for commercial purposes.

Where can I find more information about Curriculum Development issues?

Instructors are referred to the following websites and resources:



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