Instructional Resources

 Available on this page:


Instructional Tools: Preparing to Teach


  • OFD Additional Teaching Resources

    • In addition to the resources provided on this web page, the Office of Faculty Development provides a page containing further online teaching tools that address anything from lecture strategies and in-class writing suggestions to creating an inclusive classroom. Of particular note is the Teaching Resources link on that page, which provides more university-wide instructional tools.
  • Student Support Services

    • It is often difficult to know where best to direct students, who come to you with a variety of learning and personal challenges. Below you will find a link to the main Western Michigan directory for student support services and a list of some of the more commonly used campus resources for students.

      • General Directory

      • Commonly Sought Services:
        Academic Resource Center
        DSS: Disability Services for Students
        Sindecuse Health Center (and Counseling Services)
        Broncos FIRST
        Bronco Study Zone
        Writing Center

        CELCIS: Center for English Language and Culture for International Students    

  • Syllabus Construction

    • Explanation of basic policy: Check with the director or chair of your academic program or department regarding established objectives for your course. You will usually receive a request to send a copy of your syllabus (or syllabi) by the program/departmental administrators. Also, when designing your course schedule, it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the academic calendar for the semester in which you are teaching.

    • OFD Syllabus Construction Guides

    • IUPUI CTL: Creating a Syllabus

    • Helpful Hints and Sample Syllabi

  • First Day of Class

    • First Day of Class

    • Stanford CTL Handbook: Preparing for the first day of class 

    • Additional Recommended Reading:

      • Curzan, Anne and Lisa Damour. 2011. First Day to Final Grade: A Graduate Student's Guide to Teaching, 3rd Ed, University of Michigan Press.

      • Davis, B. G. 2009. Tools for Teaching. 2d ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Assignment Creation and Assessment

    • In addition to the resources provided below, it is quite helpful to seek out samples both through your department and online searches that offer discipline-specific, detailed assignments you can adapt to your course.
    • Castletop Diagram
    • Best Practices for Teaching Writing to Multilingual Language Learners (MLL)
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy
      • This taxonomy of learning forms provides a helpful methodology in assignment design for ensuring your students grow from the starting point of information recall into skilled synthesizers and evaluators of concepts and arguments.
    • Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)
      • Classroom assessment is typically focused on evaluating formative student learning (ungraded checks for understanding). Once you can see where the understanding gaps are, you can adapt your teaching style and content.
      • An excellent and quick read for examples of applicable CATs 
      • Further Reading: Angelo, T.A. and Cross, K.P. (1993) Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers, Second Edition, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
    • Guide to Writing Learning Objective Statements

      • In addition to the Office of Faculty Development's regular Cool Tools workshop on the topic, below are some excellent locations for advice on how to construct rubrics, as well as some cross-disciplinary examples of them.
  • Active Learning Exercises

  • Class Discussion (A Form of Active Learning)

  • Effective Lectures

    • Practical Pointers on Preparing and Giving Lectures

    • Free Lecture Videos on Cross-Disciplinary Topics

    • Recommended Readings:
      • Race, Phil. 2007. The Lecturer’s Toolkit: A resource for developing assessment, learning, and teaching, Third Edition, New York: Routledge.

      • Filene, Peter. 2005. The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors. (H. Eugene and Lillian Youngs Lehman Series). UNC Press.

  • Classroom Management and Inclusivity

    • Below are some links to assist in managing disruptive behaviors in a constructive way that improves the classroom environment and includes those who may not know how best to seek help/guidance. There is a regular Cool Tools workshop on handling disruptive behaviors as well as a summer intensive and academic year seminar series on teaching inclusivity available through the Office of Faculty Development that address these concerns.
    • Additional Readings:
      • Bain, Ken. 2004. What the Best College Teachers Do. Harvard University Press.
      • DiRamio, David. 2017. What’s Next for Student Veterans?: Moving from Transition to Academic Success. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
      • Nathan, Rebekah. 2005. My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student.
  • Instructions for Ordering Textbooks

    • Textbooks should be ordered by the first day of registration for your course. Visit the Textbook Requisition web page of Western Michigan University's Registrar’s Office for more detailed instructions, including a small schedule of the dates these orders are due.

  • The Basics of Teaching/Grading with Elearning

  • Teaching with Technology

    • Socrative
    • Google Docs/Drive
    • Diigo
    • Mendeley
    • Grammarly

    • Purdue OWL – The Purdue University Online Writing Lab 

    • iClicker (supported by Western Michigan University)

    • See more examples of teaching with technology on Edutopia (aimed at K-12, but still useful)
    • Online Courses: Use of Video