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How do you get started organizing a class?

Course Queries Syllabus Queries
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Peter Jarvis

User

( 5 months ago )

As an academic in the university, how do you organize your self from the beginning of a semester?

For example:

  • How do you take the absent students names?
  • How do prepare your materials?
  • How do you write a syllabus for students and do you hand them out?
  • What computer programs do you use to plan your lessons?

I started my career as a lecturer last semester and I found myself not organized so I need to learn from your experience.

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Brian Burl

User

( 5 months ago )

How do you take the absent students names?

I don't. If a student finds my lectures boring or useless, they shouldn't waste their time coming to class. (As others point out, there are very good reasons to require attendance in laboratory-, studio-, and discussion-based classes.)

How do prepare your materials?

Coffee and LaTeX. Lots of coffee and LaTeX.

How do you write a syllabus for students and do you hand them out?

When I started out, I modified the syllabus from the previous iteration of the course, which was taught by an experienced instructor, so I could be sure to include all the necessary details. I used to hand out the syllabus on the first day of class, but now I just post it on the well-advertised course web site.

What computer programs do you use to plan your lessons?

I write everything in LaTeX (specifically, TeXShop) and distribute everything as PDF files on the course web site. (See the first question.) I also use SubEthaEdit to edit the course web pages themselves.

what's your interest


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