FAQ for Teaching Writing at URI
Return your signed contract, enter or update your contact information in the e-Campus directory; secure a parking pass, obtain desk copies of the textbooks, and register on e- Campus. Check the classroom directory on e-Campus or, better yet, visit your assigned classroom to see, for example, if you need card swipe access. Finish your syllabus, making changes after the all instructor meeting on August 26th.
What should I know about meeting my class on the first day?
Check e-Campus that morning to double-check your classroom, as room changes are somewhat common. If your classroom has a security system, your I.D. should work, but checking that ahead of time is good advice. Class rosters are on e-Campus, in your Faculty Center: click the three-headed icon! Students must receive a syllabus on the first day (or have access to one on Sakai). The syllabus is a contract and should state clearly and unambiguously everything that students will need to do to earn credits for the course. At the same time, the syllabus also obligates you to deliver the course as it is presented in the syllabus. Please log in to Instructor Resources for standard policies and required elements for your syllabi.
What about office support?
Our main office, 324 Roosevelt, has a photocopy machine and office supplies, plus the invaluable assistance of Donna Hayden and our student assistants. While we allow you to make copies for your classes when pedagogically important to do so, please save trees by limiting the paper copies you distribute. We ask that you limit your copying to materials strictly for use in the WRT courses you are teaching. For multiple pages, collation, etc., please fill out a request and allow 48 hours for office staff to complete the job.
Posting materials on Sakai is a good alternative, and students can then print those sources. Another alternative to making copies is to use transparencies for the overhead projectors that should be in all classrooms. Our copy machine makes them in a flash, so you can ask for those. We also have office supplies to make your teaching life a bit easier: just ask for what you need–within reason! We do currently have several gradebooks if you keep records with pen or pencil.
Do I have a mailbox?
Our office in 324 Roosevelt Hall has a mailbox for you, a photocopy machine, and a fax machine. Donna and our student assistants are there to help you during regular business hours–8:30am – 4:30pm. You will need to check your mailbox regularly, as not everything is distributed electronically. Most importantly, the IDEA surveys (course evaluations) that you will distribute to all students during the last week of classes must be picked up in the main office. You will be notified via email when the IDEA surveys arrive and they will be placed in your mailbox. Please do not allow students to submit papers to the main office. Use electronic submissions whenever possible. Note that 3rd floor of Roosevelt Hall is locked by 4:30 p.m.
What about students who want in or who don’t show up?
Students who want into your class need to watch e-Campus for openings, where they can register for your class through September 10th. From September 11 – 17, students can register for your class only with a Permission Number from you. You will find instructions on assigning Permission Numbers under the administrative section of Instructor Resources. If a student comes to the first class and wants to add, you can give him or her a PN if you wish.
Sometimes students will stop coming but not drop the course. If students do not attend the first two classes or otherwise remain on your roster, you can drop them by emailing Keri Jordan in Enrollment Services at email@example.com. She will need 1) your course and section number; 2) the students’ names; and their URI ID numbers (see your e-Campus roster).
What if I have an emergency and cannot meet my class?
Please notify your students as soon as possible via your Sakai site, and please let someone know in the main office at 874-5932. If you cannot notify your students electronically (maybe you are stuck in traffic), call the main office, and someone will try to make arrangements to put a notice on your classroom door.
If you know in advance that you will not be able to meet a class, it’s your responsibility to arrange for a class activity/assignment on your Sakai site, or to have a colleague cover the class for you.
All final portfolios will be submitted electronically on Sakai–and are due one week after the *university’s* last day of classes–a uniform date for every section. For Spring 2013, the last day of classes is Tuesday, April 30, so final portfolios are due electronically by noon on Monday, December 16th.
Do I need to hold office hours?
We encourage everyone teaching WRT to meet, outside of class time, with individual students or students in small groups as they need or request your attention, but we also realize this is not always possible given your schedules and our space limitations. If you wish to hold conferences or have regular office hours, please see Donna to reserve either 334 or 325 Roosevelt. Please be aware that if you are discussing grades or class performance, you should use a “private” space–like 334 or 325–to meet with a student.
What is Sakai and how can I use it?
SAKAI is URI’s course management system (CMS), an online teaching and learning environment. Even face-to-face classes can take advantage of a SAKAI site to share resources, communicate, collaborate, submit assignments, or participate in discussions. We ask that, as a minimum, you use SAKAI to upload your syllabus, weekly schedule, and all assignments, so that students can access these documents 24/7. If your class is at the 200-level or above, and you do have projection capabilities in your classroom, you can feel free to skip the paper copies and simply refer students to your SAKAI site.
For assistance with SAKAI, please see first the SAKAI portal: https://sakai.uri.edu/portal/ or call 874-HELP.
In the department, our Digital Pedagogy Specialist, Frank Romanelli (left), is available to work with you by appointment on different ways to use technologies, including SAKAI, in your classes. Frank is a full-time lecturer who administers the department’s Production Lab and oversees the lab monitors and equipment. If you need to check out a laptop, for example, for use in your classroom, she is the one to contact, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Teaching Resources
For additional resources, please log in to our Instructor Resources page.
First-Year Writing Coordinator
Our First-Year Writing Coordinator is Professor Kim Hensley Owens. She can help you with planning activities, developing materials, or with any problems in your classroom. Kim can offer advice, referrals, or is available to mediate conflicts as needed.
Every 100-level section has a prearranged library visit, where a reference librarian will guide your students through the use of reference databases. You should have already been notified of your scheduled library date: meet your students in the lobby, and a librarian will escort you to a computer classroom. Please PREPARE your students for this visit and follow up on the material. Pre-visit handouts are available online via Instructor Resources, and hard copies are available in the office.
Located on the 4th floor of Roosevelt Hall, the Writing Center provides assistance and resources to writers across the university community, in the form of walk-ins, appointments, and outreach efforts. Five-minute visits from a tutor can be arranged for your class, to introduce the center and its services. Please be on the lookout for an email from the WC about their class visits. Students should register for appointments by visiting WCOnline.
You have been added to an informal Writing instructors listserv and should be getting a “welcome” message to confirm your membership. Consider it a place to share resources or ideas.
You are encouraged to participate in any or all events sponsored by the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Watch for dates and topics for professional development seminars offered during this academic year.