The first days of class are important in setting the tone for what is to come, and it is crucial to think carefully about how you present yourself and how you get the course established. The links in this section provide information and suggestions for getting started effectively on the first day of class.

Learning Students' Names (University of Nebraska)
List of 23 techniques for learning students’ names in both small and large class settings.

The Most Important Day: Starting Well (Wright, 1999)
Ideas for faculty members on how to use the first day of class to start building relationships with students.

The First Day of Class (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
Seven tips for handling your first meeting with students, and specific strategies in response to common concerns of beginning teachers.

101 Things for the First 3 Weeks (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
Specific ideas for generating interest in course material, building community in the classroom, helping students transition into the course, and encouraging active learning. Read more »


Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) allow instructors to monitor students’ progress throughout the term. CATs help answer the questions, “What are my students learning? How effectively am I teaching?” The articles and links in this section provide comprehensive information about CATs, including their purpose and their use across disciplines.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs): An Introduction (Enerson, Plank, & Johnson, 2007)
Summary of Angelo & Cross’s volume, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. This handout briefly outlines those techniques that are easiest to use, interpret, respond to, and modify; detailed examples of each technique are included.

Classroom Assessment Techniques (National Teaching & Learning Forum)
Discussion of why faculty should use CATs, including benefits to students and instructors. Contains a table with descriptions of eight common CATs and how faculty members can use the data collected from them. Read more »


Ethical Reasoning Value Rubric (Association of American Colleges and Universities)

This rubric is intended to help faculty evaluate students’ work that demonstrates learning about ethics.   The AACU defines Ethical Reasoning as “reasoning about right and wrong human conduct.  It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas, and consider the ramifications of alternative actions.” 

Curbing Academic Dishonesty in Online Courses

Topics covered in this short article include conducting online assessments and combatting plagiarism.  A list of resources on recognizing plagiarism and preventing academic dishonesty is also provided.   

Defining and Avoiding Plagiarism: The WPA Statement on Best Practices Read more »


A successful course depends on the planning that precedes it. The articles and links in this section serve as planning guides for both faculty and GSIs. They provide instructions for creating a syllabus.

CRLT GSI Guidebook: Preparing to Teach

These sections of CRLT's Guidebook for New Graduate Student Instructors include a variety of resources to help with syllabus construction. The first is a brief discussion of the purposes of a syllabus and important items and policies to include. The other three include examples drawn from the various settings in which GSIs teach.

Writing a Syllabus (Cornell University)
This site includes advice for creating useful, learner-centered syllabi. Resources include a course planning decision guide, a syllabus template, and a rubric to help evaluate a syllabus. Read more »


Problem-based learning (PBL) is both a teaching method and an approach to the curriculum. It consists of carefully designed problems that challenge students to use problem solving techniques, self-directed learning strategies, team participation skills, and disciplinary knowledge. The articles and links in this section describe the characteristics and objectives of PBL and the process for using PBL. There is also a list of printed and web resources.

Problem-Based Learning: An Introduction (Rhem, 1998, National Teaching and Learning Forum)

This piece summarizes the benefits of using problem-based learning, its historical origins, and the faculty/student roles in PBL. Overall, this is an easy to read introduction to problem-based learning.