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Getting ready for the beginning of the semester? Check out these resources!

Are you teaching this Fall? If you are, we thought we’d help you with preparation by offering some ideas and resources. Have a look:

Planning step by step

TLS offers a Teaching Preparation Checklist to help instructors keep track of tasks from as early as six months before the first class. The checklist has hyperlinks to resources such as the Course Outline Guide and a library checklist.

Scheduling office hours

Instructors have asked TLS about what information to include in their course outlines about office hours. We address this question in a post entitled How many office hours should I schedule? The post also shares ideas for holding virtual office hours in addition to, or in lieu of, face-to-face meetings.

Preparing the first day of class

Are you thinking about what to do on the first day of class? Check out this blog post entitled First day of class… anyone, anyone, anyone?, where we offer ideas—general recommendations and specific activities—for creating an open, exciting, and engaging learning environment.

Motivating students to read the course outline

Since students might not always read course outlines as attentively as we might like to them to, here’s a suggestion for a ‘first day of class’ activity to engage students with course outline content: Getting Students to Attend to Important Course Information: First Day myCourses “Scavenger Hunt”

Fostering students’ email communication skills

Especially at the beginning of the semester, students might have questions about your course that don’t get raised in class. While many students have mastered the art of communicating via email with their instructors, others might write unclear subject lines or omit their student ID. The beginning of the semester is an ideal time to suggest students watch a short instructional video (produced by TLS) about communicating with instructors via email. Share the link with students through myCourses and add the link to your course outlines! Access a French version of the video here.

How do you prepare for the start of the academic year?

Senior Academic Associate at McGill's Teaching and Learning Services.; former Senior Faculty Lecturer at the McGill Writing Centre; area of specialization: Second Language Education; loves teaching and learning; will work for chocolate (Photo credit: Owen Egan)

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