GSI Guidebook

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

The various schools and colleges of the University have different academic policies and procedures, so it is important to be aware of what differences exist. What an instructor also needs to keep in mind is that policies that apply to a given student are determined by that student's unit, not by the school or college in which the course is offered.

Policies for the College of LS&A

There are several sources to which teaching assistants can turn for information on academic policies and procedures. These sources are indicated in the sections that follow.

Handbook for Faculty and Instructional Staff

The Office of Student Academic Affairs (764-7297), located at 1255 Angell Hall, distributes a Handbook for Faculty and Instructional Staff, which outlines instructional policies and procedures within the College. The information contained in the Handbook comes from the Faculty Code, the governing document created by the LS&A faculty. The Handbook covers policies regarding examinations, grading, incompletes, etc. and explains the various forms used by instructors. The Handbook concludes with a list of offices to which an instructor might need to refer. Read more »


Adapted from Black (2000), Center for Research on Learning and Teaching

Just as students benefit in their learning from receiving your comments on their papers and assignments, you may find it beneficial in improving your teaching to receive feedback from your students. The more information that you gather about your teaching the more you can make informed changes that will be beneficial both to your students and to you as you develop as a teacher. There are several sources of information that you can use: student feedback, self evaluation, peer observation, viewing a videotape of your teaching, and consultation with a staff member at CRLT or with someone from your department.

Student Feedback

Receiving student feedback in the middle of the semester can help you know what you are doing that facilitates the learning of the students and it will help make you aware of any difficulties they may be having with your instruction. It allows you to make adjustments needed by students in your class before the end of the semester and will foster a feeling among your students that you care about your teaching. Often minor adjustments on your part can make a tremendous difference in the classroom.

Two useful methods of getting information from students on how they perceive your teaching are outlined below. Read more »


Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an honest and responsible manner. In the classroom, academic integrity involves a range of issues, including – but not limited to – cheating, plagiarism, and facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others.

Academic Integrity in the Classroom: A Selected List of Resources for the University of Michigan
This website provides information for instructors on teaching about academic integrity, identifying plagiarized works, finding resources for students, and linking to UM policies and procedures for dealing with violations of academic integrity.

CRLT Occasional Paper No. 20:   Promoting academic integrity in the classroom, Meizlish, D. (2005).

Honor Codes at the University of Michigan
This website provides links to the honor codes and academic integrity policies of the various UM schools and colleges. If you suspect you have a case of academic dishonesty, it is important to know the policies of the school or college in which you are teaching. In all circumstances, seek advice from a supervising faculty member or your department chair. Read more »


Adapted by Virginia Hamori-Ota from Morris (2000), University of Michigan

Grading and the Web Roster

In Fall 2005, the University replaced paper grade rosters with an on-line system for grade submission on Wolverine Access (  In June 2008, Teaching Support (the previous name of this system) was renamed Faculty Business. Complete information on using web rosters may be found at:

On the Ann Arbor campus, grades are due within 72 hours after the scheduled final examination. If there is no exam scheduled for the class, grades are due 72 hours after the last day of the class or 72 hours after the completed work was due for the class.

There is no University-wide grading scale, although some units have guidelines or requirements about grading procedures.  Please check with your academic unit for information about any policies or procedures that may apply.  In general, acceptable letter grades for undergraduates are:

Symbol Significance

A+, A, A-



In order to create an environment conducive to productive discussions, let students know your expectations for the way they communicate with others (including you) in the classroom. As the instructor, you play an important role as a facilitator and supporter in your students’ efforts to achieve respectful ways of communicating in the classroom.

Guidelines for class participation can be designed by you or negotiated with your students. By asking for their input, you give students the sense of ownership that can help them take the guidelines more seriously. The following guidelines can be used to develop an atmosphere of mutual respect and collective inquiry. Read more »