From the Archives: Preparing for the New Semester


It’s that time again . . .  here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives.

Designing/Revising Your Syllabi

If you’ve only got a few minutes, check out 11 Fast Syllabus Hacks for useful updates to your course documents.

Konrad’s Citing Syllabi suggests some best practices for citing the work of other instructors whose syllabi you’ve consulted and for ensuring your own syllabus can be shared and remixed if that’s your intent.

Jason’s Creative Approaches to the Syllabus provides links to a number of examples of syllabi designed for visual interest. Make a More Inclusive Syllabus with Tulane’s Accessible Syllabus Project describes a great resource for designing accessible syllabi (and other course documents).

Jonathan Sterne’s guest post Multiple Choice Exam Theory explains how he designs multiple choice exams for conceptual understanding, rather than rote memorization.

Estimating Student Workload for Your Courses describes a tool from Rice University that helps faculty better estimate the workload they are assigning.

Do you need to change your course from three days to two days a week or vice versa? Brian offers useful tips in Shifting the Days of Your Syllabus

Be Prepared

Learning Student Names and Student Names and the Memory Palace offer tips for quickly getting to know your students’ names.

Take two minutes right now to program your campus emergency number into your cell phone. Then review the tips Jason mentions in Managing Medical Emergencies in Class.

George’s 5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for the New Semester covers how to manage deadlines effectively, anticipate your commute, and manage your future stress.

The first week of fall term is unique: consider 5 Reasons the First Week is Not Like the Rest

Brian’s So Now You’re a Teacher includes important tips for new teachers and reminders for veterans, like: check out your classroom space beforehand, carry your own whiteboard markers or other supplies, and explicitly tell your students what you want them to call you.

Jason’s Living With Your Own Absence Policy reminds us “setting up a policy you’re comforatble enforcing is more important than setting up one that you can’t live up to.” The many comments on Heather’s Dealing with Beginning-of-the-Semester Absences offer a range of additional examples and opinions.

And Even More!

From the Archives: Creating Syllabi (2014)

From the Archives: On Syllabi and Course Design (2010)

From the Archives: Getting Ready for the New Semester (2015)

From the Archives: the First Week of the Academic Term (2014)

From the Archives: New Semester, New Year (2012)

[Creative Commons licensed image from Flickr user Steven Brewer]

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