Aah… it’s summer. Time to enjoy the longer evenings, the fresh fruits and veggies, and even perhaps a bit of a vacation.

But even now, the fall term’s on the horizon, and you’ll need  to prepare for the start of classes.

When you’re ready to get the ball rolling, review these tips. The suggestions they make in the posts linked below will help you get set for the next semester!

1. Make your roadmap for a successful new term.

As Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins suggests in her post What Every Educator Must Do Before Walking Into the Classroom This Fall: Take Stock, Gear Up, Then Rock It Out!: “Design a better class for the upcoming year by being cognizant of and learning from past performances and then deciding on what worked, what to tweak, and what to add.”

2. Ensure that each class session will begin, and end, on a strong note.

In Are There Hidden Secrets to Creating a Successful Classroom?, Robert Onorato notes that students benefit from class sessions that start with a clear sense of direction, proceed along a logical structure, and finish with a strong conclusion (such as a review or culminating activity).

3. Consider new ways of integrating tech tools into your course.

In their post Get the Low-Down on High-Tech: Five BIG Reasons to Add Technology to Your Teaching, Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins and Damon Givehand discuss how today’s technology tools can help you introduce and reinforce concepts, build student engagement and achievement, and prepare students for life after graduation.

And, in Use Technology to Create a Student-Centered Learning Experience, Rochelle Beatty suggests several ways that she has used technology tools such as video, Course Management Systems, Smartboards, and online discussions to build students’ connection to her, their fellow classmates, and the course material.

4. Create opportunities for active learning.

Looking for ways to build student engagement and foster learning at a deeper level? Jennifer Hurd’s post, Active Learning: A Foundation for the Classroom, offers her insights on the many benefits of adopting active-learning strategies in your course.

5. Develop your plan for maximizing student motivation and minimizing non-learning behaviors.

Everyone benefits from a learning environment that bolsters students’ confidence and keeps them active, engaged, and informed. In her post Challenging to Champion: Working with Difficult Online Students, Shawn Orr presents her ideas for motivating students to practice the learning behaviors that will lead to their success and, in the long run, enhance the online classroom environment for everyone. (The tactics may work for your on-campus courses as well!)


How do you prepare for the start of classes? Share your own tips for course prep in the comments.