How do you want students to contact you: via email, phone or through Blackboard; through a course Facebook page?
Are there times of day you will not be available?
How soon can students expect a response?
Are you willing to meet with students at other times if office hours conflict with their schedule?
Where is your campus mailbox?
For adjunct faculty who don’t have office space, there are several options for establishing office hours:
Meet with students prior to or directly after class
Establish office hours and meet in the Blackboard Support Office in Library 321
Meet with students in the library, Mary Graydon, or other public spaces on campus
Establish on-line office hours when you will be available via e-mail, g-chat or Skype.
Course Description and Goals
This section might begin with the course description from the AU catalogue (or your individual version) and often includes general course goals: broad statements that outline the purpose of the course. These goals can be listed or written as a paragraph. Terms often used to describe goals include, for example, appreciate, value, explore, consider, take into account, understand, and become familiar with.
Selecting Textbooks and Readings for Your Course
The cost of textbooks
continues to rise rapidly, and students frequently make their textbook
decisions – including the decision to forgo an assigned textbook altogether –
based on cost.When students remark that
the cost of their course materials is ‘too high’, they either may be referring
to an individual text or to the cumulative cost of books and materials for all
of their courses combined.In selecting
course readings, therefore, please be mindful of the cost/benefit implications
in choosing materials while considering what will best meet your course goals. Here are some options to consider:
Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources
are instructional materials such as textbooks, videos, and podcasts that are
available for unrestricted digital use. OERs exist in many disciplines and can
be used, at no cost, to replace textbooks or supplement other course materials.
For more information, please visit the OER
initiative homepage or contact
Options Available to Students
Most (but not all) textbooks are available to rent (hard
copy or online) for the semester.Some
publishers also offer customized collections of chapters but this option does
not guarantee a low cost.If your
students are renting online, consider the impact that e-book use may have on
your classroom technology policies (link to Ten Takeaways on this).
Library Course Reserves
The library puts a copy of
each book on reserve for all General Education courses.They will also order additional copies if the
book is frequently signed out or if faulty request more than one copy.If a textbook has a value of $150 or more, a
copy will also be placed on reserve and additional copies can be ordered if
there is frequent use.The Campus Store
maintains a list of all textbooks that cost $150 or more and shares this with
For all other courses, faculty may request
that certain texts be made available through Library Reserves. For additional
details see the library reserves page or contact the Reserves desk at 202-885-3231.
Campus Store Alternatives
The Campus Store offers
alternatives to purchasing new books, including renting print or digital texts,
purchasing used print textbooks or earlier editions if they are available,
purchasing eBooks or loose leafs (unbound, binder-ready textbooks). For more
information, contact Sara Schlosser, Course Materials Manager, email@example.com, 202-885-6303.
Alternatives to Traditional Textbooks
For an introductory course, in
which a full-sized textbook may be needed, consider using an Open Educational
Resource textbook (see above). When
appropriate, you might also consider alternative information sources books that
are not textbooks, journal article and/or other online resources.
Consider how much of a textbook
students will be required to read.If it
is only one or two chapters, consider other options available through the
Library, such as e-reserves, which can be used for a single chapter of a book.
Based on your course content and
discipline, consider whether students can purchase or rent an earlier edition
of the text, and let students know your policy in advance.
Information to Include in Your Course Syllabus
If a specific edition of a text is
required, let students know.Prior
editions may be less expensive, if they are available.
Distinguish between required and
optional or recommended readings.Keep
in mind that many students, especially freshmen, may interpret optional as
Let students know which books are
on reserve in the Library.
Clearly state any additional
resources or required fees, e.g. lab fees, art supplies, sheet music, field
trips that require purchasing a ticket, technology fees or required software.
your textbook includes ancillary tools, such as glossaries, online features, homework
assignments or extension content, evaluate these tools and, if appropriate,
teach your students how to make the best use of them.Based on the publisher, however, some of
these features are only available if students purchase the most recent edition
of the text.
Open Education Resources (OERs)
OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.
The Center for Teaching, Research & Learning OER Initiative provides grants to faculty who want to revise a course to make use of OERs.