Start-of-the-semester checklist, Fall 2019

Here’s a checklist to help you get organized for teaching as the semester approaches. 

  • If you use Blackboard for course management

    • Make your course available (when it’s ready for viewing!). The default setting for a course shell is “not currently available.” On the home page of your course, look for the padlock icon on the upper right. Click on it to toggle between Make Available and Make Unavailable. If you don’t have a home page, click on any content area (such as Assignments or Course Information) in the course menu, rather than tools or web links.

      toggling between Make available/make unavailable

    • Instruct your students, via an email from CUNYfirst, to contact you if they cannot see their course in Blackboard.
    • Don’t forget – you must use your CUNYfirst credentials to log into Blackboard.
    • Reuse course content from a previous semester by exporting a course package and import it into a blank course shell. 
  • If you use Google Classroom for course management

    • Download all grades from last semester’s class, then archive the class. No changes can be made to an archived class but you can reuse the assignments and announcements.
    • On September 4, 2019, classes created with the previous version of Google Classroom (without the Classwork Page) will be automatically converted to the new version (with the Classwork page) and you will not be able to access or revert to the previous version. Class materials will not be copied over but you will still have access to them via the Classroom’s Google Drive folder. YouTube links will not be copied over.

    If you are still using the previous version, we strongly recommend that you convert it to the new version before September 4 by adding the Classwork page.

    For detailed information: https://support.google.com/edu/classroom/answer/9415992

  • Using CUNYfirst

  • Your campus classroom

    • Make sure you have access to your classroom. Contact your departmental office to ascertain how to access your assigned classroom (card swipe or key). If the room has card swipe access, make sure your QC ID card is activated. For key access, contact the Main Gate Security at 718-997-5912. View the Media Solutions Group’s video tutorials on tech enhanced classrooms.
  • Textbooks

    • Check in with the online book store to confirm that the books you have ordered for your class are available. Use your CUNYfirst credentials to view your selections, or mark your course as “no books required.” Textbook information entered through the bookstore will automatically update your course in CUNYfirst. Consider having the library place a copy of the book on reserve for your class. You can request that with this online form.
  • Syllabus

    • Remember to give a copy of your syllabus to your department for its assessment files. Keep a copy for your own files, and maybe post it on your professional website or course website.
    • Visit the “What’s in a Syllabus?” post for more information: http://ctl.qc.cuny.edu/whats-in-a-syllabus-3/
  • Stay informed

    • Visit the New Faculty Orientation post on our website and get acquainted with some of the folks around campus who can help you get things done. Even if this is not your first semester teaching at Queens College, you might learn something new.
    • Subscribe to our email list Socrates, to receive announcements about upcoming events, workshops, and research opportunities.

How are you getting ready for the fall semester?  Let us know in the comments.

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