It can be overwhelming to begin teaching at a new university–or maybe teaching for the first time at all! The resources below offer ideas for your course design, teaching, and professional wellbeing.
Course and Syllabus Design
- If you are building a new course, backwards course design offers one framework to create a semester-long teaching plan.
- Creating a learner-centered syllabus introduces opportunities for shared decision-making and conversation about course focus and purpose. This Sample Syllabus can get you started–don’t forget to include department and college-specific information!
- Unsure of how to break a semester into a cohesive course calendar? These strategies offer concrete suggestions for a balanced and focused plan.
- A one-page ‘essentials syllabus’ is a great way to introduce your course on the first day without overwhelming your students with a full syllabus (upload the full syllabus to Canvas instead). Check out this Sample Course Essentials from a class taught by one of our UMW colleagues.
A written lesson plan helps organize your ideas for each class session and provides a record of your teaching ideas. Using a lesson plan can also provide space to reflect on what went well (or not!) each class session.
- This Teaching Plan Template can be adapted as an electronic document or in a notebook.
- This article offers a more detailed lesson plan model promoting flexibility and purposeful student engagement.
- One-sentence lesson plans offer a different take on getting at the what, how, and why of each lesson you teach. If you like brevity, this one is for you!
- Pattern teaching provides a structure for ‘chunking’ time in each class. It can be a great way to monitor how you manage time and prioritize lesson components.
First Day Ideas
- The first day of class offers a fantastic opportunity to establish community and build excitement for the weeks ahead. Use some of these First Day Strategies to jumpstart a great semester!
- Wondering how you will remember all those student names? Here are twenty ideas to make it a little easier.
Teaching and Assessment Ideas
- If you need alternatives to lecture, active learning strategies provide a variety of options for classes large and small. Additional strategies are appropriate for a variety of content areas.
- Remember that learning needs to be accessible for all students. These ideas promote accessibility in teaching, assessment, and materials–start small and pick one new idea to try.
- Inclusive teaching is a constant reflective process requiring purposeful decision-making. This Chronicle of Higher Education guide offers ideas and resources to minimize inequality in the classroom.
- James Lang shares his four go-to strategies for quick assessment of student understanding.
- UMW faculty juggle a variety of teaching, research, and service responsibilities–not to mention, a life outside of the classroom! Consider using these Strategies for Success to make choices that support your personal and professional wellbeing.