How do your students feel about the first day of class? Do they sit nervously poised, ready to absorb every word you utter (preferably with a British accent)? Or, do they sit pensively, yet absurdly, awaiting the distribution of a carbon-based syllabus and the near simultaneous declaration of, “That’s all for today. I’ll see you next week. Be sure to read chapter 1 and take the associated Canvas quiz.”
I argue that both of these scenarios are wasted opportunities to demonstrate passion for the subject and awaken students’ innate curiosity for learning.
As you might imagine, I love the first day of class! (I know… not the most surprising of statements to come from the director if UD’s Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning.) This initial meeting allows learners to come together for the first time and communally explore foundational disciplinary skills, knowledge, and habits of mind in a manner that reflects your individual teaching philosophy, program outcomes, and disciplinary values.
The first day of class is our opportunity to set expectations and develop a classroom culture that will last the entire semester. This workshop will help you make the opening day as effective as possible. We’ll define your discipline’s “big, beautiful questions” and develop actionable strategies to incorporate meaningful learning activities into the first day of class.