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Teaching Basics


Whether you're new to CSUF, new to teaching, or are experienced but are preparing a new course, take a few moments to review these important fundamentals.

Your Syllabus

Make sure your syllabus contains all the required components outlined in  UPS 300.004  and is accessible. There are several relevant aids provided on  CSUF's Academic Programs' Course Development page under the Create A Syllabus heading. Consider using the following from that page:

  • Syllabus Template
    • This template aligns with  UPS 300.004  and the other UPS that govern general education (411.200,  411.202,  411.203), online (411.104), and hybrid classes. Download the template and modify the sample text to reflect your expectations and those of your department.
    • University Policy requires faculty to inform students regarding important student policies. This template includes links to these policies.
  • Syllabus Checklist
  • Creating Accessible Tables

The FDC also recommends viewing our Student Information For Course Syllabi page which highlights policies and information students need to know for every course. Be sure to check CSUF's Academic Calendar and account for campus closure dates.

The First Day

Review  your official roster.

Formative Assessment

Plan to use a few 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. To get started, read a concise  introduction to formative assessment  or review examples of a few popular     Classroom Assessment Techniques     (CATs). Then plan how you'll share what you learned through the CATs with your students.

Early Student Feedback

Get student feedback early in the semester to understand your students' needs and adjust your approach to teaching if needed. The Self Reflection and Anonymous Feedback Surveys in Canvas video from the FDC YouTube Channel explains how to create different types of surveys in CSUF's learning management system Canvas.

Having a Teaching Problem?

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