New Instructor Info

Geared especially for instructors new to teaching at Montclair, this page offers key information to help you as you prepare to teach.

Preparing to Teach at Montclair

Instructors who are either new to teaching or just new to Montclair are encouraged to attend Teaching at Montclair 101, an OFE workshop designed to provide essential information and useful tips to make the transition to Montclair manageable and successful.

OFE offers a moderated asynchronous, at-your-own-pace mini-course, Teaching Basics, that introduces new instructors to the university and reviews supportive pedagogies, syllabus and assignment design, and lesson planning. Please complete this form if you’d like to participate in the course.

For practical information (ID cards, parking, payroll, technology, etc.), see Practical Information for Instructors.

For more information to help you plan and teach your course, check out our Teaching Resources or professional development workshops.

Plan your course

Academics/Curriculum: To see where the course you are teaching fits into the overall curriculum, take a look at the University Catalog. Here is a sample. Your department chair or program coordinator should be able to guide you with a sample syllabus or information about how your course fits into the major or minor.

Montclair Syllabus: Try a step-by-step guide to developing a clear and directive syllabus following the Montclair Syllabus, a template, updated each semester, that ensures instructors provide all the essential elements for their students in a consistent way so that students understand the expectations for each course they are taking and can find the information they need more easily. The Montclair Syllabus also contains links to campus resources that are updated regularly so that you can direct students to them without needing to research them yourself–or copy and paste bad links from past semesters. The Montclair Syllabus is embedded in all Canvas courses via Simple Syllabus and in the Syllabus section. To work on your syllabus in a google doc in advance, use this writable google doc template.

Check out Reserves information from the University Library for electronic resources and ways to make print and other materials available on reserves. Consult your department’s liaison library for more tailored support identifying library materials for your course(s).

Consider a pre-semester survey that provides students with essential course and modality information and gives you some basic understanding of who your students are. A model survey is also on Canvas Commons [Links require Canvas log-in. For more about Canvas Commons, see this short video].


Important University Policy Information

  • Montclair State University’s Grading Standards: Set by the Provost’s Office/Academic Affairs. Plan for Grading provides further information about grading at Montclair.
  • Academic Honesty Policy: Set by Academic Affairs, this policy is useful to review with students at the beginning of and during the semester. Use this form to report violations.
  • Attendance Policy: The University has no official attendance policy. Departments and programs may set their own; otherwise this is left to instructor discretion. Be sure to specify your attendance policy on your syllabus. See Attendance: Options and Considerations for ideas.
  • Mandatory Academic Engagement Activity: Automatically pre-loaded into your Canvas course. For more information see Practical Information.
  • Navigate: Platform accessed via NEST that enables communication among faculty, advisers, and students. There are two mandatory progress reporting periods (around weeks 3 and 7) for undergraduate students; instructors can issue alerts throughout the semester as needed.
  • Student evaluations. The university automatically runs student evaluations in most classes. To review these evaluations, go to the “Account” setting in Canvas and select “EvaluationKIT.”  Surveys results for several semesters should be available to you. For more information, see Course Evaluations; contact IT at for help accessing your results.

Get comfortable (enough) with Canvas: Try the self-paced faculty orientation to Canvas or an ITDS workshop or consultation.

Use of Canvas is required: All courses should have a Canvas site that includes a comprehensive syllabus, schedule, and information on course content; instructors should make regular use of the Announcement function, and full use of Assignments and Gradebooks. See Canvas Universal Guidelines for more information.

  • Canvas Page Add-Ins to Course.[Confused by Canvas Commons? See this short video].
    • Montclair Zoom Etiquette  — Let’s raise the expectations together, across the University ( See also these funny student-produced videos that you can show in your classes that underscore the point.
    • Nuts and Bolts of Research — Catherine Baird, Sprague Library.  Through videos and slideshows, this module introduces students to the basics of finding library materials, searching, and reading citations. Log into Canvas, choose Commons on the far left-nav, and search for “Nuts and Bolts of Research” for a module you can import into your Canvas course.
    • How to Read Journal Articles/Scientific Papers — Catherine Baird, Sprague Library.  A short module that includes a video, reading, and discussion. Log into Canvas, choose Commons on the far left-nav, and search for “Nuts and Bolts of Research” for a module you can import into your Canvas course.

Other Resources

Student Support Resources for the academic, social, psychological, and practical resources and referrals instructors need to know.

Teaching FAQs, revised every semester, these are the questions we anticipate you have yet to receive answers on.

Internal Guest Speakers: Certain campus partners are available to give presentations and workshops to your class. Among these are:

Last Modified: Wednesday, September 6, 2023 3:37 pm