Background on Learning and Teaching
- “Principles and Frameworks” from Vanderbilt University
- Bloom’s taxonomy describes and categorizes learning. It is used to create measurable learning objectives for courses.
- The “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English and the National Writing Project identifies eight habits of mind that will ensure students’ success in a variety of disciplines.
- “Principles for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing” by the Conference of College Composition & Communication (CCCC) focuses on sound writing instruction, but these principles can apply to an array of disciplines.
- The Habits of Mind, customized for leaders, students, teachers and parents, can foster more dynamic teaching and learning.
- Your syllabus is a contract with your students in which you share your goals, priorities and expectations for the class. Will you and your classroom be a welcoming space? What can students expect to learn? Here are some student insights based on a syllabus review project. UA faculty offer tips on creating an inclusive syllabus and reflect on the syllabus in “Reclaiming My Syllabus” and “Use Your LMS to Reclaim Your Syllabus.” Consider what your tone, layout and policies convey about your class.
- Build and publish your syllabus using Simple Syllabus. The Center for Instructional Technology offers tutorials and information about using Simple Syllabus and other teaching technologies. Learn more about how your students can access your syllabus.
- Set up your Blackboard course and link your syllabus to it.
- The first day of class establishes the tone for the course. Even seasoned teachers get nervous before meeting a new group of students for the first time, so preparing in advance can help ease nerves.
- If possible, visit your classroom prior to the first day. Does it have technology available, and if so, do you know how to operate it? Some classrooms come equipped with dry erase markers and other supplies, while others do not. It never hurts to have your own. How is the classroom arranged? If you rearrange furniture, please put it back the way you found it at the end of your class. Are there any accessibility needs you should be aware of?
- Go to the faculty tab of myBama and print or download your class rosters. You can also view photo class lists, which can help with learning students’ names. Be sure to refresh your roster each day through the add/drop period because many students change schedules after courses begin. This is normal, so try not to take it personally.
- Greet your students, introduce yourself and if possible ask them to introduce themselves. Go over the syllabus, provide an introduction to the course and have students do something related to the course so they have an idea of what to expect.
- See additional resources curated by the A&S Teaching Hub, The University of Michigan and Vanderbilt University, as well as the articles below.
- “How to Teach a Good First Day of Class”
- “First Day of Class”
- “Ten Tips for Dealing Nervousness on the First Day of Class”
- “Make the Most of the First Day of Class”
- Some fun first week activities (videos and handouts)