The first day of class is important on many levels: It gives students a chance to try the course out—to get a sense of who you are and what your course will be like. Prepare to meet your needs and the needs of your students by planning ahead:
View your class roster. Access your roster via the Student Administration System to ensure that you know the dates, times and meeting place of your class. Sign in using your NetID and password, and click on “Self-Service” and then “Faculty Center.” From this system, also called Peoplesoft, you can peruse your class roster—and even see photographs of your students—to get a sense of the student makeup of the class and start learning names. You can also contact your students before the course begins by using the “Notify Students” option.
Request a HuskyCT site. Use of UConn’s learning management system “HuskyCT,” which is powered by Blackboard Learn, is optional, but students often have an expectation that their classes will have a HuskyCT site. Request a site for the classes you are teaching using the Student Administration System. Please note that it takes up to 24 hours for a HuskyCT site to be created once requested and that students gain access to HuskyCT sites the first official day of classes unless this date is modified by the instructor. Contact Blackboard (Husky CT 24/7 Course Support, 1-855-308-5616) or CETL staff (860-486-5052) for help with this tool.
Visit your classroom. Before classes begin, visit your room and experiment with its technology, lighting, boards, etc. You may virtually visit the room from the University Classrooms website, but it’s always best to go to the room and get a feel for the space. If you plan on using a white board, you need to bring your own markers; erasers are provided. To receive keys to operate equipment in rooms that have multimedia capabilities or if you have questions about the technology in your room, contact Academic IT – Audiovisual and Collaborative Technologies: 860-486-1774. If you are teaching in a large lecture hall, experiment with the space:
- Will you need to use a microphone? If so, you will need to bring your own batteries (usually 9 volt).
- Will you remain behind the podium or will you meander among the students? If you plan to leave the podium, will you need a remote for the computer system? If so, contact the AVT group.
- How do you intend to communicate with your students? Will you ask for questions or comments? Do you prefer to use a classroom response system (clickers)? If so, contact IRC or visit Clickers at UConn.