A successful first day can be a key component of a successful quarter. You should envision the first day as more than just a time to review your syllabus. It is an opportunity for you to establish expectations, set the tone, and to get to know your students.
“[On the first day] I go over the syllabus; emphasize that asking questions is encouraged; try to get to know the students in some small way; and make sure they’re aware of all the different support structures…”
Erin Hill, Director, Quantitative Skills Center
“I use the first day as a microcosm of how the entire quarter will be. If the course includes lecture, small-group work, and in-class written work, then I incorporate all of those into the first day.”
Prof. Katherine Krings, Speech and Hearing Sciences
“Set the tone. If you want an active class, don’t lecture on day 1. If you want them to prepare ahead of class, don’t waste time reading the syllabus.”
Prof. Linda Martin-Morris, Biology
CIDR Teaching and Learning Bulletins
A collection of short papers on pertinent teaching and learning topics with practical suggestions and resources. Search for a topic of interest HERE.
- Making the Most of the First Day of Class, Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon
- The Most Important Day, by Delivee Wright. Teaching and Learning Center, University of Nebraska
- Felder, R. and Brent, R. (1995) “Getting Started,” Chemical Engineering Education, 29(3). 166-167.