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Academic Handbook

Academic Handbook for Instructors

This Handbook is intended to provide instructors with essential information about rules, regulations and mandatory expectations for undergraduate teaching in the Faculty of Arts & Science (FAS). It is also intended to offer helpful suggestions and guidance on best practices. In addition to the many suggestions about best practices, you will note that elements that are required rather than recommended are signaled by bold-face type.

The order of topics below generally follows the progress of a course, beginning with the syllabus and ending with student appeals, and is then followed by a number of appendices. An explication of relevant people and services, and a list of acronyms are appended at the end. The document will be updated regularly, and the most current version will be posted online here.

Throughout the document, the term ‘academic unit’ refers to the department, program, college or other entity with administrative responsibility for the course involved. ‘UG Coordinator’ refers to the person with academic responsibility, e.g. Associate Chair or Program Director; ‘UG Administrator’ refers to the admin staff person, e.g. UG Advisor or Program Administrator, usually supporting the UG Coordinator in the unit.

Two other documents will be useful to you. The Arts & Science Calendar contains the rules and regulations as they are presented to students, in addition to the usual descriptions of courses and programs. The online version on the Faculty website is the official version as it is the most up-to-date.

The other is the Academic Integrity website. This describes fully the rules and processes about cheating, plagiarism and other academic integrity issues, and provides good advice for instructors on how to design courses, assignments and tests to minimize these kinds of problems.

Instructors have a number of professional resources available to assist them to be effective teachers, most notably the suite of resources provided by the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI). You will find an annotated list near the end of this Handbook, and guidance on where to direct questions.


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