Principles of Ethical College and University Teaching

1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

a. Take appropriate time to prepare course material. (1b 1c)

b. Assign meaningful work that focuses on learning, paying attention to the different styles of learning. (1a 4c)

c. Make class time beneficial to students through dynamic teaching using a variety of methodologies (also related to assignments). (1a 2b 5c 5e)

d. Improving teaching skills is a continual process.

2. Acknowledge my own limitations

a. If something isn’t working look for a personal fix first. (1a 1c 2c 3a)

b. Make allowance for the airing of grievances (in writing, without reference to the specific student). Give students due consideration, but maintain consistency with how other students’ concerns have been addressed in the past. (3a)

c. If class attendance is low evaluate the current class environment and try to make the necessary adjustments to make class more “inviting” (1c 3a)

d. Make it possible for students to criticize my work and teaching without fear of harassment (separate the grading/evaluation process from the name of the student) (2a 2b 3e)

3. Treat students with ethical professionalism

a. Treat students with respect. (3b 3c 3d)

b. Undergraduate students are to be treated with especial propriety acknowledging the power differential between student and teacher and related university policy. (3a 3c 3d)

c. Graduate students are treated as colleagues but with recognition of the power differential.  Mentoring is best accomplished by example, but also by friendly constructive criticism.  (3a 3b 3d)

d. Strict adherence to university policy is not optional; moreover when necessary make it clear that your relationship with students has limitations.  It is never advisable to become involved in the private life of a student, this however, does not mean friendship is impossible, but it does have limitations, specifically while working in the same department in a mentoring relationship (i.e. no amorous relations, including flirtations of any kind). (3a 3b 3c)

e. To overcome a preferential grading bias have students place their names on the last page of work or use student numbers. (2b 2c 2df 3a)

4. Encourage a sense of community

a. Encourage communal studying and a student-centered learning environment (4b 4c 4d)

b. Students need to know that they are not competing with each other for grades.

c. Grading for a class must be predetermined to maintain consistency (however, this may be adjusted from class to class) (4a 4c)

d. Encourage collaboration in assignments, studying, and class discussion. (1b 4a 4b 4d 4e)

e. Pay attention to the living environment where teaching/learning takes place. (4a 4b 4d)

f. Avoid unreasonable expectations to avoid cheating. (3a 4b)

5. Precision, Predictability, and Reliability

a. Outline the content, requirements, and procedures of the course on the first day in written syllabus form.  Changes are possible but must be mutually agreed upon by the class and myself. (2b 4e 5d)

b. Clearly present what material will be in exams. (5c)

c. Do not change the time or date of examinations or other appointments without ample notice. (5a 5e)

d. Give students ample notice on when examinations will be held. (1c 5d)

e. Predefine the grading scheme of examinations with rigor and care. (4c 5g)

f. Grade the question as stated on the question sheet even if how it is read is not actually what was intended (i.e. read the question again before grading) (3e)

g. The distribution of grades must be consistent with university policy.

h. Online course management tools are utilized to allow students the opportunity to track grades and expectations on an up-to-date basis.

i. Grades and other information will remain up-to-date online within 48-hours of course presentation (excluding weekends).

*This manifesto is a living document and will be amended as needed. However, changes will not be (made) binding while in the course of a semester unless collectively agreed upon. Each manifesto criteria will only be in force if stated hereon at the beginning of each academic semester. Last updated: 19 April 2015