1. Plan Schedule of Lectures and Assignments
  2. Verify Classroom Logistics
  3. Verify Room Assignment and Enrolment
  4. Prepare and Submit Course Outline
    1. Contents of the Course Outline
  5. Course Planning Checklist

Plan Schedule of Lectures and Assignments

When you are planning your course schedule, take into account:

  • Academic dates
  • Statutory holidays
  • Days of religious observances
  • Drop/add date

A list of academic dates and deadlines, including statutory holidays, can be found here.

Carleton accommodates students who must miss an exam, test, assignment deadline or other compulsory academic event for reasons of religious obligation. For information, visit the academic accommodations section of this site. You can also learn more about how to meet accommodations and a list of common days of religious observations on the Equity Services website.

Remember to include some kind of graded assessment before the drop/add date, which is generally two weeks into the term. Carleton requires instructors to provide early assessment in order to allow students a fair chance to assess their course participation.

If you are considering a field trip, please discuss the idea with your academic unit’s chair or director before organizing it.

Verify Classroom Logistics

Different learning spaces on campus have different configurations and technology. The Instructional Media Services (IMS) website features a My Classroom page that provides detailed information on the technology in the electronic classrooms across campus. You will need to contact IMS in room D283 Loeb to obtain a key and password to access the equipment.

If you plan to use the equipment in the electronic classroom, verify that you can log on (using your MyCarletonOne account) and access the functions before the first class. IMS provides training on the equipment, both in the form of user manuals and videos on their website and one-on-one training. Contact them to book an appointment, preferably two to three weeks before the start of classes.

Verify Room Assignment and Enrolment

Classroom assignments are done shortly before the start of term. Your academic unit will give you this information or you can check Carleton Central (click the “Faculty Services” tab, then select “Schedule”). You can also find information on enrolment and lecture time there.

Please note that you may not change the time or location of your class unless you have received permission from the university, even if you and all of your students agree on the change. Please check with your departmental administrator to find out about requesting a change.

Prepare and Submit Course Outline

Your course outline should be available to students on the first day of class. At the very latest, the university requires that the course outline must be given to students before the last date for course changes – during the first two weeks of class. It must be delivered in writing – either through cuLearn or a course website, or a document handed out in class.

Instructors must also submit their course outline to their chair/director and/or faculty dean. Deadlines and procedures vary among academic units, so please check with your departmental administrator. As departmental administrators do not have access to your cuLearn courses, you will probably be asked to send the outline by email.

Contents of the Course Outline

The course outline must specify all the elements that will contribute to the final grade and the weighting of each element. Be as clear as possible in order to reduce needless challenges and appeals. Some academic units provide a course outline template, so check with your departmental administrator.

In the absence of a template, include these items in your course outline:

  • Department, course name and number (including section letter)
  • Academic year and term/session
  • Prerequisites and preclusions (check the calendar)
  • Name(s) of instructor(s)
  • Contact information including name, title, office number, mailbox number, telephone number, email address and office hours
  • TA names, office hours and location, email
  • Course location, days and times
  • Course websites, if applicable
  • Whether or not students are expected to check cuLearn for course announcements (students in cuLearn courses will need to check the LMS system itself)
  • Communication policy (i.e., cuLearn, email, phone calls, instant messaging, etc.)
  • Course description: learning outcomes, topics, catalogue description
  • Required readings and textbooks, supplementary reading
  • Dates and descriptions of assignments, midterms, as known
  • Policies: student expectations, instructor expectations, attendance, class participation, missed tests/assignments, late consequences
  • Grading scheme (including the percentage of the final numerical mark formed by each assignment, i.e., tests, papers, exams, etc.). Note: This information MUST be provided
  • Referrals to Carleton’s Student Academic and Career Development Services (SACDS), including Career Services, Academic Advising, Co-Operative Education, and the Centre for Student Academic Support
  • Statement of accommodation for students with disabilities
  • Statement on accommodation for religious observance
  • Statement on accommodation for pregnancy
  • Statement of academic integrity (check if your academic unit has a standard text)

It is also important to note that relatively recently, a number of course sharing websites, such as Course Hero, have emerged whereby students post course notes and exams for others to share freely. While we cannot stop this, we would suggest that you include wording in your course outlines to deter these third-party note- and exam-sharing sites from using materials created for Carleton courses. Suggested wording could be:

“Classroom teaching and learning activities, including lectures, discussions, presentations, etc., by both instructors and students, are copy protected and remain the intellectual property of their respective author(s).  All course materials, including PowerPoint presentations, outlines, and other materials, are also protected by copyright and remain the intellectual property of their respective author(s).

Students registered in the course may take notes and make copies of course materials for their own educational use only. Students are not permitted to reproduce or distribute lecture notes and course materials publicly for commercial or non-commercial purposes without express written consent from the copyright holder(s).”

Course Planning Checklist

This checklist will help you plan your course and ensure deadlines are met. You’ll also find references to policies, procedures and accommodations, as well as information on assistance with classroom set-up. As always, be sure to check with your dean’s office, chair or director for information specific to your academic unit.

Task Timeline Details

Plan course goals or outcomes.

  • What do you know about students’ prior knowledge, ability, goals and feelings regarding the subject matter?
  • How does/can your course fit into the bigger scheme of your academic units’ curriculum, workplace needs, student development, etc.?
  • Do you have a teaching budget within your academic unit, and for how much? What is the acceptable use policy?
  • What are the course learning outcomes?
  • How will you assess the degree to which students meet these outcomes?

For more information about planning course content, see Assembling Course Materials.

For more information about course design, see Course Design and Use of Multimedia.

Plan lecture and assignment schedule.

  • Are you aware of dates for all statutory and religious holidays?
  • Have you included some kind of graded assessment before the drop/add date?
  • Field trips need to be discussed with your departmental chair/director well ahead of time.

Notify lab technician of your plans and requirements well in advance.

For more information about academic accommodations, see Academic Accommodations.

Review Carleton’s academic regulations and policies.

  • Grading scales
  • Deferral of student work
  • Plagiarism
  • Emergencies – fire alarms, student injuries, theft, etc.
  • Academic accommodation for disabilities, holy days, pregnancy/parental leave
  • What will you be evaluated on in your teaching evaluations?

For more information about Carleton’s policies, visit the Secretariat website.

Meet with TA(s) to review work expectations and guidelines.

The first meeting should ideally be before classes begin. Determine how often (if at all) you will be meeting with your TA(s).

For more information about working with your TA(s), see Working with Teaching Assistants.

Create teaching materials for classes, labs, tutorials, etc.

  • cuLearn or website content
  • Photocopying

For more information about cuLearn, see Computing for Carleton Instructors.

Order or reserve learning materials, such as:

  • Textbooks (through Bookstore)
  • Library reserve lists
  • Coursepacks (through The Print Shop)
  • Audio-visual material (through the Library)

Library reserves:

3 – 4 weeks before start of term


Fall term – June 1

Winter term – October 1

Spring/summer terms – March 1

(You can place orders after these dates, but earlier booking provides many advantages to students.)


Fall term – June 1

Winter term – October 1

Summer term – February 1

For more information about course materials, see Assembling Course Materials.

Plan assignments.

  • How do assignments fit in with learning outcomes?
  • Create grading key at the same time as the assignment
  • In case of labs, have you reviewed your plans and needs with a lab technician?

For more information about developing course assignments, see Course Design and Use of Multimedia.

Establish student communication guidelines and summarize them in the course outline.

  • Office hours
  • Online contact policy
  • Expectations regarding communication with students

For more information about establishing office hours and a student communication policy, see Office Hours and Communicating with Students.

Verify room assignment and enrolment.

If teaching in an e-classroom, arrange for passkey, log-on information and training.

Arrange for a training session in an e-classroom with IMS before your first class.

To book a one-on-one training session with IMS, fill out the request form on their website.

Prepare course outline and submit to department chair/director.

  • Does your academic unit have a template?
  • If not, have you included all information required by the university?

Outlines should be available to students by first day of class.

Departmental deadlines vary for submitting outline to chair/director.

For more information on developing a course outline, see Assembling Course Materials.

Prepare for the first day.

For more information about getting ready for your first class, see What to Expect During Your First Class.

Ask for informal feedback from students regarding course content, pacing, level, etc.

For more information about collecting midterm feedback, see Feedback on Teaching.

Handle student requests regarding enrolment, grading, extensions, etc.

For more information about academic policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Refer students as needed to appropriate university services.

For more information about university services, see the Student Support website.

Prepare and submit exams to either your departmental administrator or directly to Exam Services (please check with your departmental administrator).

For more information about examination policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Submit in-term grades to students.

As soon as possible after assignments are submitted.

For more information about using cuLearn, see Computing for Carleton Instructors.

Conduct university evaluation of teaching.

Last two weeks of term.

For more information about administering teaching evaluations, see University Teaching Evaluations.

Attend final exam.

For more information about the instructor’s role during formal examinations, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

Submit final grades to E-Grades system.

  • If a student appeals a final grade, respond following university guidelines outlined in the undergraduate calendar.

Ten days after last day of exams.

For more information about academic policies, see Exams and Grading Regulations.

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