As you prepare for the coming semester, take note of our semester-specific support resources, tips for setting up your Canvas course, and some steps for success in your courses!
Key Dates for Fall 2023
- First day of classes: Monday, August 28, 2023
- Fall semester: August 28 – December 15, 2023
- All Canvas courses will be published automatically on August 23rd, 2023
- Review the Academic Calendar for all session dates.
Please note that online programs may follow different dates!
- Preparing for Fall 2023
Online: Thursday, August 17th, 9am – 12:30pm
In-Person: Tuesday, August 22nd, 9am – 1:15pm
Instructional Technology and Design Services invites you to our faculty development event to help you get ready for the Fall semester. This event will include sessions focused on course design best practices, how to set up and design your Fall course in Canvas, AI and other generative technologies, as well as strategies for effective assessment and student engagement. These sessions are applicable to teaching in-person, online or hybrid. Visit the event page to register.
Fall Drop-in Support and Consultations
The ITDS team will be available for teaching support to start the Fall 2023 semester. This support will be available August 21 to September 1 (excluding weekends and August 25 from 1-3 pm). Please bring your questions and “walk-in” anytime between 10am and 3pm.
- Walk-in Support: If you choose in-person walk-in, please just tell the staff at the front desk that you are here for ITDS teaching support. We are located on the 5th floor of University Hall in rooms 5009 and 5011.
- Online Support: We will also be offering support through One-on-One Consultations online during these two weeks.
New to Teaching at Montclair State?
Join us for a quick overview of the instructional technology resources available to you at MSU. We will share tips for setting up your course in Canvas and other tools to enhance teaching and learning. Register for our “New to Montclair State: Resources for Teaching Your First Semester” workshop.
A Checklist for Setting Up Your Canvas Course
- Are you teaching a course you have previously taught? Import a course (or some materials) from a previous semester. It is easy to incorporate materials from previous semesters by importing or copying your course components.
- Are you teaching a course for the first time? Import our modifiable course template from Canvas Course Commons! This will give you a head start on using modules to structure your course, making it user-friendly for students. The template may be modified for multiple weeks by adding or removing modules as you see fit. You can also view a public version of the Course Template.
- Update the Canvas Syllabus page. Although you may have your syllabus formatted as a Word document or PDF, the Canvas Syllabus page will also need to be updated. It appears in every course with some important information. It’s based on the Montclair State Canvas Syllabus Template already imported into all courses. In addition to the Canvas Syllabus Page, faculty have the option to work with Simple Syllabus. Simple Syllabus is a centralized, template-driven platform that enables faculty to quickly personalize and publish interactive class syllabi. Simple Syllabus is available in Canvas as “Montclair Syllabus” and can be enabled in Canvas course(s).
- Set up a course homepage (either a Canvas page or Canvas modules) that orients students to the course as a whole and clearly indicates where and how to get started.
- Use modules that are logically organized (e.g., weekly, thematically) and consistently structured.
- Design your course with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in mind, use the Canvas Accessibility Checker and Ally to help ensure your course content is accessible.
- Familiarize yourself with your gradebook and ensure your assignment group weights match the grading scheme from your syllabus correctly.
- Create assignments to allow students to submit their work (documents, media files, links to online work, etc.) and set up discussions to facilitate academic discourse, share course logistics, build community, collaborate, etc.
- Add the course calendar, in order to help students keep track of assignments and due dates.
- Review your course before publishing it! Use the link validator and student view tools, and double-check your assignment due dates.
- Publish your course. Courses will be automatically published according to the dates listed above, but it is recommended that you publish your course earlier.
- Post an announcement to inform students of the course modality and your requirements for the first class. Courses must be published for announcements to be visible to students. An announcement that is posted while your course is unpublished will not send an email to your students!
- For more recommendations, please visit our Designing Your Canvas Course page.
- At the start of the semester, ask your students to complete the “Academic Engagement Verification Activity”! It can be accessed via Assignments or Modules in each course and will be automatically important into all Canvas courses. Your students should not complete the activity until the first day of the class meeting.
One-on-One Consultations with ITDS
The ITDS team is available for teaching support year-round to help you prepare for the upcoming semester. Select a topic and time slot and you will be paired with an ITDS team member for one-on-one support via Zoom.
ITDS is happy to announce our new workshop offerings to help you prepare for the semester!
Simple Syllabus: Getting Started for Faculty: Simple Syllabus offers a suite of new features for faculty and students which streamline the production and distribution of syllabi each semester, create a consistent student pathway for syllabus access, and enhance its layout and navigability for all. This workshop introduces the tool, its features, and how to integrate your content into the syllabus template. Visit our Simple Syllabus webpage for additional information.
Course Design for Maximum Impact and Student Success: Learn about effective course design approaches that will help you to ensure your students are meeting learning objectives. This workshop will guide you through the process of starting with your desired outcomes or goals and then working backward to develop assessments and learning activities that will help your students achieve those goals. We will also provide examples and a course design toolkit to assist you in designing your course, as well as hands-on activities that allow you to practice using course design principles.
Canva 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Your First Graphic or Banner: Design like a professional ! This workshop is designed to introduce you to the basics of using the popular online tool Canva. In the first part of this workshop, we will review some basic concepts of visual design and discuss how it can impact students’ ability to learn and concentrate on course material.
Keeping Up With AI Technologies: As artificial intelligence technologies rapidly evolve and become more commonplace in our classrooms, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. Within the past few months, ChatGPT has already implemented updates to its technology while competing companies launch their own products. This session explores the latest updates to ChatGPT and overviews other relevant AI technology such as Google Bard, Microsoft Bing, Canva, and more.
Responding to ChatGPT with Effective Instructional Design: The use of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) able to produce written work that sounds convincingly human-produced, exploded in popularity in late 2022 and poses many questions in higher education related to academic integrity and the authenticity of work produced by our students. This workshop empowers faculty with a hands-on demonstration of the tool, opportunities to explore it within your own subject matter, strategies and approaches for responding to it in your classroom, and considerations on leveraging the tool and its potential benefits.
For a full view of all of our upcoming workshops, please visit our Workshop Registration page!
Faculty Development Courses
ITDS offers a number of facilitated courses throughout the year offered in an online asynchronous format. The purpose of these courses is to enrich faculty pedagogy strategies and to promote student engagement across various modalities. This Fall, we are going to offer two faculty development courses:
- Student Engagement Tools and Techniques (SETT)
Make sure your devices are registered on the campus network (see the Connect to Wireless page). If you need technical support, please contact the IT Service Desk by calling 973-655-7971 (on campus x7971) or emailing email@example.com, or your academic technology team. You may also review information on classroom technology on the Audio-Visual Services website, check NEST for modality, room, and other details.