1.1 Before Classes Begin
Get your IDs and passwords, learn the intricacies of the classroom space, prepare a syllabus that is aligned with course learning objectives, check your textbook orders, and request and populate your course site.
- Get your FSUID
The FSUID is the official identity used to log into the MyFSU portal and Canvas. Follow the instructions at the activation site to obtain your FSUID and set the password. Your FSU email account will be generated automatically during the procedure. After activation, check to make sure you can log into Canvas using your new username and password. Contact FSU Information Technology Services personnel with questions. MyFSU is a portal (or entry point) to all of FSU's major web services, such as course registration (Student Central), staff account information (OMNI), email (Webmail), and Canvas. Navigate to any one of these apps by logging in to my.fsu.edu and selecting one of the buttons on the left. For example, to get to Canvas from myFSU, you would select the Canvas icon. Canvas is a learning management product that allows students to engage with their courses online. Instructors can build websites for their courses to allow students to download their course materials, submit assignments and tests, quickly communicate with each other, and watch video content in a secure environment.
- Get your FSUCard
The FSUCard is the official identification card for Florida State University. If you live in Leon County, you may obtain your FSUCard at the FSUCard Center located in Parking Garage #1 at the corner of West Call Street and Woodward Avenue between the FSU Bookstore and SunTrust Bank. The FSUCard Center is open 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bring your FSUCard Agreement along with photo identification (valid driver's license, military ID, or current passport) when visiting the FSUCard Center for your first time. Contact Card Center personnel with questions.
- Build your Canvas course site
Canvas is the main software used to set up web-supported and online classes at FSU. Ninety-three percent of the courses at FSU are supported by a Canvas course site. Both faculty and students find Canvas sites an easy and convenient way to share course materials, communicate through announcements and emails, and track learning progress. Using a Canvas course website, instructors can deliver content and coordinate online activities.
- Access Canvas Support
Visit the Canvas Support Center for training and quick tutorials. For questions about Canvas call the Help Desk at (850) 644-8004. To schedule a consultation, contact John Braswell. To register for sessions on Canvas, quality course design, and instructional technology, visit our workshops page.
- Visit your classroom
Visit your classroom before the first day of class to get familiar with the environment and technology. Are you using a Technology Enhanced Classroom (TEC)? If so, visit their web site to set up your computer account and get training on the specific technology in your room. TECs allow you to use computer consoles, DVD/VHS players, personal response systems, wireless microphones, and other technologies to enhance your teaching. You'll be able to display your teaching files (PowerPoint, sound files, images) and Blackboard or other websites on an LCD projector. You need only create (or renew) your TEC account and reserve one of the 104 TECs available across campus to use this resource. If you need immediate attention during class, call 644-2811 to report a problem or, after you have logged in, click the exclamation mark icon on the classroom computer desktop. Practice with this technology prior to your first class meeting and be sure to arrive early enough to get the equipment up and running before class starts. Contact Classroom Support personnel with questions.
- Check orders for textbooks
At least 30 days before the semester begins, inform the Office Manager (or designee) in your department of your textbook selections. This person will compile all requests for all courses and forward them to the FSU Bookstore. Note that the Florida Statutes mandate that required textbooks on the course website not less than 30 days prior to the first day of class. This must include the title, all authors listed, publishers, edition number, copyright date, published date, and other relevant information necessary to identify the specific textbook or textbooks required for each course.
- Lay out a course plan
Your first semester will go much smoother if you have laid out a plan for your course. The Course Planning Worksheet can be used to outline your course starting with objectives for each unit. Add what students will do both in and out of class and end with how student learning will be assessed. Chapter 1: Designing an Effective Course of Instruction at FSU: A Guide to Teaching & Learning Practices provides an overview of the course design process.
- Prepare the syllabus
See our article Preparing the Syllabus for University Approvals to make sure you have covered all the necessary elements and to get the current approved statements for the academic honor policy, disability resources, and other standard language.
- Prepare a grading statement, course goals, and objectives
FSU requires that each instructor provide an evaluation (grading) statement that will be used to determine grades in each course along with a statement of the goals and objectives of the course. We strongly encourage that you include your evaluation (grading) statement in the syllabus. An explicit written statement included in the syllabus is the best way to provide students a clear understanding of course expectations and provides the best evidence that such an explanation was provided in case a grade is challenged. For more on writing learning outcomes, see our Communicating Expectations: Suggestions for Writing Learning Outcomes article.
- Review the Faculty Handbook
Become familiar with faculty governance, human resources, faculty development, policies, procedures, and student/faculty interactions. Contact the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement staff with questions.
- Read Instruction at FSU
Learn strategies used by experienced instructors, instructional methods, and techniques that follow the four components of Instructional Design: Course Planning, Lesson Delivery, Student Testing and Grading, and Course Revision and Evaluation. Bookmark for reading online.