The course design or revision process summary
  • Locate and review measurable course objectives and outcomes, and how these are aligned with learning activities and assessments.
  • Update / Revise Syllabus
  • Create course schedule
    • Include due dates for activities and assessments
    • List any live session date(s)/time(s)
  • Create / Locate course content and materials (files)
    • Links to course readings via library databases, where appropriate
    • Record lectures
    • Request Text and/or Media Library Reserves
    • Identify course content from other sources, e.g., Open Educational Resources (OER), Publisher content, LinkedIn Learning, podcasts, etc.
  • Chunk (Organize) course content
    • Limit lectures or online class sessions to 20-minutes and pair them with “off-screen” activities.  Doing so can improve students’ attention span and reduce screen-time fatigue. 
  • Adapt / Revise course activities and discussions
  • Adapt / Revise course assessments
Prepare the Learning management system, Canvas
  • Update Canvas profile – be sure to include a photo and biography
  • Customize Canvas notification settings
  • Upload course syllabus (PDF recommended)
  • Essential info is provided on the main course landing page: Contact
    info, Course number and title, Office hours, and meeting times
  • Upload course files (recorded lectures, PPTs, etc.)
  • Link to course readings via the library database (do not upload PDFs of articles or chapters if they are available through the library)
        • Model expected citation style
  • Set up activities and assessments
        • Include descriptive and specific criteria for completing and submitting assignments
        • Link to the rubric and/or grading criteria
  • Organize content into course modules that have
        • Introduction / Objectives
        • Lectures / Videos / Podcasts
        • Readings
        • Assignments
  • Import Canvas Modules Template (adapt as needed)
  • SCI Course Orientation Module (adapt as needed)
  • Check the accessibility of your course in Canvas using UDOIT and/or ALLY.
  • Customize Course Navigation links.

Start Teaching!

Prepare for takeoff

With one week to go before the semester, these tasks are finishing touches that will ensure a smooth first week of class.

  • Publish Canvas course site
  • Email students.
    • Welcome Announcement
    • Syllabus
    • Required software (if applicable)
    • Assigned textbook (if applicable)
  • Schedule any course announcements in Canvas.
  • Post a “personal introduction”
First Week
  • Contact students who haven’t accessed the course.
  • Icebreaker activities to create a learning community: Encourage students to introduce themselves to each other
  • If you have synchronous meetings, highlight the main aspects of the syllabus and student expectations

Once the semester starts it is time to move from course prep to course management. There are several key tasks to remember to do on a daily or weekly basis. These occur in addition to any synchronous sessions scheduled for the class.

  • Communicate with students
  • Create channels for student feedback
  • Run live session office hours, share live session recordings
  • Post a weekly announcement
  • Block time for course management:
    • Read posts and monitor online discussions
    • Grade assignments
    • Give feedback
    • Send updates and assignment reminders
Final Weeks

As the semester winds down these tasks help to close out the term clearly and efficiently.


An important tool for improving and refining your teaching is to understand what worked well in your class, what didn’t, and why.

  • Review and revise course materials for future offerings.
  • Review SIRS, (and your own survey) results and identify the course components that have room for improvement.
  • Review new or untried tools or teaching strategies. The Teaching Professor is a valuable resource for teaching and facilitating a course. (Some other tools are, Flipgrid, Playposit, Tophat, etc.)
  • Identify training opportunities and workshops to attend on teaching and learning strategies.

Brookfield, Stephen Critically reflective practice (

Brookfield, Stephen (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass