Salisbury University students on campus

As You're Teaching

What strategies can you use As You're Teaching?

Course development provides you the opportunity to plan your course delivery to students, including the design and delivery of content, the pacing of course material, and assessment strategies. However, it is just as important to consider how you will engage with students, and how students will engage you and peers throughout the semester. Examples of strategies that you plan to implement as you teach your course may include establishing a welcoming learning environment, clarifying expectations and communication strategies, and ways to support students in their holistic university experience. 

Why is it beneficial to consider course delivery strategies?

Communicating early in the course allows you to establish a sense of community. As you share information, guidelines, and support prepared for students, you establish an inclusive environment that helps students feel welcome and begins the process of setting students up for success in your course. Planning your engagement and support strategies for students before you deliver the course allows you to integrate delivery strategies into your course design. In this way, you are able to anticipate some of the needs of your students and mitigate potential issues before they arise. Having strategies in place to support students demonstrates to them a culture of care which not only improves the experience of students in your course, but at SU as a whole.

What are the challenges of considering course delivery strategies?

While you can plan and anticipate some student needs to strategically mitigate or prepare support for, not all student needs can be anticipated. As new challenges arise, collaborate with the various support offices on campus to assist in meeting the needs of you and your students.

How do you implement strategies as you're teaching to support the student learning experience?

One of the first things you can do to foster student success is communicating to them early to start building a sense of community and providing them with the information they need to get started in your course. You can do this by:

  1. For hybrid, remote and online courses: Send out a welcome letter 2 weeks before the class starts introducing yourself and letting them know when your course opens one week prior to the official start date of the semester. The welcome letter is typically sent via SU email using the class lists. The welcome letter also includes the resources (such as textbooks) they will need to get started in your course. If you have your syllabus and course schedule complete by this time, you can include them as well in the welcome email. If they are not ready, providing the required course materials in the welcome letter gives students more time to procure their materials so that they are ready to engage with the materials sooner in class. Use ID&D’s welcome letter template (Word) to customize for your course.
  2. Publish your course in MyClasses a week early and use the course to provide pre-week content, such as course information, an intro video, an introduction discussion, or a syllabus quiz, to allow students to become familiar with the course structure. This allows students to ensure their computer is setup for the types of activities in which they will be engaging within the course. If you assign a graded discussion or quiz during pre-week, the due date should extend into the first week of the semester.

    Note: Any assignment due dates assigned during the pre-week should be non-graded activities. Students are not obligated to log in before the first day of class and therefore should not be penalized if they do not complete an assignment during pre-week. 

  3. Early in your course, engage students from the start by providing students with a reason to be in your course - a way to connect your discipline to their daily lives. Share your passion for your discipline with your students - your excitement can be contagious and increase student interest and participation.
  4. Implement active learning strategies to increase student-to-student and student-to-content interaction.
  5. Provide timely and thoughtful feedback to students to support student-to-teacher interaction.
  6. Use tools in MyClasses, such as announcements, to increase your presence to students. With announcements you can setup announcement in advance to be delivered on specific days/time, remind students of important due dates and key information they should refer back to when working on out-of-class assignments. MyClasses announcements are provided to students up to three difference ways:
    1. Within the MyClasses course
    2. Via email
    3. Through notifications on the Canvas Student app
  7. Since the needs of each course are unique, discuss strategies with your Instructional Designer liaison for more engagement and support strategies!