04 Course Outline Tips

Course Outline Elements

Instructor and TA Information

The instructor bio helps students know a little more about you. The goal is to put a face to a name and share your interest in the subject. You may want to include a recent photo, your educational background, current research, teaching philosophy, and/or interests. You can also include a link to your UWaterloo profile page.

Course Description

Include the Senate-approved description for your course.  

Course Learning Outcomes

See the CTE Teaching Tip Writing Intended Learning Outcomes for guidance.

Course Schedule

There is a separate LEARN template for the course schedule (03 Course Schedule). You can use this separate template or add a course schedule section to the course outline template. Having a separate page for the course schedule can support student navigation as the course schedule is referenced throughout the term. The course schedule should include a list of topics and assessment due dates. 

Text and Materials

For more information on how to setup Course Reserves materials see Course Reserves for Instructors.

If you are not using a required textbook or course reserves, remove the Booklook info and Course Reserves sections from your course outline. Let students know that there is no required textbook.


See the Office of Academic Integrity’s page  Turnitin and iThenticate if you are using Turnitin. There are specific guidelines you need to follow when using Turnitin in your course.

Course and Department Policies

If you have specific procedures for students to follow, other than the standard University Policies, include them here. An example of a course policy is the assessment late policy. An example of a department-specific policy is the allowable use and type of calculator.

University Policies

University policies are from the Secretariat’s Course Outline Requirements (updated June 2021).

Optional Course Outlines Elements

The following two sections may be added to your course outline. Both sections can be adapted as needed. For the Territorial Acknowledgement, you can use this acknowledgement as it is, or you may give it additional context specific to you and/or your course.

Mental Health Support

Everyone needs a support system. We encourage you to seek out mental health supports and resources when you need them. You can reach out to Campus Wellness and learn about the services available to promote your mental health and well-being.

Territorial Acknowledgement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within the Office of Indigenous Relations.