Preparing to teach

At the UW, it’s likely that you will teach in a variety of contexts. You might teach large classes or small classes. Perhaps you have an interest in teaching a hybrid or online course. Good teaching is the result of equal parts preparation and responsiveness. The links below will help guide you in your preparation, offering tips and strategies for how to design your course and write your syllabus, as well as a range of other useful information to help you get started.

Designing your course and syllabus

An effective course design begins with understanding your students; deciding what you want them to learn; determining how you will measure student learning; and planning activities, assignments and materials that support student learning. The syllabus provides the instructor and students with a common reference point that sets the stage for learning throughout the course. Although courses may vary in size, subject matter or level, a systematic process will help you plan and structure your course and syllabus to effectively reach desired instructional goals.

Course and Syllabus Design

Integrating technology into your teaching

Teaching with technology can deepen student learning by supporting instructional objectives. But selecting the right technology can be tricky.

Integrating technology into your teaching

Designing and refining hybrid and online courses

Developed by the UW Digital Learning Alliance, this rubric is designed to help instructors in the course development process and as a tool instructors can use to guide their evaluation of their own or a colleague’s hybrid or online teaching. The rubric reflects practices that have been shown to increase learner engagement and success in online learning environments.

Designing and refining hybrid and online courses

Teaching the first day of class

A successful first day can set you down the path toward a successful quarter. Rather than just a time to review your syllabus, the first day is an opportunity to get to know your students, set the tone for the course, and establish expectations.

Teaching the first day of class

Lecturing

Lectures can provide structure and organization to scattered material, help to pace student learning and provide alternative perspectives or sources of information to supplement written and other material used in the course.

Lecturing

Constructing tests

Designing tests is an important part of assessing students’ understanding of course content and their level of competency in applying what they are learning.  Whether you use low-stakes and frequent evaluations–quizzes–or high-stakes and infrequent evaluations–midterm and final–careful design will help provide more calibrated results.

Constructing tests

Critiquing student projects

Working with student projects in a studio, going over the planning stages of a research project, or working with students putting together a business presentation are all examples of situations in which you may need to critique student projects. Critiquing provides an opportunity to share with students what you know, to enable them to see various options, or to identify flaws in their reasoning or design.

Critiquing student projects

Thinking about grading

Grading is an extremely complex task. Grades do not exist in a vacuum, but are part of the instructional process and serve as a feedback loop between instructor and student. It follows, then, that grading policy should be consistent with the learning objectives for the course.

Grading

Cultivating faculty and TA working relationships

Coordination and collaboration are the corner stones of a successful faculty/teaching assistant team. Setting appropriate expectations, delegating work and establishing effective modes of communication early will increase the chances of success. This is especially true as the team negotiates course-related issues such as grading, office hours, section content and student relations.

Cultivating faculty and TA working relationships