Course Planning Timeline
By course planning, we are referring to the things you do to prepare for an upcoming course, tasks during the course, and responsibilities at the conclusion of a course. If you are seeking information about the design of a new course, please explore our instructional design and resources for further reference.
Months prior to your course
- Finalizing the selection of course materials and reserves.
- Beginning your lesson plans for the semester.
- Reviewing your notes or feedback learners offered if you previously taught this course.
- Requesting a consultation if you'd like to discuss enhancement and continued success in your teaching.
- Reviewing your contract and/or academic calendar to note course start and end dates along with holidays and other planned closures.
Weeks prior to your course
- Preparing/updating a teaching syllabus specific to each course section with an accurate schedule/outline.
- Ensuring that course activities and materials are up-to-date and accessible, adhering to the principles of universal design for learning.
- Making your Blackboard teaching shell available to learners, along with updating information within that shell such as due dates, contact information, setting up your gradebook, etc.
- Considering early ways to build community in your course.
- Getting familiar with your teaching space/equipment. If there are any changes or points of professional development necessary, bring these to your department, to CIS, or to the Help Desk for assistance.
During your course
- Ensure that you have regular learner-educator, learner-learner, and learner-content interactions.
- Promptly grade and provide feedback (via grade center or box view) on learner work to foster future success.
- Monitor learner attendance, participation, and performance, communicating to learners as appropriate on related trends. The Performance Dashboard in Blackboard may be helpful to track interaction with online content and activities.
- Submit significant concerns about a learner's health, well-being, safety, and/or academic success to the CMU Care Team.
- Request a CIS course observation or learner survey to gain in-progress feedback on your course design and teaching methodology.
At the end of your course
- Grading and submitting grades to the Registrar's Office before the due date.
- Downloading the Blackboard grade center, or otherwise archiving grade records for yourself. You may also want to export/archive course content from Blackboard because content is purged.
- Encouraging learners to complete a Student Opinion Survey/End-of-Course Survey to find areas that could be improved and/or repeated in future iterations of the course.
- Documenting changes that may need to be made to improve the course for a future semester, or anything that worked exceptionally well.
- Requesting a consultation if you'd like to discuss methods for enhancement and continued success in your teaching.