Calendar and Directions for Teaching for Fall 2023

The following guidelines are meant to inform instructors teaching in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies in Fall 2023. These guidelines compress and complement documents produced by Faculty of Arts and TLS (Teaching and Learning Services), which are linked below.

Basic definitions

200-level courses: broad intro-level surveys taught as lecture courses to 80-100 students. In Art History, a 200-level course should introduce students to a field of study and provide training in art-historical research methods, visual analysis, and essay writing.

300-level courses: more advanced lecture courses taught to 80-100 students. Building from the 200-levels, 300-level courses should have a strong research and writing component (i.e. a research essay or project).

400-level courses: seminars, typically capped at 15 students. The students engage in weekly readings and discussions on a selected topic. Students are expected to do research presentations and to write a significant research essay.

General principles

A long-standing practice in AHCS is to strive for equity and diversity when constructing syllabi. The aim is to expand and critique students’ thinking and our own by including a range of diverse voices in the course materials. Please consider this objective when assigning readings, works or other pedagogical materials.

Notable Points for Syllabi (please see the Course Outline Template and Guide below for a list of all materials required to be included in syllabi and required policy statements)

  • No in-class or take-home exams worth more than 10% of the final grade are to be scheduled in the final two weeks of the semester [see Instructor Orientation, p. 7]
  • Faculty of Arts recommends that participation should count for no more than 10% of the overall assessment even in seminars [see Instructor Orientation, p. 7]
  • AHCS syllabi should include the following proviso: “In the event of extraordinary circumstances beyond the University’s control, the content and/or evaluation scheme in this course is subject to change.”


Undergraduate Program Director [UPD], Art History: Christine Ross (christine.ross [at] (until August 31, 2023); Gloria Bell (gloria.bell [at] (from Sept. 1, 2023): contact for review of syllabi

UPD, COMS: Will Straw (william.straw [at] (until August 31, 2023); Darin Barney (darin.barney [at] (from September 1, 2023): contact for review of syllabi

Communications Associate: Alexandra Jurecko (alexandra.jurecko [at] will receive/post approved syllabi; can field questions regarding classroom technology/recording systems (please note that Alexandra’s position is part-time; she works 9-5, Tuesday-Thursday)

AHCS chair: Matthew C. Hunter (matthew.hunter3 [at] matters not covered above


Mid-July/ASAP: send a blurb about your course and an image (if possible) to Alexandra Jurecko for posting on the AHCS website

Mid-August (or earlier): send draft syllabus for each class to the relevant Undergraduate Program Director for double-checking of required components. Art History syllabi should be sent to Christine Ross; Communication Studies syllabi should be sent to Will Straw.

Early September: The syllabus distributed to students on the first day of your course needs to be sent to Susana Machado (susana.machado [at] We request that you also send it to Alexandra Jurecko (see above for contacts) for posting on the wall outside the AHCS seminar room (Arts W 220) and on the Department website; kindly let us know if you wish not to have your syllabus posted on the website.

Additional documents

PDF icon Instructor Orientation 2022 (PDF): After summarizing data on composition of students likely to be encountered in a class in McGill’s Faculty of Arts, this document states rules for assessment, the grading scale, and what to do in cases where disciplinary action or accommodation is required.

File Course Outline Template and Guide (DOCX): This document schematizes and explains all components that need to be included in a course outline (i.e. in a syllabus); it provides the policy statements required to be included in syllabi, as well as those that may be added at your preference.

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