Faculty Checklist for Starting Class

Thank you for teaching for the School of Integrative and Engaged Studies, at Southern Utah University. Below are some standards for IES.

Please carefully follow this checklist to prepare your course.

Before the First Day of Class

  1. Orientate yourself with the course.
    • Familiarize yourself with all content (i.e., readings, websites, videos, etc.), discussions, announcements, and assignments.
    • Transparent teaching and learning methods focus the attention of teachers and students explicitly on how and why students are learning course content in particular ways. For this reason, Start Here Announcements are included each week to provide the purpose and task related to coursework for students. You may also see purpose, task, and criteria as part of assignment instructions. Criteria is generally in the form of a rubric attached to assignments.
  2. Introduce yourself to your learners.
    1. Make sure your Canvas profile has contact instructions and a current photo.
      Canvas Guides:
    2. Add an entry in the Introductions - Tell us Who You Are discussion found in Lesson 1, and include a photo or video.
  3. Prepare the syllabus and other objects.
    1. The syllabus is loaded in Canvas in the Syllabus tab. You will need to update any current information, then upload it in files in Canvas, such as your name and contact information.
      1. Inform students when the best times/days are to send you a message, and how soon they may expect a reply. A best practice is one business day. Students should be asked to communicate with you by the message system in Canvas. If you feel a phone call is necessary, you may include a phone number.
      2. In the syllabus be sure the assignments table and the points chart add up and are exactly the same in the actual assignments in Canvas.
    2. In lessons, create due dates for all assignments/discussions.
      1. It is not advisable to make assignments unavailable even after the due date as this may create work for you, as students need flexibility for late assignments. Removing a conservative amount of points is an effective strategy for preserving integrity with due dates. The main point of the assignment is for the learner to have the learning experience.
      2. In lessons, check all the content links and rebuild if broken. Tip: There is a “Validate Link in Content” button in “Settings” that will find problem links (broken, old references, etc.) for you and link you to the pages needing to be fixed.
      3. Any content added to the course should be a link, not an upload, unless you personally have rights to use the content. (Canvas Guide: How do I validate links in a course?)
      4. Personalize the Lesson 1 Announcements, without removing content, using a welcoming and grateful tone. Personalize each Start Here for the subsequent lessons as you teach the course.
    3. On your course home page, you will find an image and text. You can add your contact information if you would like or any other welcoming announcement.
  4. Publish Course.
    • At left-side navigation, click on Home. Then towards the upper right of screen click Publish.
  5. Review the guides for using Speedgrader to grade assignments.

During the Course

  1. Log in at least 4 days per week.
  2. Respond to student inquiries within 24 business hours.
  3. Grades and feedback within 72 hours of the due date.
  4. Contact SUU program if any student has not signed into class by the 4th day of the first week. Or, if a student is performing poorly in the course (e.g. if a student is failing).
  5. Send message to students through Canvas for each/any assignment not submitted by due date.
  6. Sign into course(s) at least 3 times weekly; one day should be when assignments are due.
  7. Grade student assignments within 4 business days of due date. Each assignment should be graded using Canvas’ SpeedGrader tool, and include specific comments from the faculty member to the students for each assignment.
  8. Participate in student’s assigned discussion forums at least twice per week, including introduction discussion. Faculty participation should be a minimum 4 postings by the faculty member for each day of participation, of 100 words each. Postings should reference assigned learning materials, along with sharing professional experiences.

After the Course

Let us help you!

For general faculty questions, contact the IES Department Chair, Dr. Cynthia Kimball Davis at cynthiakimballdavis@suu.edu.

For Canvas Help, you may contact SUU Online Teaching & Learning weekdays from 8 am - 5 pm (MST) at 435-865-8555, or canvas@suu.edu.