Whether you're a new faculty member or an experienced one preparing a new course, take a few moments to review these important fundamentals:

1. Your Syllabus  

Make sure your syllabus contains all the required components outlined in UPS 300.004 and is accessible. Consider using these aids:

     - Syllabus Template (meets accessibility and online/hybrid requirements) Accessible Syllabus Template

     - Syllabus Checklist Opens in new window

     - Academic Calendar

     - University Policy requires that faculty inform students regarding important student policies. The accessible syllabus template includes a link to these policies.

The syllabus template aligns with UPS 300.004 PDF File and the other UPS that govern general education (411.200 PDF File , 411.201 PDF File , 411.202 PDF File , 411.203 PDF File ), online (411.104 PDF File ), and hybrid classes. Download the template and modify the sample text to reflect your expectations and those of your department. You can also verify that your syllabus has all the elements required by UPS by using the checklist above.

Next steps when you have more time:

     - Learn about library resources you can incorporate in your class

2. The First Day  

Review your official roster PDF File and then use these tips for your first class meeting Opens in new window to get the semester off to a good start.  

3. Your Students  

Sound instructional design normally starts with careful thought about the learners we are trying to reach. Quickly learn more about CSUF students through these snapshots. Over half of CSUF graduates are first-generation university graduates, and many of our students work and commute to school. These are all important factors to consider when assigning work and establishing deadlines. 

     - Next steps when you have more time: 

     - Develop a short list of questions to find out more about the students in your class

     - Adopt strategies that help first-generation college students PDF File

4. Formative Assessment  

Plan to use a few of these brief, low-stakes assessment strategies to see what your students do and don't yet understand and to engage them in reflecting on their own learning. Get a concise introduction to formative assessment PDF File or review examples of a few popular Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) to get started. Then plan how you'll share what you learned through the CATs with your students.  


Next steps when you have more time:  

     - Choose from 101 Interactive Strategies PDF File , many of which also serve as formative assessment 

     - Review a foundational text on Classroom Assessment Techniques 

5. Early Student Feedback  

Get student feedback  PDF File early in the semester to understand your students' needs and adjust your approach to teaching if needed.


Have a teaching problem?  

Contact the FDC at or use this interactive online problem solver.