Provides information about what to expect and what is expected of instructors.

Getting Started

If you are new to teaching at the college or university level, this section can provide some general information about what to expect, as well as what is expected of you as an instructor. Also, view our FREE printables with hints and tips for a successful semester >>



General Expectations

The following skills are essential for instructors regardless of the format in which they teach:

  • Teaching experience
  • Solid knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject matter
  • Good organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong writing skills and comfort communicating in writing
  • Comfort with technology
  • Flexibility in teaching methods and approaches
  • A willingness to be responsive to students and provide timely feedback

Developing materials suitable for the web, and choosing the best resources to go along with those materials, can be time consuming, especially if you are preparing to teach the course for the first time. In general, expect an online class to take more time and energy to teach than a face-to-face class. Once the course begins, keeping up with student communication and feedback is also an on-going time demand for instructors.

Tip: If time allows, prepare for an online class experience by shadowing another instructor who is already engaged in online teaching. This can be an excellent way to get "real-world" experience, form mentoring or collegial support relationships, and generate positive feedback for course development and improvement. Whether you are teaching online or face to face, you may want to participate in our Peer Teaching program to further refine your class.


Establishing a Teaching Philosophy

Resources for establishing and writing your personal teaching philosophy.

Center for Research on Learning and Teaching - University of Michigan
This website includes an extensive list of sample teaching philosophy statements. View more information about Teaching Philosophies.




Little Hints For Instructors

A list of helpful hints for each week of the semester.

View in PDF  |  Audio (MP3) >>


Little Hints To Use With Your Students - Advising Edition

A list of helpful hints regarding advising. Provide your students little reminders throughout the semester to help them be more independent and successful.

View in PDF  |  Audio (MP3) >>

Assistance and Support

You don't have to go it alone. Every course is unique and the planning and development process includes many steps and considerations. The Office of Teaching and Learning, its affiliated staff, and the Learning and Applied Innovation Center offer an array of services to support you, including:

  • Teaching certification courses
  • Course content planning
  • Technology planning and support
  • Multimedia development services
  • Blackboard and other software training
  • Podcasting and vodcasting assistance
  • Reference and training materials online

We can help you determine what pedagogies and technologies are the best choice for your course and help you prepare. We provide workshops, online support information through this website, and personalized assistance by appointment. Contact OTL today!


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