When you first arrive

What to do at the beginning of term

1. Complete the onboarding process in Workday, which includes setting up banking information for direct deposit. Onboarding needs to be completed as soon as possible to ensure you can be paid at the end of each month. If you have any questions about onboarding, contact Shoshannah Holdom.

2. Obtain the office fob and key form for your office from the Administrative Coordinator, Greg McTavish, DC 2114, (519) 888-4567, ext. 33570.

3. You should familiarize yourself with the calendar description and handbook description for your course and review a recent course outline.

- A more detailed "handbook" description includes the course's audience, required preparation, learning objectives, textbook (if applicable), and typical syllabus including the number of hours spent per topic.

The course outline provides a "snapshot" of a particular term's offering of the course. Past versions can be found on the school's archival SharePoint site. Past assignments, notes/handouts and exams may also be archived there. If you don't already have access, contact the Undergraduate Operations Coordinator.

4. Meet with the course coordinator to discuss expectations for teaching the course.

- The course coordinator should be able to provide you with a set of the course notes, tell you if there is a textbook, give you guidance in presenting the material and how the students have historically been graded.

5. A copy of the course textbook, if applicable, can be signed out for the term from Jessica Leung DC 2136 (519) 888-4567 x32191. She can also place a copy of the text on reserve in the Davis Centre library.

6. If your course isn't supported by ISG, and you want your students to use a textbook, you'll have to place an order for a textbook; otherwise the ISC will order it on your behalf. If you don't intend to use a textbook, that information also needs to be entered into the system.

7. If your course isn't supported by ISG, and you want your students to be able to purchase a set of printed course notes, you'll have to send them to W Print; otherwise, your ISC will send them in on your behalf. Most courses, however, just make the materials available through the course web site.

8. CSCF will create an account on the core CS servers, linux.cs.uwaterloo.ca, for general use, and linux.student.cs.uwaterloo.ca for course and student accounts. Contact accounts@cs.uwaterloo.ca if there is a problem with your account or if you need access to the course account and aren't teaching an ISG-supported course; otherwise, your ISC can give you access to the course account.

9. Determine the location of your classroom and its resources. If it has a computer podium and a data projector that you wish to use, you will need to obtain a fob for the podium (this is a separate fob from the office fob). Note that you will need a fob even if you just want to connect your own laptop/device and use the data projector. It is strongly recommended that you try using the podium and data projector well before your first lecture so that you know how it all works.

10. All undergraduate computer science courses use either Piazza or Desire2Learn (also known as D2L  or Learn) for course bulletin boards since they allow for moderated web boards and can restrict access to only students enrolled in the course. (Learn automatically synchronizes course enrollment information with Quest; you'll have to enroll students in Piazza manually.)

11. If you are teaching a non-ISG supported course, you will need to select a day and time for the midterm examination. (ISG-supported courses will have their midterms already set and the Undergraduate Studies Administrative Coordinator will book the rooms.) If at all possible, writing the midterm in class is recommended; otherwise, you will have to make accommodations for students who have scheduled conflicts if you are not using the test slot (listed as TST in the class schedule). If you are writing your midterm during lecture time, you may need an "overflow" room booked if your classroom isn't large enough to let you seat your students in every other seat. Contact the Undergraduate Studies Administrative Coordinator to book rooms for writing the midterm and for marking, as well as for arranging to get the midterm photocopied if you aren't using Odyssey and CrowdMark.

12. If you are teaching a non-ISG supported course, and wish to have a final exam, you will need to request that a final exam be scheduled by the Registrar's Office in order to minimize scheduling conflicts. Otherwise, your ISC will make the standard final exam arrangements.

13. Look in Odyssey, UW's exam management system, to find out who has been assigned to the course as either Teaching Assistants (TAs) or Instructional Apprentices (IAs). Arrange to meet with them so that you can discuss your expectations, their duties, and what the expected timeline of the workload will be. In an ISG-supported course, your ISC can help arrange the meeting.

NB. Once logged in to Odyssey, you need to navigate to Instructional Support.

14. Refresh your memory of the university's student grievance and discipline policies (policies 70 and 71, respectively), since you will want to discuss them with your class in your first lecture. You will also need to inform your class, and include it in the course outline, if you plan on using plagiarism-detection software such as TurnItIn or MOSS (Measure of Software Similarity).

15. If you are teaching a non ISG-supported course, obtain a copy of the class roster either from Quest, Odyssey, or from the .classlist file in the course account in the student environment so that you can keep track of the student grades.

Note that CSCF has a script that can notify you of changes in the .classlist file on a regular basis. The script is already in place for ISG-supported courses, but you can request that it be used for your course if you're teaching a non-ISG supported course.

16. If you plan on using Piazza as a discussion forum, create/clone your class for the term. If you're planning on using the Learn discussion groups, the course should be automatically created.

17. Put together a course outline with your co-instructors, if applicable. (If you have an ISC for your course, they may provide you with an initial draft for comments/modification.)

  • The list of requirements can be found on Registrar Resources for Staff and Faculty under "Course Outline Requirements" (login required).
  • This information must be publicly available to the students by the end of the first week of lectures.
  • Note that you may not change the course grading scheme later without the consent of the entire class; otherwise, there will be problems.

Your first lecture

Your first lecture provides important information to the students. It helps them decide whether or not they will continue in the course. It is where you will set your expectations for the term, set the tone, and provide at least a rough outline of how the course will be graded. As part of stating your expectations, you should review the components of the Student Behaviour and Discipline: Academic & Non-Academic with the class. See the Office of Academic Integrity for more general information.

Where possible, provide dates for assignments and examinations. Try to make them reasonable, since it can be problematic if the dates cannot be met and suddenly the course is being graded on four assignments instead of five.