Reflecting, planning and preparation are important elements of getting ready to teach any course. 

This checklist can be used as a guide to help you get ready to teach. While these suggestions represent good practice, they are not exhaustive and you may be aware of other ways to prepare a course that are also effective. Remember that understanding context is an important part of your preparation.

If you are new to UQ, PPL Teaching and Learning Roles and Responsibilities describes and identifies the range of roles and responsibilities that may be performed by academic staff in coursework teaching and learning.


Find out about your course

  Liaise with the Program Coordinator and Director of Teaching and Learning as appropriate with regard to course learning objectives and goals.

  Speak with past course coordinators and examine the University standardised surveys Student Evaluations of Course and Teacher (SECaTs) and Student Evaluations of Tutor (SETutors) from previous years.

  Consider who will need to be part of the planning and preparation for your course (e.g. co-course coordinators, major/minor/program convenors, lecturers, tutors, school administration).

Top of page

Complete administrative tasks

  Develop and submit the Electronic Course Profile (ECP) for review by the date specified by your school. If it is your first ECP you can get help with it at design or edit a course profile.

  Request a Learn.UQ course site, and/or an edX (Edge) site for your course. You may select a blank course site or have content copied from a previous version. Consider using a tool like Learning Pathway to support how students navigate your course.

  Order textbooks and other learning resources. Publish your course reading list at least 8 weeks before the start of semester to ensure materials are ready for students.  Mark any items you expect students to purchase or possess with the importance Required – own copy needed on your reading list. Items marked with this importance will appear on your course profile.

  Make sure that locally-controlled spaces (e.g. tutorial rooms, computer laboratories) that you will need throughout the semester are booked.

  Check SI-net at the start of semester for class lists and any changes to the timetable and venues.

  Ensure examination protocols are in place if you are administering an examination.

Top of page

Design learning activities and assessment

  UQ promotes active learning and collaborative learning. Planning for learning can help you with planning your course content and teaching strategies. It describes how to develop learning outcomes, and introduces you to the principles of learning and the design of learning activities.

  Put together a plan for the learning activities and assessment you will use in the course. Constructive alignment of learning outcomes, learning experiences and assessment is an essential element of course design at UQ.

  Identify suitable resources to support your learners achieve learning outcomes and prepare learning resources.

  Speak with your Liaison librarians who can help you find information for your discipline and deliver tailored training and support for your course.

Top of page

Prepare your course learning site

  Develop or re-develop your course site. If you’re not familiar with Learn.UQ (Blackboard) you can self-help at getting started. This website carries information about all things eLearning at UQ such as communication, collaboration, assessment and active learning tools, recordings and learning analytics.

  UQ encourages a consistent course site design and structure across all Learn.UQ courses and provides design guidelines. Visit the course site exemplar for inspiration.

  Make your course site available to your students as early as possible, and no later than the beginning of O-Week to allow students enough time to prepare. This will be the first impression of your course for many of your students so make it a positive one.

Top of page

Learn about your learners

  Check the student enrolment profile for your course in Course Insights (available in Learn.UQ under Tools) and/or Reportal.

  Meet with coordinators of prerequisite courses to establish what prior knowledge your students should have.

  Invite your students to introduce themselves in your course discussion board.

Top of page

Put the teaching team in place

  Ensure that appropriate tutorial assistance is in place. Consider the budget you have to work with and what training your tutors might need to produce the best learning experiences.

  Meet with your tutors at the first opportunity to get to know them and to communicate your expectations.

Top of page

Communicate consistently and regularly

  Plan your first points of contact with students, how students are welcomed online in your course site and first class. First impressions matter – consider how you will convey your enthusiasm for the course, help students feel they belong and set expectations for the semester. Prepare a welcome video using the desktop application Kaltura Capture or place a message in Announcements and email it to your students. You can get ideas from our sample welcome message script.

  Think about how you will communicate with your students throughout the semester and how they will communicate with you. Think of every communication situation you can for your course and work out how you would like to handle it. Write a procedure for each, post an announcement to Learn.UQ and then go through it with your students in your first class. 

  You should communicate with all contributors (e.g. tutors, guest lecturers, industry people) so they know what is expected of them in the course (including times, dates, places and deadlines etc.). Invite guests to join the class the week before they present so they are familiar with any routines and where your students are up to.

  Prepare to talk with your students and other teaching staff about academic integrity in your first class and follow it up throughout the semester. You can use a slide deck and discussion notes available for teachers at academic integrity resources (staff login required) to get the conversation started.

Top of page

 Ready to Teach Week

Twice a year, ITaLI puts together a program of online and in-person activities designed to help you prepare course materials for the upcoming semester.

Need help?

ITaLI's team of Learning Designers and eLearning Advisers can support you with implementing any of the actions in this checklist.