Guides

These guides offer information for new faculty as well as tips for effective teaching and technology integration.

New Faculty Guides

This site will provide you with the information and resources you need to help you be successful and productive in your new position.

View New Employee Welcome Guide

Many support units are available at NIU to assist new faculty in their teaching, research, scholarship and artistry. This guide provides a quick overview and contact information to the support units that new faculty often connect with for support.

View Guide to Support Units for New Faculty

Teaching Effectiveness Guides

This guide was created by University Libraries as a response to events surrounding the murders of unarmed Black people by police and the protests calling for an end to institutional racism in the justice system and beyond. While not exhaustive in its resources, the guide is meant to be a starting point to learn more about social justice and activism and to find information and community. The guide will evolve to include broader social justice resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

View Anti-Racism and Social Justice LibGuide

Flexible Teaching is an approach to course design and delivery that helps students learn and succeed in any mode: face-to-face, online, or hybrid. It starts with the principles of course design to create a flexible, resilient course that can withstand any change in modality or delivery.

View Flexible Teaching Guides

As you consider your options for delivering exams while teaching virtually, remember to exhibit equity, kindness, generosity and patience with your students. There are several options for you to rethink or deliver your exams via virtual instruction. You may want to consider one or multiple of these recommendations.

View Options for Delivering Exams via Virtual Instruction

This guide is a brief compilation of teaching-related information from several sources, including instructional guidebooks from other institutions, journals, and contributions from master teachers and academic support units at Northern Illinois University. It is meant to be a quick reference and not a comprehensive source on teaching-related information.

View Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants

Have you been invited to teach a course for the very first time and wondering where to begin? This guide provides tips and resources for getting started.

View Preparing to Teach for the First Time

Whether you have been teaching for several years or are beginning to teach your very first semester, being prepared for the start of the semester will help make the transition successful for you and your students. The following is a list of strategies you can use the first day and into the first weeks of the semester that will help you create an engaging, motivating, and organized classroom environment.

View Strategies for Starting the Semester Well

You are encouraged to incorporate these academic support resources into your teaching and to refer students to utilize the services available for their academic success.

View Student Success Resources

Design a course syllabus to best meet your teaching style, course content, activities, and departmental requirements. Consider creating a learner-centered syllabus that targets student learning and success!

View Syllabus Checklist

Teaching for the first time at a new university can be enjoyable and daunting at the same time. Whether you are an experienced teacher or new to the profession, being prepared to teach at a new institution will help you transition and succeed in your new environment. This guide contains information on course policies, teaching policies, and teaching-related resources to help you start your teaching career at NIU successfully!

View Guidelines for Teaching at NIU for the First Time

Teaching a course on short notice can be exciting yet overwhelming. As with teaching any course, careful planning is essential for a successful teaching and learning experience, especially when given little time to prepare.

This guide addresses two situations: being asked to teach a course that begins very soon, and being asked to take over a course that someone else was teaching, sometime after the semester has begun.

View Teaching a Course on Short Notice

Handouts, activities and strategies for managing tense topics and difficult moments in the classroom and to foster dialogue, discussion and empathy.

View Tense Times Activities and Handouts

Technology Integration Guides

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) helps faculty explore and evaluate innovative ways to use learning technologies for teaching at NIU. Learning technologies include recommended and institutionally supported software and web tools to promote collaboration, enhance communication, share multimedia, teach online and more. In addition to supporting established learning technologies like Blackboard, CITL also works with faculty and administrators to pilot new tools.

View Learning Technologies Catalog

Website on using Blackboard and various tools integrated into Blackboard.

Teaching with Blackboard

This guide describes several common ways to use Kaltura to create, store, and publish video content in your Blackboard courses. This video can be used to present content, provide guidance, create teacher presence, prompt discussion, and enable authentic assessment. See the sections below for detailed instructions for uploading videos, capturing webcam video, indexing YouTube videos in your library, and capturing screen recordings. The final section describes ways that you might embed this content in your Blackboard course.

View Using Kaltura Guide for Faculty

This guide describes several common ways to use Kaltura to create, store, and publish video content in your Blackboard courses. Students may be asked to submit video content as a part of an assignment, a discussion, a project, or even a test or quiz. Students can also use Kaltura for other projects, such as a portfolio or media demonstration.

View Using Kaltura Guide for Students

Flipgrid is a free video discussion platform from Microsoft that helps educators see and hear from every student in class and foster a fun and supportive social learning environment. In Flipgrid, educators post discussion prompts and students respond with short videos, whether they are learning in class or at home.

View Getting Started with Flipgrid Guide

There are currently three proctoring tools that NIU has an active agreement for, Examity, Respondus Browser/Monitor and ProctorU. All require that students use a laptop or desktop computer running Windows or MacOS, that they have a webcam and microphone and a reliable Internet connection. Students also need a clean, quiet place to take a proctored test and a form of identification.

View Online Test Proctoring Tools

This guide describes one approach to administering online exams using Zoom to allow instructors and TAs to proctor exams while students complete them online.

View Proctoring with Zoom Guide

Microsoft Teams is a unified communications tool that allows for persistent 1:1 or group chat, video/audio calls and conferencing, and has integration with the full suite of O365 applications we've come to rely upon at NIU. If you're familiar with Slack or Discord, Teams has many similarities.

View Microsoft Teams at NIU Guide

Learn the basics of using Microsoft Teams for Education.

View Microsoft Teams for Education Quick Guide

This guide summarizes a solution for instructors who need a tool to allow them to record narration over a PowerPoint presentation. This approach is ideal if you were planning to present slides in your face-to-face course.

View VoiceThread to Record Narration Guide

This guide summarizes a possible solution for instructors who teach lab courses in which students would in normal circumstances interact with lab equipment, conduct experiments, take measurements, analyze data, and generate a lab report.

View VoiceThread for Virtual Lab Recordings Guide

Follow these practical tips for to create high quality screencast recordings.

View 24 Tips for High Quality Screencasts

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477
Email: citl@niu.edu

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