Creating a Checklist for the Semester

a moleskine checklistHow are you preparing for the upcoming fall semster?

Here’s my checklist that I’m hoping to knock out before classes begin in two and a half weeks.

You’ll notice that this list references several previous posts on ProfHacker.

  1. Create a binder or a file folder to corral paper items that come up for each course. Usually at the end of the semester I digitize these, but it’s helpful to have a place to pull them all together before archiving.
  2. Set up computer file folders for each course. This fall, I’m using tips from Natalie’s ProfHacker post on Organizing Your Teaching Materials.
  3. Set up my course management system (CMS) for each course I’m teaching (and have a backup plan in mind in case it ever goes down).
  4. Post the syllabus to each course in its CMS listing.
  5. Post various surveys in my CMS. I do a getting-to-know you type survey, as well as the CLASS (Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey) instrument at the beginning and of the semester to measure changes in my students’, well, attitudes about science.
  6. Post my midterm teaching evaluation survey, which will go live at midterm. Why not get that out of the way now?
  7. Give my office a good cleaning: wipe down surfaces, straighten bookshelves, etc.
  8. Put important academic year dates in my calendar (holidays, breaks, due dates for grades, etc.)
  9. Plug any holes from summer research and get it in a condition where I can pick it up again easily when the semester hits its stride.
  10. Take a look through my work wardrobe and replace anything that obviously needs it.
  11. Stock up on office snacks and supplies.

How about you? What items are on your to-do list to start off this semester right?

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user eromera.]

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