Tips for New Instructors

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Write Your Course Syllabus before the Course Begins

Make a list of all the dates that your course meets and what chapter or topic you will cover each day or week.  Doing this will help you to manage classroom time to cover all the topics in the course.   Include the assigned reading that you expect students to complete each week and the due dates of major assignments.  To avoid student complaints and misunderstanding, describe your grading policies and classroom expectations.  You may start with a brief outline the first semester and then add more details as you gain experience in teaching the course in subsequent semesters.  See the sample syllabus included. 


Expect Your Students to Complete the Reading before the Next Meeting of the Class

Students who read the material to be covered in class before the class meets will be more successful in this course and other college courses.  It will also minimize your need to lecture and provide the opportunity to make the course more interactive.  Encourage your students to read the material by having a brief 5-10 question quiz at the beginning of class or week or by collecting the journal assignments for the chapter at the beginning of the class.  If you are using CollegeScope, you have direct access to student files and can check journals and quizzes online before students come to class. 


The Test Bank

There is a test bank of multiple choice, True-False and Essay questions for each chapter in the text or e-text.  Send an e-mail to to request a copy of the test bank.  The files for the test bank will be e-mailed to you. 


The text questions are also available as ExamView files.  Examview is a software program that lets you create and revise tests easily using a bank of test questions.  The ExamView test bank files can also be e-mailed to you at the above address.

View a movie on how to use the ExamView test generator.   


Use the Instructor Manual to Plan the Activities for Each Chapter

The Instructor Manual is available online at this site.  For each chapter choose the exercises that match your teaching style and the needs of your students.  Be innovative and change, adapt or include your original ideas to help students to practice the topics presented in the text or e-text.  This website has many resources for your students also.  Take some time to explore this site. 


Make Your Class Interactive

Making the class interactive has several benefits.  Students will enjoy the class and learn more and you will increase your satisfaction in teaching the course.  As a genera rule, lecture no more than 10 minutes before you expect the students to interact with the materials in some way.  Engage students in learning by using questions, discussion, exercises, or discussion.  See Tips for Engaging Students in Learning for interactive activities.   


Pace the Class

Keep the class moving to maintain student interest.  There are ideas for 2-5 minute quick exercises in the “Tips for Engaging Students in Learning” section of the Instructor Manual.  Set a time limit for exercises so that students are challenged and interested. Have a plan for additional activities if you have extra time.  Plan to use a variety of activities each classroom period.  


Establish a Supportive Learning Environment

Establish a learning environment in which students feel comfortable in asking questions and sharing their ideas.  Chapter 1 of the Instructor Manual provides introductory activities for students to get to know one another and provide the foundation for group activities in the class.  Be sure to provide positive feedback for students who volunteer to speak in class so that they know that their participation is valued.   


Take the Assessments Before the Class Begins


One of the most important themes in the text is the understanding of personality type as it relates to career planning and self-understanding.  Personality type is assessed with the TruTalent Personality Assessment which is comparable to the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. For the printed text, The TruTalent Personality Assessment is used with Chapter 2, Exploring Your Personality and Major. 


If you are using the printed text, use the access code on the inside cover of your text to establish your account and take the TruTalent Personality, Intelligences, Skills, and Learning assessments. Note that you only use the access code once and in the future use your e-mail and the password you created to log into the account.  Make sure that your students understand how to set up their accounts.  Most student problems occur when they forget their e-mail and password and try to use the access code a second time to set up a new account.  The access code can only be used once.  Student’s can access their account by using their e-mail and password that they have established.  It is a good idea to have students write down this information on the inside front cover of the text so that it is not lost. 


Course Project


This is a college level course and students are expected to complete a project that demonstrates their understanding of the following:

·        Personality type

·        Careers commonly associated with their personality type

·        Vocational Interests

·        Careers that match students’ interests

·        Research on a career that matches students’ personality and interests


There is also a Final Project that helps students to summarize what they have learned during the semester.


Students can do the career research at by using the Internet Links for the career chapter.

Students can complete this project by writing a term paper or doing a classroom presentation.  Information on this project is available in the Instructor Manual for Chapter 2, Exploring Your Personality and Major. 


Tips for Using PowerPoint:  Don’t Kill Your Students with It!


PowerPoint slides are available for each Chapter.  They are located at  Click on Faculty Resources and “PowerPoint.”  Each chapter has a library of slides that cover all topics in the text.  Do not use all the slides, but choose the slides that you find helpful and personalize and adapt as needed.  Be careful not to kill your students with PowerPoint by overusing it! 


PowerPoint slides can provide variety and appeal to visual learners.  It can be used effectively to introduce a topic, review a topic, provide clear directions or provide a topic for discussion.  Again as a general rule, do not use PowerPoint for more than 10 minutes before asking students to interact with the material. 

Here are some suggestions for the effective use of PowerPoint:

·        Do not read the entire contents of the slide, enhance the message.  Reading from the slides is deadly and will soon put your audience to sleep.  Pause and let your audience read the slides.  Discuss the highlights of the slides.

·        The slides provide an outline for your presentation.  Expand on the outline by providing examples and sharing your personal experience.  You were successful in college.  Tell your students what you did to be successful.  If you are brave enough, share your failures too and how you learned from them. 

·        Make sure the font is large enough that it can be seen from the back of the room.  Test your presentation by viewing it from the farthest corner of your classroom.

·        Do not put too much content on each slide.  Put in the major points and leave some blank space on the slide to emphasize your main point. 

·        Use PowerPoint to stimulate discussion or provide directions for your group activities.

·        Talk to your class, not the computer screen.


Campus Resources, Guest Speakers, Field Trips


Consider using guest speakers from financial aid, health, counseling or college representatives.  Help your students access the resources available on your campus. 


Make Your Class a Great Class


 This course can be the most memorable class your students take.  It provides the foundation for success in college and beyond.  Here are some questions to consider in making your class the best it can be.