Blog Archive

The statements below have been collected from various centers across campus to assist you when creating your syllabus. It is highly recommended that you adjust and personalize the statements to match you particular course and teaching approaches.

These statements help set the tone of your class and demonstrate your willingness to engage with students as individuals. The bottom line with many of these policies is that students should let you know by the end of the first week of class if they need a particular accommodation.

Students with Disabilities/Medical Issues

(developed by the Disability Services Program – more information and updates available at the DSP Faculty & Staff website)

The University of Denver is committed to equitable access and inclusion of those with disabilities.  Students who have a disability (i.e., physical, medical, mental, emotional, learning, etc.) and who want to request accommodations should contact the Disability Services Program (DSP); 303.871.3241; 1999 E. Evans Ave.; 4th floor of Ruffatto Hall. Information is also available online at

Religious Accommodations Policy 

University policy grants students excused absences from class or other organized activities or observance of religious holy days, unless the accommodation would create an undue hardship. You must notify me by the end of the first week of classes if you have any conflicts that may require an absence. It is your responsibility to make arrangements with me in advance to make up any missed work or in-class material.

Honor Code/Academic Integrity

(Additional academic integrity statements can be found here)

All work submitted in this course must be your own and produced exclusively for this course. The use of sources (ideas, quotations, paraphrases) must be properly acknowledged and documented. For the consequences of violating the Academic Misconduct policy, refer to the University of Denver website on the Honor Code ( See also for general information about conduct expectations from the Office of Student Conduct.

VeriCite plagiarism detection software within Canvas

This course includes the use of VeriCite to assess written assignments for originality and to reinforce best practice for using and citing the work of others. Students acknowledge by taking this course that papers may be subject to submission to VeriCite.  Students also acknowledge and consent that their papers will be included in a secure repository strictly for comparison to papers submitted in the future, in order to protect their own intellectual property and to deter plagiarism by others.  Reports generated by VeriCite will be available to students for review and to enable revision.

Inclusive Learning Environments

(developed by the Faculty Senate)

In this class, we will work together to develop a learning community that is inclusive and respectful. Our diversity may be reflected by differences in race, culture, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and myriad other social identities and life experiences. The goal of inclusiveness, in a diverse community, encourages and appreciates expressions of different ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that conversations and interactions that could potentially be divisive turn instead into opportunities for intellectual and personal enrichment.

A dedication to inclusiveness requires respecting what others say, their right to say it, and the thoughtful consideration of others’ communication. Both speaking up and listening are valuable tools for furthering thoughtful, enlightening dialogue. Respecting one another’s individual differences is critical in transforming a collection of diverse individuals into an inclusive, collaborative and excellent learning community. Our core commitment shapes our core expectation for behavior inside and outside of the classroom.

Mental Health & Wellness

As part of the University’s Culture of Care & Support we provide campus resources to create access for you to maintain your safety, health, and well-being. We understand that as a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug concerns depression, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These stressful moments can impact academic performance or reduce your ability to engage. The University offers services to assist you with addressing these or ANY other concerns you may be experiencing. If you or someone you know are suffering from any challenges, you should reach out for support. You can seek confidential mental health services available on campus in the Health & Counseling Center (HCC). Another helpful resource is Student Outreach & Support (SOS), where staff work with you to connect to all the appropriate campus resources (there are many!), develop a plan of action, and guide you in navigating challenging situations. If you are concerned about one of your peers you can submit a report through our Pioneers Care System. More information about HCC, SOS, and Pioneers CARE can be found at:

Health & Counseling Services (

Student Outreach & Support and Pioneers Care reporting

Title IX

Gender violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, class, age, appearance, gender identity, or sexual orientation.  The University of Denver is committed to providing an environment free of discrimination on the basis of sex (gender), including sexual misconduct, sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking.  The Center for Advocacy, Prevention and Empowerment (CAPE) provides programs and resources to help promote healthy relationships, teach non-violence and equality, and foster a respectful and safe environment for all members of the University of Denver community.  All services are confidential and free of charge.
For assistance during business hours, call 303-871-3853 and ask to speak to the Director of CAPE.  After hours, please call the Emergency & Crisis Dispatch Line at 303-871-3000and ask to speak to the CAPE advocate on call.

Student Athletes

If you are a student-athlete, you should inform me of any class days to be missed due to DU sponsored varsity athletic events in which you are participating. Please provide me with an absence policy form by the end of the first week of class. You will need to make up any missed lectures, assignments, and/or exams.

Use of Technology in the Classroom

Access to the Internet can be a valuable aid to the classroom learning environment. You may be encouraged to use a laptop, smart phone, or other device to explore concepts related to course discussions and in-class activity. Keep in mind, however, that these technologies can be distracting – not only for you, but to others in the class. Please avoid the temptation of Facebook, texting, or other off-topic diversions.

Online and Web-supported Classes

It is your responsibility to procure reliable, readily-accessible Internet service in order to fulfill course expectations.  I am under no obligation to accept late assignments or waive required tasks (e.g., discussion participation) due to lack of online access or malfunctioning computer hardware.  Please consider identifying an alternative Internet source in case of technical problems. Look here for a list of computer labs on the DU campus .  Computer support is available from the University Technology Support (UTS) Help Center.

Research Center Services

The University Libraries Research Center ( answers research questions seven days a week by phone, email, in-person, chat/IM or text.  One-on-one research consultations in the Anderson Academic Commons are also available on a drop-in basis or by appointment. Consultations help students at any stage of the research process, from refining a topic, to finding books and articles, to creating a bibliography.  The Research Center can also assist students with finding images, audio recordings, and videos for course projects. Telephone and Zoom video consultations are also available by request for distance students. Ask a question or make an appointment by calling 303-871-2905 or visiting Over 99% of the students who have visited the Research Center report they would recommend the Research Center to a friend or classmate.

Writing Center Services

For face-to-face courses

The Writing Center provides writing support for undergraduate and graduate students at all levels, on all kinds of projects, and at any stage of the process: from generating ideas to learning new editing strategies. Consultants take a collaborative approach, working with you to help you develop your writing in light of your specific goals and assignments. To make an appointment for a free, 45-minute consultation, call 303-871-7456 or go to MyWeb > Student > Writing Center. Visit our website ( ) for hours and additional information.

For online courses

The Writing Center provides online writing support for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in online courses at all levels, on all kinds of projects, and at any stage of the process: from generating ideas to learning new editing strategies. In our Zoom video conferences, consultants take a collaborative approach, working with you to help you develop your writing in light of your specific goals and assignments. To make an appointment for a free, 45-minute Zoom consultation, call 303-871-7456 or go to MyWeb > Student > Writing Center. Visit our website ( ) for hours and additional information.

Past Workshops and Resources

Visit our Canvas page for information related to Canvas workshops

The OTL also offers customized workshops for departments and units throughout the year.

Spring 2015 Workshops

Teaching and Learning Week 2015
Click here to view nearly 20 workshops and associated resources from Teaching and Learning Week 2015

Roundtable Discussion: Alternative Methods for Rewarding Teaching at DU
Facilitators: Paul Olk, Daniels College of Business, and Bridget Arend

Faculty panel: Using group work to enhance intercultural perspectives in DU classes
Presented at DU’s Internationalization Summit
Facilitators: Bridget Arend, OTL; Dan Baack, Daniels College of Business; Christopher Edwards, University College; and Margie Thompson, Dept of Media, Film & Journalism

Dealing with the Unique Challenges of Assessing Graduate Programs
Facilitator: Rob Flaherty

Authentic, Transformative, Integrative: Understanding the Value of Culminating Experiences
Facilitators: Rob Flaherty and Virginia Pitts

The Practice of Enoughness: Finding Work/Life Balance
Facilitator: Jason A. Weisberger

Winter 2015 Workshops

When Voices get Hot: Preparing Yourself for Constructive Dialogue in the Classroom
Presented at the DU Diversity Summit
Facilitators: Bridget Arend and Nicole Joseph, Morgridge College of Education
Workshop Handout

Departmental Excellence in Teaching Panel Discussion
Presenters: Sharon Lassar, School of Accountancy, Dean Saitta, Department of Anthropology, Nick Galatos, Department of Mathematics, Tiffani Lennon, Colorado Women’s College
Departmental Excellence in Teaching Initiative

Are they really learning? Methods for gathering formative feedback to improve teaching
Facilitators: Bridget Arend and Rob Flaherty
Samples of Classroom Assessment Techniques

Why don’t my students come to class prepared?
Facilitator: Bridget Arend
Motivating students to come to class prepared

Fall 2014 Workshops

Developing Rubrics for Assessment and Grading
Facilitators: Rob Flaherty and Bridget Arend
Developing Rubrics

Engaging Faculty in Inclusive Excellence
Facilitator: Chayla Haynes, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado

Methods for Encouraging Self-directed Learning: Assignment Wrappers
Facilitator: Bridget Arend
Assignment and Exam Wrappers

How Research on Learning Can Inform Our Teaching
Facilitator: Virginia Pitts

Using Canvas for Assessment
Facilitators: Rob Flaherty & Ryan Shiba
Resources (you must be logged into Portfolio to see additional materials)

Assessment as Scholarship
Facilitator: Rob Flaherty
Resources (you must be logged into Portfolio to see additional materials)

Instructional Video Workshop
Facilitator: Alex Martinez


2013- 2014 Workshops

Voice for the Professor
Facilitators: Anne Penner and Greg Ungar, Assistant Professors in the Department of Theatre

Identifying and Designing Student Assignments for Program Assessment
Facilitator: Rob Flaherty  

Beyond Student Evals: Alternatives for Evaluating Teaching Effectiveness
Facilitator: Bridget Arend
Evaluating Teaching Excellence Toolkit

Advancing Your Assessment Program Workshop
Facilitator: Rob Flaherty
Resources (you must be logged into Portfolio to see additional materials)    

Using Video for Student Feedback
Facilitator: Alex Martinez

Using Top Hat in a Biology Course
Blog Post: Faculty Showcase: Using Top Hat in a Biology Course
Top Hat Webinar

Facilitating Student Groups
Facilitators: Roberto Corrada, Cindi Fukami, Nancy Sasaki
Blog Post: Advice about Facilitating Student Groups
Basic Cooperative Learning Structures
Overview of Cooperative Learning

Is there an app for that? iPads for Teaching & Research
Facilitators: Kathy Keairns, Carrie Forbes, Rafael Fajardo, David Thomson, Chris Brown
Blog Post: Is there an app for that? iPads for Teaching & Research
Google Spreadsheet

Strategies for Working with Challenging Students
NSM difficult students 2013
Difficult Students Syllabi Examples


Prior Workshops

Managing Difficult Students
Facilitators: Alan Kent, Executive Director of Health & Counseling Center, Jacaranda Palmateer, Director of Counseling Services
Blog Post: Managing Difficult Students/Situations
Managing Difficult Students

Teaching Chinese Students: Implications for the Classroom
Facilitators: International Student and Scholar Services and the Office of Teaching and Learning
Blog Post: Teaching Chinese Students-Webinar Reflections
NAFSA Webinar Handouts
NAFSA Webinar Slides

Teaching International Students
Blog Post: Teaching International Students
NAFSA Webinar Slides
International Student Statistics
Teaching Chinese Students Small Group Discussions

Secrets of Effective Presentations
Facilitators: Bridget Arend, OTL and Carol Zak-Dance, Colorado Women’s College
Blog Post: Presentations/Lectures
Evaluation Checklist
A Presentation about Presentations

How Learning Works: Part II
Facilitators: Bridget Arend, OTL and Ginger Maloney, Morgridge College of Education
How Learning Works Part II Handout
How Learning Works Part II

How Learning Works: Part I
Facilitator: Bridget Arend, OTL
How Learning Works Part I Handout
How Learning Works Part I

Fostering Critical Thinking in Online Discussions
Facilitators: Bridget Arend, OTL and Kim Hosler, University of Northern Colorado
A Guide for Identifying and Eliciting Cognitive Presence

Managing Laptops and Mobile Devices in the Classroom
Managing Laptops and Mobile Devices in the Classroom

Effective Grading: Saving your sanity & that of your students with rubrics & expectations
Grading Tests & Assignments


Most of the time, discipline is not an issue in a college classroom. However, we are sometimes faced with difficult students, problem situations or troublesome behavior.

Are you prepared to manage difficult behavior if it arises in your classroom?

This quarter the OTL asked Alan Kent, Executive Director of Health & Counseling Center, and Jacaranda Palmateer, Director of Counseling Services, to offer a workshop for faculty members on this topic. Many practical strategies and advice were shared in this well-attended session. Although there are many sobering statistics underlying possible reasons why a student might display troublesome behavior, at least 40% of students at DU reported that they would talk with a professor about a personal or mental health concern.

Visit our page, Managing Difficult Students/Situations, to see an overview of the ideas, advice, and resources shared in this workshop.


As teachers, we’ve dealt with snow days and sick days, but unfortunately we seem to be increasingly faced with teaching in the day or days following a local or a collective tragedy. Some events happen close to home, as in the death of a student, whereas other events are further removed but larger in national scope and impact.

What can we do when our teaching days coincide with collective tragedies?

Campuses have set up crisis response plans, and at DU students and faculty are often referred to the resources of the Health and Counseling Center (303-871-3511), or the University Chaplain (303-871-4488). However faculty members might often be at a loss of if or how to deal with such tragedies in the classroom.

Therese Huston and Michele DiPietro (2007) interviewed students and DiPietro (2003) interviewed instructors after the September 11th terrorist attacks to find out the most common instructor responses to this tragic event, and which responses students found most helpful.

Students generally found the following responses helpful:

  • Acknowledge that class needs to go on but reassure students that there could be accommodations if they are too distracted to proceed with material immediately
  • Offer extensions for assignments or excused absences
  • Ask if family and/or friends were affected
  • Refer students to campus counseling services
  • Have a brief discussion with the class or provide time for journaling
  • Read a passage from an inspirational book
  • Mention ways to take action (Red Cross, donate blood, etc.)
  • Observe a moment of silence
  • Devote the class period to discussion or a project related to the event
  • Incorporate the event to lesson plans

At least a few of the responses are consistent with the literature about trauma. Huston and DiPietro remind us that that our working memory capacity is reduced following an acutely stressful experience, so giving students extra time if needed may result in more thoughtful work in the end. In addition, providing students with possible actions they can take simulates problem-focused coping strategies that are considered to be useful responses to trauma.

The only response students reported as generally unhelpful was to acknowledge the attacks but proceed as usual without any mention of opportunities for review or extra help. While acknowledging that all individuals respond to tragedy differently, most students seem to find any response that offered assistance or acknowledgement of their feelings helpful, suggesting that instructors, “do something, just about anything” (Huston & DiPietro, 2006, p. 10).

So how do we deal with such events in the classroom?

Huston and DiPietro recommend that instructors first take into account the proximity and magnitude of an event, and the likelihood that students have any direct connections with or can identify with the victims. This will help to determine how great an impact such events will have on student learning and the level of response that might be needed.

However it may come as a relief that instructors often do not need to make time-intensive or complicated actions. It appears that what can be most helpful to students is to go a bit beyond simply acknowledging that events have occurred, and to recognize that it may take time to adjust and offer some extra support.


“In the Eye of the Storm: Students’ Perceptions of Helpful Faculty Actions Following a Collective Tragedy” by Therese A. Huston & Michele DiPietro, To Improve the Academy, Volume 25, D. Robertson & L. Nilson (eds.), Bolton, MA: Anker.

“The Day After: Faculty Behavior in Post-September 11, 2001, Classes” by Michele DiPietro, To Improve the Academy, Volume 21, C. Wehlburg & S. Chadwick-Blossey (Eds.), Bolton, MA: Anker.

multi-tasking-studentCollege instructors are under increasing pressure to capture the attention of students during class, competing with the distractibility of laptops and mobile devices. Many students believe they can multitask – pay attention in class while surfing the Internet, sending a message, or checking the status of something online. Faculty members themselves are often tempted by these same distractions in meetings and at conferences. However multitasking is not only a very inefficient process, as a concept, it is a myth.

    • The ability to multitask depends on the tasks we are doing. Some activities become automatic with sufficient practice. Others require deliberate attention. It may be possible to have a conversation with someone while walking across campus, but it is nearly impossible to have that same conversation while reading a book. When activities use similar cognitive processes, such as reading, talking, listening, and writing, they cannot be done simultaneously.

Multitasking is not only a very inefficient process, as a concept, it is a myth.

The good news is that we have tremendous capacity for focusing our attention exclusively on what we want and need to see or hear. The bad news is that our capacity for attention is limited. We often have a roughly 10 minute capacity before something needs to happen to regain our attention.

What to do about multitasking in class? Students often don’t understand the limits of their attention or the realities of multitasking and might need guidance using their attention effectively.

Strategies for working with students

DU is a laptop university meaning that all undergraduates are required to purchase a laptop when attending this university, and most graduate students own laptops. However, the presence of laptops and other mobile devices such as smart phones have caused a disturbance in the classroom.


What’s the problem?

Students, and let’s be honest, all of us, have daydreamed, doodled, or otherwise not paid full attention in class or meetings long before laptops were around. However, most instructors feel that laptop use is different. Why?

  • Students can’t learn unless they are paying attention or otherwise engaged in what they are learning. Laptops and cell phones compete with us for our students’ attention in class.
  • The presence of laptops creates a physical barrier between students and the instructor. The instructor usually can’t see what the student is doing on the laptop.
  • Laptops are a particularly strong distraction because they contain instant access to multiple sources of information and activity such as email, the Internet, games, calendars, etc.
  • Such access encourages multitasking by students, what Linda Stone calls “continuous partial attention.” This type of thinking is not conducive to deeper critical or reflective thought. (see The Multitasking Student)
  • Many believe behaviors such as texting are addictive.

What are the benefits?

Even with its distractions, let us not forget some of the numerous benefits of laptop and wireless technology and why they have become so common in universities.

  • Laptops and computer technology have allowed us to automate routine tasks. Many students find it useful to take notes electronically and organize all their course materials in one place.
  • Students with certain disabilities or who are English-language learners benefit greatly from using their laptops to take notes or from specialized software on their laptops.
  • Laptops and wireless technologies allow students to immediately access information relevant to class topics.
  • Laptops can be used for in-class group work, clicker questions, to work through interactive web resources, to contribute to class discussion boards, or even comment on a lecture back-channel such as a twitter feed.

Strategies for managing and using laptops in the classroom

The following ideas have come from DU faculty members and other online sources:

  • Think through your stance on laptop/phone use in class (and in your own personal and professional life) and discuss this with your students. As a society we are creating new manners for the use of technology and many believe it is part of our job in higher education to help shape and teach students these new rules.
  • Create syllabus language and policies for laptop use and for cell phone use (depending upon your class, these may be separate policies).
    • Ask students to collaboratively create a social contract at the beginning of class. Use this as the basis of your discipline and then encourage students to gently remind each other of the policies.
    • Create consequences for violating the policies; giving weekly participation points, taking points off a final grade, asking students to leave the class, or having a separate “professionalism” grade that includes such behavior.
    • Create a “laptop zone” in the back of the room and/or ask student to leave cell phones at the door (some faculty members disagree with these policies)
    • Sample policy statements:

Use of Technology in the Classroom
Access to the Internet can be a valuable aid to the classroom learning environment. Students are encouraged to use laptops, smart phones, and other devices in order to explore concepts related to course discussions and topics. Students are discouraged from using technology in ways that distract from the learning community (e.g. Facebook, texting, work for other classes, etc.) and if found doing so, will be asked to leave the classroom for the day and will not get credit for attendance that class period.

From The Writing Program at DU, as part of their policy language for Civility and Tolerance:

3. Students must respect the classroom environment. In class, all cell phones and electronic devices shall be turned off. Unless specifically directed by the instructor, students shall refrain from sending email and instant messages, or from engaging in other activities (reading non-course materials, engaging in private conversations and so on) that disrespect the classroom environment and learning conditions for others.

  • Meet individually with students who routinely violate your policies. Point out why this is a problem and suggest ways to help them focus in class. For example, “How can we solve this? Why don’t you try not bringing your laptop for a few weeks and see how it goes?”
  • Consider what will be appropriate “screen up” time and “screen down” time in your class and share this explicitly with your students.
  • Set aside time for “screen down” discussion, then allow time afterwards to take notes.
  • Walk around the classroom as much as possible, look at your students’ laptop screens.
  • If laptops are not an integral part of your class, ask students to state what they will be using their laptop for in class and check up on them.
  • Get feedback from students about laptop/phone use. What do they think is appropriate and why? Ask them to document their own attention during class and how it influences what they’ve learned.
  • Allow only a few (rotating) students per class session to take notes to be shared with the entire class.
  • If students wish to record classes, have them ask you in advance. For special needs requests, ask them to create a contract of how these recordings should be used.

Additional Resources

Occasionally you will encounter students who have certain needs and requests in their learning. DU has many different departments set up specifically to assist with these needs. Their job is to level the playing field for these students, your job as an instructor is to hold these students accountable. A common misconception is that it is the faculty member’s responsibility to be extra lenient, when in fact the necessary accommodations should have already been made by the time the student gets to class.

It is standard practice to ask students to notify you during the first week of class if they have special needs or accommodations. Don’t hesitate to contact the departments referenced below with questions, concerns and to ask advice about how to proceed.

Students with Disabilities

  • DU has two programs that provide support for students with disabilities. The Disability Services Program facilitates delivery of basic accommodations to undergraduate and graduate students with documented disabilities, which may include test accommodations, alternate format texts & materials, note takers, sign language/oral interpreters, or referrals to other services and programs.
  • Visit the FAQ guide about working with students with disabilities at DU.
  • The other program for students with disabilities is the Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP). This is a fee-for-service program that provides academic support services beyond basic academic accommodations such as support sessions with academic counselors, subject-specific tutoring, writing development, and time management and organization skill development.

Religious Holidays

  • DU students are granted excused absences from class if needed for observance of religious holy days but should contact instructors to make alternate arrangements during the first week of class. Visit DU’s religious accommodations page for information and a list of religious holidays.

Student Athletes

DU sponsors National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) student-athletes at the undergraduate level in seventeen different sports. Student-Athlete Support Services are in place to assist  these students in their academic work. According to their policies, student-athletes are responsible for informing their instructors of any class days to be missed due to DU sponsored varsity athletic events in which s/he are participating.

Students of Concern

  • Visit Pioneers CARE for advice or to submit a report if you have concerns about a student’s academic or social behavior or well being.

Additional Resources

Most of the time, discipline is not an issue in a college classroom. Students attend college voluntarily to learn thinking skills that will be invaluable to them in their future careers. However, sometimes we are faced with difficult students or problem situations.


When a difficult situation does occur, we are often caught off guard. It’s a good idea to prepare in advance for how you would handle various classroom management issues, so that you can be prepared if they occur. Think through possible scenarios and how you might address them.

Strategies for dealing with difficult teaching situations

The HEART approach is a useful acronym for remembering a good approach to dealing with students:

  • Hear what the student is saying
  • Empathize with student’s situation
  • Assess what the student’s needs are
  • Refer to campus resources
  • Tell the appropriate campus official or department

How to respond if a student displays inappropriate behavior

  • Don’t ignore the problem
  • Arrange a private time to talk, away from classmates but in a semi-public setting if safety is an issue
  • Be supportive and respectful
  • Don’t get into arguments
  • Don’t get caught up in their emotional state, it is not your job to counsel students
  • Acknowledge their distress
  • Ask how you can be helpful, provide options for the student or ask them to come up with options
  • Don’t label or diagnose them
  • Assess for any possible self-harm
  • Make referrals if needed – walk with them to the counseling center if needed

An example

During Instructor Green’s class, one student repeatedly interrupts with oppositional and negative comments. The comments are confrontational in nature and seem aimed at undermining Instructor Green’s role in the classroom. Using the recommendations above, Instructor Green should not let this behavior continue for more than a class session or two before asking to meet with the student outside of class. When meeting with the student, Instructor Green should not get emotional or get into arguments, rather using language such as “here’s what I’m observing…. and I’m concerned because…”  Instructor Green should ask to hear the concerns of the student, “what’s going on?” and listen without judging the student. It’s possible that there are root causes of the issue that can be addressed. Instructor Green should offer to help the student by asking how she can help, or offering some suggestions, ranging from: let’s agree to disagree on this issue, bring your concerns to me privately when you have them, I’ll consider your suggestions for doing different assignments (if appropriate), there is an Honor Code you need to abide by, or even, dropping the class. The student is given the power and opportunity to make a responsible choice.

What to do if nothing else is working

DU has created a Faculty and Staff Red Folder to serve as a quick reference guide regarding student behavior warning signs and available support resources. If you did not receive one and would like a hard copy, contact Student Outreach and Support.

  • Manage any physical dangers immediately. In the rare chance that a student becomes violent, don’t engage with the individual but remain calm and call campus safety (x1300) or 911. Don’t let a dangerous situation escalate.
  • If a student’s behavior is inappropriate and they refuse the above approaches, refer them to the Office of Student Conduct. The DU Honor Code covers issues of student conduct related to integrity, respect, and responsibility, and DU students are bound by the Honor Code. Documenting these issues can help patterns emerge across courses.
  • If a student is experiencing serious academic difficulties, refer them to their academic advisor. If there are issues going on in their personal life, there may be options for the student.
  • Contact DU’s Health and Counseling Center and ask to speak to someone to get advice about how to handle a particular situation.
  • If you notice significant behavioral change by a student (poor hygiene, intimidating emails, agitated, dramatic academic decline), refer the student to DU’s Health and Counseling Center (x12205).  Faculty members are often the “front line defense” for identifying and preventing psychological problems that can occur in the late teens and early 20s.

Resources for Managing Classroom Dynamics

Health & Counseling Center Presentation

View more instructional videos

All members of the University community we are entrusted with the responsibility of observing certain ethical goals and values as they relate to academic integrity. Essential to the fundamental purpose of the University is the commitment to the principles of truth and honesty. Responsibility for upholding these principles lies with the individual as well as the entire community.  In the video below, Buie Seawell describes how faculty members can create a culture of academic integrity in the classroom.

Strategies for Instructors

Faculty members should set a tone of academic integrity in their classroom.  Below is a summary of Tips for Promoting Academic Integrity in the Classroom developed by members of the DU Honor Code Advisory Council.

  • Include the DU Honor Code and your own statements on academic integrity in your syllabus. Remind students that a syllabus is a contract and that they are responsible for reading it and adhering to both the letter and the spirit of its policies.
  • Define “integrity” for students and explain how it applies to research in your field. Use one or two case studies to illustrate the impact that moral values (one definition of integrity) have on a scientist’s experiments, a historian’s research, or a composer’s work.
  • Explain what plagiarism is, in all its manifestations. Students who are merely told “Don’t plagiarize” often have little understanding of the difference between cutting and pasting text from a website versus paraphrasing text from a journal article.
  • Explain major assignments in class, as well as providing detailed written instructions in a handout or online. For written assignments, consider including such details as: title, numbered pages, and font specifications. You might consider showing students an example of the submissions guidelines for a journal in your field, so they see your requirements for their work as on a continuum with published scholarly material. (You might also consider having them complete a checklist before submitting.)
  • Design your writing assignments in ways that counter plagiarism.  If you are not sure how to do this, contact the Writing Center to discuss the possibilities.

Learn More

View a past OTL Conference presentation by James Lang

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