03 Course Schedule Tips

Guidelines for Populating the Course Schedule


This course schedule is organized by weeks. Instructors may organize their schedule in different ways (ex., by modules, or units). Based on the Secretariat’s course outline requirements, you will need to include a list of topics, required readings, and due dates.


Add dates for each week (i.e., Jan 11-15) and the final assessment period according to the Registrar’s Office Important Dates.

Weekly topics

It is often helpful to use a weekly module structure to organize your course and make it easy for students to navigate. Organizing content into 12 weekly modules is a common approach. You may also choose to have six modules that each span two weeks or a combination.

Required Readings

Readings can be textbook chapters, journal articles, news articles from websites, and more. It is recommended to include only required readings and not optional readings in the course schedule. If your course will not have required readings or you choose to list them elsewhere, remove this column.

  • If a reading comes from a source that the University of Waterloo library has a license for (e.g. a particular journal), you can use Course Reserves.
  • If a reading lives on a website that is reputable, you may link to it.
  • If you wish for a reading to be uploaded to LEARN (i.e., the file lives in your course vs. externally), you may require the author’s permission to uphold copyright terms.

Learn More: Copyright Guide for Instructors


Enter the name the assessment next to the week it is due. You may find these resources helpful:

Begin Date (optional)

You may suggest to students when they should begin each assessment. If so, you can add a begin date column. This may be useful for the following:

  • Discussions: when you want everyone posting, reading, and replying to one another within a certain timeframe.
  • Quizzes: to let students know when a quiz first becomes available to complete.
  • Open book exams: to let students know when the exam window starts. Provide at least a 24-hour window.

Due Date

  • Enter the due dates for when students need to complete each assessment.
  • Due dates vs. end dates: you may set up some LEARN tools (Dropbox, Quiz, etc.) to have an end date after the due date. The due date is when an assessment is labelled late. The end date is when a student can no longer submit or complete the assessment.  This allows students to complete the assessment after the due date. If you have a late policy that allows students to submit work after the due date, you will need to use both due dates and end dates.


Enter the weight for each assessment in the table as a percentage (%).

Final Examination

See the Registrar’s Final Exam Schedule. This link is also included in the 03 Course Schedule template for your students.

Consult with your department for additional department-specific policies and guidelines regarding the Final Assessment.