This Week for Faculty: Countdown to the start of Fall 2022!

by | Aug 29, 2022

Things to do early in the semester

1. Get to know your students. Whether your students are new or returning, ask them about themselves from their name and pronouns to their learning needs and their goals for your course. This can be done by asking students to complete a brief online survey before class (e.g., using Google Forms or in CourseWorks using the Quizzes tool as a survey) or paper survey during class. Bring up this information when you connect with your students during office hours. 

2. Communicate your values. Tell your students about yourself, your approach to teaching the course, and your interest in the course topic and material. Your enthusiasm for your course can help inspire your students, while also providing the transparency your students seek. Recognize that your students take multiple courses per semester and each instructor may approach things differently. You can share this information with your students during class and on your syllabus.

3. Build community. Icebreaker activities are a great way for you and your students to get to know each other and get comfortable talking and collaborating. If you expect students to actively engage and participate throughout the semester, it is important to get them interacting from day 1. Explore the CTL’s resource Community Building in the Classroom to find strategies that you can adapt for your course context. 

4. Invite your students to your office hours. Many students do not know what office hours are for or may feel intimidated. Explain to your students the purpose of office hours and how they are beneficial to their learning. Encourage students to meet with you individually or in groups so that they can gain comfort interacting with you and their peers. To ensure that students can access you and have their questions answered, consider supplementing in-person office hours with virtual office hours

5. Plan to check-in with your students and get their feedback. Ask your students for feedback at various points throughout the semester. Create a dialogue about student learning by sharing a summary of the data and discussing the changes that you plan to make. Students will feel heard. Explore the CTL’s resource Early and Mid-Semester Student Feedback for strategies to adapt in your course. 

Explore Morningside eClassrooms

All instructors, course and teaching assistants teaching in Morningside eClassrooms are invited to join CUIT and the CTL for:
Teaching in the Morningside eClassroom
60-minute workshop
August 31, 1:00-2:00pm and September 6, 12:00-1:00pm

Unable to attend? Learn more about Morningside hybrid classrooms and CUIT eclassroom support: Hybrid Classrooms: Getting Started Checklist; Registrar-managed Hybrid Classroom Locations. Watch the video “Technology in Morningside eClassrooms” below or contact CUIT Classroom Support at to schedule a 15-minute training for you and your teaching team.

Join us for live sessions this week! 

It’s not too late to plan for setting the tone for the semester, incorporating Columbia-supported instructional technologies into your teaching, and to consider the ways you will make the most of your assigned classroom space.

Monday, August 29, 2022:
Syllabus Office Hours
Join the CTL for drop-in syllabus office hours, in-person in Butler 213 or online, or email to schedule your 1-1 consultation. 

Teaching Inclusively From the Start

Register for this 60-minute online workshop on August 29.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022:
Engaging Students with Poll Everywhere

Register for this 30-minute online demo on August 30.

Engaging Students with Ed Discussion

Register for this 30-minute online demo on August 30.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022:
Teaching with CourseWorks

Register for this 90-minute online workshop on August 31.

Setting Up Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions in CourseWorks

Register for this 30-minute online workshop on August 31.

Teaching in the Morningside eClassroom

Register for this 60-minute hybrid (option to join online and in-person) session on August 31.

Unable to join us for live sessions this week? 

Schedule a consultation (in-person, online, over the phone), check out our on-demand resources at any time and from anywhere, and plan to join us for future offerings.