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Back to the Classroom

What to Expect and How to Be Prepared

As we prepare to return to face-to-face instruction without social distancing requirements, this page will help faculty plan and prepare to reenter the classroom and support students who are doing the same.  

For some students, this will be the first time they have set foot in a college classroom, whether because they are first-year students or because they have only experienced the college classroom virtually. Even more students, like many faculty, will be attending face-to-face classes for the first time in over a year. Like you, students may have mixed feelings about this return to the classroom. 

The following resources have been made available to assist you as you build a strong course and classroom environment that will allow both you and your students to thrive.


The Syllabus

The syllabus is arguably the most important document you give your students. It provides a roadmap for your course and sets class guidelines. This resource provides a syllabus template to help you craft a strong document for your course.

Practices for Setting Clear Class Expectations

With the newness of the college classroom for some and the various emotions surrounding the return to the classroom for many, it is more important than ever to ensure that your students know what is expected of them in your class. This document provides useful suggestions for establishing clear and open communication between you and your students to help eliminate confusion and give your students a sense of stability. 

Strategies to Implement & Practices to Avoid: Setting Class Expectations for Your Students  

In addition to the resource above, this webpage offers some practical strategies for implementation and issues to keep in mind when establishing expectations for your classroom. 

Lecturing Effectively

Maintaining students’ engagement can be challenging in the best of times. With the return to the classroom, keeping students focused may be a bit more difficult than usual. These lecturing techniques can help you maintain student engagement throughout your class. 

The Flipped Classroom

A flipped classroom is a teaching model that reverses the typical lecture and homework elements. This practice is excellent for engaging students and supporting them in taking ownership of their own learning. 

Reflection Activities

Providing students time to process their learning can also help students adjust to the learning environment. These reflection activities are designed to be completed alone and provide a way to keep your students engaged and increase their learning. 

Building Community in Online Environments 

This document outlines six strategies to help increase socialization in online learning environments but can also be used in the face-to-face environment. Working to build community can help with students’ sense of belonging and help them make social connections they may feel they missed out on last year.