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4.2 How to Create a Course Journal

This guide is intended for the instructors who use CSNS and explains how to create a course journal on CSNS for program asses. A screen capture video illustrating this process is available here (some student grades are shown in the video so you have to log in the ABET account to view the video).

Log onto CSNS and click on Assessment link of the section you want to create a course journal for, as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1. Assessment

On the Course Journal page, shown in Figure 2, you will see five sections: ABET Syllabus, Course Syllabus, Handouts, Assignments and Exams, and Student Samples, which are the course materials that should be included in a course journal.

[Course Journal]

Figure 2. Course Journal

ABET Course Syllabus (used to be called Course Description), according to ABET Template for Computing Self Study, should use the following format (2 pages maximum in Times New Roman 12 point font):

  1. Course number and name
  2. Credits and contact hours
  3. Instructor’s or course coordinator’s name
  4. Text book, title, author, and year
    • other supplemental materials
  5. Specific course information
    • brief description of the content of the course (Catalog Description)
    • prerequisites or co-requisites
    • indicate whether a required, elective, or selected elective (as per Table 5-1) course in the program
  6. Specific goals for the course
    • specific outcomes of instruction, ex. The student will be able to explain the significance of current research about a particular topic.
    • explicitly indicate which of the student outcomes listed in Criterion 3 or any other outcomes are addressed by the course.
  7. Brief list of topics to be covered

It is the responsibility of the course coordinator to upload and maintain the ABET Course Syllabus for a course. If you are not the coordinator of the course, you do not need to worry about this section. For course coordinators, we will provide a template for ABET course syllabi shortly.

Note that an ABET Course Syllabus contains the general information about a course, but does not include information specific to a class (i.e. section) such as office hours, grading policies, and so on. We refer to the syllabus for a specific class as the Course Syllabus (i.e. the syllabus given to the students at the beginning of a class). Please upload this syllabus under the Course Syllabus section.

Class Handouts typically consist of teaching materials such as lecture notes and sample code. To upload handouts, click on the Edit link of the Handout section, which will take you to the upload page as shown in Figure 3.

[Upload Handouts]

Figure 3. Upload Handouts

Upload the handouts one by one using the upload form. Note that for each handout you must provide a file as well as a display name. This is because the file name itself is usually not descriptive enough about the content of the file. For example, the lecture notes on Entity-Relationship Model should have a display name Entity-Relationship Model, while the file name may simply be er.pdf. Once you uploaded all the handouts, click on the Done button to return to the Course Journal page.

The interface for uploading Assignments and Exams is similar to the one for handouts. As the name suggests, assignments (homework, projects, labs, quizzes etc.) and exams should be uploaded under this section.

The last section is for Student Samples. Click on the Select link and you'll see the list of the students in the class, from which you should select three as samples. It is recommended that you select a good, an average, and a bad student based on the grades.

After you complete the course journal, click on the Submit for Review button at the bottom of the Course Journal page, and the course journal will be reviewed by the department chair. If the course journal is approved, it will be published here; otherwise you will be notified to make revise it. Note that once you click the Submit for Review button, you will no longer be able to edit it unless it is rejected by the department chair. If you just want to save the course journal and come back to it later, click on the OK button instead.

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