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Teaching Guidelines

Important to Know and Do

Follow the Law: HB 2504

All faculty members must comply with House Bill 2504 to make public vita and syllabi, among other requirements, including ordering books by specific dates. HB 2504 Website provides more specific details and requirements.

Follow Policy and Procedures

The Policy and Procedure Statements (PPSs) in section four focus on teaching. Most immediately relevant to you is PPS 4.01, which identifies policies about the conduct and planning of courses, including course policies, grades, syllabi, and examinations. If you read through the document, you will see that syllabi should contain learning outcomes, final exam dates, a schedule, other policies, and more. Learn more details about course policies and procedures in the Faculty Handbook. Your academic unit may have additional policies and procedures.

Report Students in Need: P.A.W.S. Alert

If you have any concerns about a Texas State University student, please take a minute to use the Positive Action With Students system, P.A.W.S. Alert, to let someone know your concern. This early warning initiative identifies concerns about students in need. People in appropriate offices contact the student in effort to make a successful intervention. Referrals often relate to academic deficiencies, career, personal, social, physical, and emotional challenges.

Faculty Development Resources

The Organizational Development & Communications dedicates itself to helping you further your professional career.

Faculty Development aims to improve teaching and learning through planning outcomes, monitoring achievements, and developing strategies. In addition to New Tenure-Track Faculty Orientation and the Scholarship & Teaching Excellence Program, they offer faculty workshops, special events, and a small library of related books and journals.

Library Services

Library Services Alkek Library includes services for supporting you with student uses of library resources.

Classroom Technologies

IT Supported Academic Classrooms are spaces designed to enhance teaching and learning. Often referred to as 1st Call Classrooms, these spaces are maintained, supported, and come with a standardized array of software and equipment. Support includes emergency classroom calls, training, and orientations. The Distance Learning Platform (DLP) is technology installed in select academic classrooms that offer faculty a supported, professional audio and video educational environment for synchronous distance education. For immediate help in 1st-call classrooms or DLP classrooms call 512- 245-4822. 

Educational Technology Center

The Educational Technology Center provides instructional technologies, consultations about copyright in a digital realm, and consultations about newer and emerging technologies such as streaming video, social media, and virtual learning.

Course management system: TRACS (Teaching Research and Collaboration System), an open-source system, Sakai, customized for Texas State University

Virtual classroom: Adobe Connect for use in online or hybrid class courses.

Plagiarism checker and online grading tool: Turnitin to check papers for improperly cited materials or potential cases of plagiarism

Learning Experience Design

Learning Experience Design helps faculty members effectively integrate instructional technologies and learning goals within face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses.

Open Computer Labs

Open Computer Labs are located across campus and offer access to state-of-the-art computing environments. They are available for all users for training, Internet research, and general use. Our goal is to provide open environments for students in support of faculty instruction. The Distance Learning Virtual Computer Lab connects students taking computer-based or correspondence courses with resources that would normally be found on campus only. Faculty must request access on a semester-by-semester basis for students taking their classes.

International Office 

The International Office helps faculty and students comply with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations and assists with employment of non-immigrant faculty members. Students can benefit from educational opportunities to learn about perspectives of colleagues and students. It helps students adjust and provides a good place to meet others. 

FAQs about Teaching

These questions are common among new and some experienced faculty members.

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  • Emergency Procedures

    • Sometimes we may not know that there is an emergency. As listed in Emergency Procedures, Texas State University has several methods for notifying faculty about emergencies:

      • TXState Alert System
      • The university home page at www.txstate.edu
      • E-mail from the University News Service or the University Police Department to all students, faculty and staff
      • Messages recorded on the university news hotline at (512) 245-2424
      • Voicemail messages sent to all campus telephones
      • Local media announcements
      • Texas State weather emergency siren system
      • Emergency sign board system
      • Reverse 911

      If you text, please sign up for the TXState Alert Texting System for notifications directly to your phone.

    • What to do in an emergency depends on the emergency.

      Please visit the emergency procedures website. 

      The procedures list what to do in case of:

      • Fire
      • Medical Emergency
      • Tornado
      • Bomb Threat
      • Police Emergency
      • Loss of Utilities
      • Spills
      • Flood
      • Active Shooter Emergency Response
      • Evacuation

       

  • Workload

    • Many factors determine workload. Primarily, though, workload refers to the distribution of your time. The system at Texas State University is based on quarter time increments. One quarter of your time is usually dedicated to research and three to teaching, which means most faculty members teach a 3:3, meaning three courses each long semester.

      Factors that influence workload include the number of students in the courses, the number of theses or dissertations directed, and administrative or other duties for which time is reassigned from teaching to other duties.

    • The University aims to provide all new tenure-track faculty members with a 2:2 workload during their first year at Texas State. This means half of your time would be spent teaching and the other half will be spent reaching excellence in teaching, adjusting to your new position, and on scholarly activities.

      It may be the case that your department cannot accommodate this plan. In such cases, work with your chair for alternatives.

      If you have other questions, ask the personnel person in your department, or read the Policy and Procedure Statement 7.05 on faculty workload.

  • Classroom Management

  • Class Administration

    • Each department has its own policy for addressing grade appeals. Check your department policies and with your chair.  Please also consult the Undergraduate Catalog and Policy and Procedures Statement 4.07.

    • Academic Services provides Syllabus Expectations in a Microsoft Word document that can be used to begin a template. A syllabus helps set the tone of the course as well as manage expectations and communicate with students.

    • According to Policy and Procedure Statement 4.01, the University recognizes attendance as integral to learning. It does not have a specific attendance policy. Departments and academic programs often set attendance policies and, if not, you will need to set them as the instructor. The policy should be noted on the syllabus.

      While there is no specific University attendance policy, Texas State does recommend excusing absences for only these reasons: 

      1. Injury or illness requiring treatment at home or in a hospital
      2. Death of a family member
      3. Required participation in a University-sponsored activity (See UPPS 02.06.03)
      4. A field trip or off-campus activity required for a non-elective course essential to the student's degree program
      5. Required participation in active military service (See UPPS 02.06.03)
      6. Official religious Holy Days (See UPPS 02.06.01)