CoBE Faculty Resources
On this page:
Syllabus & Useful Links
- Download syllabus template
- Or use Syllabus Generator
- Proctor an online exam by Scheduling and joining multiple Zoom meetings
- Syllabus Boilerplate for Online Teaching
- Workload Estimator
- Final exam and holiday schedule (online classes should have the final available during finals week. For asynchronous classes, no specific time is set)
- Generate syllabus dates
- Four Year Plans
- Course Permission Form (PDF)
- Useful registration forms
- Class standing:
- Freshmen 0-29.99 credits successfully completed;
- Sophomores 30-59.99 credits successfully completed;
- Juniors 60–89.99 credits successfully completed;
- Seniors 90 or more credits successfully completed
- Syllabus statement with link to document with advising, disability, mental health, suicide prevention, Title IX statements: UH Hilo provides a wide variety of support to students including tutoring, disability services, mental health counseling, and EEO-Title IX support:
- Policy on academic honesty: Two examples
- Policy on Cheating: Cheating on exams or quizzes will result in a zero grade. In this regard, it is important to remind that students are responsible to know and understand the provisions of the Student Conduct Code.
- Academic dishonesty such as plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the course.
- If you use Laulima or other technology, you may want to include:
- This course relies on technology. Readings will be posted online, and assignments will be submitted electronically. Sometimes when you’re working with computers, things can go wrong. Computers crash, servers go down, files get lost. These are normal aspects of working with technology, and will not be acceptable excuses for late work or missed assignments. Please be sure to regularly back up your work and complete your assignments well enough in advance that you can avoid these problems.
- Your assignment is not complete until it has been successfully uploaded in Laulima I (Source: #AcademicTwitter)
- If you are teaching a Writing Intensive course, you should specify deadlines for revisions to be turned in so you don’t get them all at the end of the semester.
- It might be helpful to put an estimate of how many hours of work an individual assignment will take. This can help students to plan.
- Specify what types of files can and cannot be submitted (for example, screen shots, Pages, or Google docs where you don’t have permission to access.
Our code of professionalism was developed with CoBE student leadership and approved by the Faculty Senate 7-0-1 on February 25, 2019. It’s highly recommended that you include some form of it on your syllabus. View the CoBE Code of Professionalism
|A||93-100||Far exceeds the basic requirements of the assignment/course in a thoughtful and creative manner, applying the concepts beyond the basic requirements.|
|B||82.0-87.999||Exceeds the basic requirements of the assignment/class. Shows a deeper understanding of the material beyond the basic expectations.|
|C||72.0-77.999||Meets the requirements of the assignment/class without any major errors. Shows a clear understanding of the material and concepts.|
|D||60.0-69.999||Meets the most basic requirements of the assignment/class, but with several errors showing a limited grasp of the material.|
|F-||59.999 and below|
Typically, lower-division courses average 2.7, upper-division courses average 3.0. For classes with fewer than 20 students, averages are less helpful.
Q: Where do I find the semester’s schedule and deadlines?
Q: Should I allow laptops / phones in class?
A: It’s up to you, but the research says it does more harm than good—in fact, there is no study I’m aware of that shows a positive effect, and many that show negative effects. The presence of live screens harms the learning of all students, even the students who don’t use them.
Q: Is it a good idea to be friends with my students?
A: Be careful with this. Classroom incivility can be fueled when faculty don’t maintain appropriate boundaries inside and outside of the classroom. Being friendlier with some students will understandably be perceived as favoritism. Activities such as “housing students in personal homes; going on trips and participating in extracurricular and overnight activities with students; transporting students in personal vehicles; “friending” students on social media; and departing from established procedures involving students” are considered warning signs of a sexual predator and can be interpreted negatively, even if well-intentioned.
Q: How can I improve my teaching evaluations?
- Have clear policies in the syllabus, stick to them, and administer them fairly. If you are tempted to give an exception to one student, be prepared to explain to all the other students why they can’t get the same deal. Do not move important due dates to be “merciful.” There will be at least one student who will have done the work on deadline, and that student will feel ill-treated. In general, our students do not like uncertainty. This is to be expected, especially for accounting majors .
- Hand back grades within a week. Timeliness is more important to students than elaborate comments. You can invite students who want more feedback to see you in office hours to discuss how they can do better on the next assignment. A few students will take you up on this.
- Have a “drop the lowest grade” policy rather than an “excused absence” policy. This preserves your students’ dignity, and you won’t have to look at doctor’s notes, photographs of injuries, etc.
- Every so often, remind the class of what they have accomplished. This helps students to get their bearings in what can seem like a sea of information.
Q: How can I get students to fill out the online evaluations in the first place?
A: I asked our colleague Todd Inouye to share his method for getting 100% completion, and he graciously agreed: I announce to the class at least a week (maybe two) in advance that I will offer them all 2 points of extra credit (400 points total in the course) if I can get 100% participation in the course evals. I then remind them and give them updates on completion rates whenever I remember including letting them know when the system deadline is. They eventually all do not want to let down the rest of the class and complete it. This gives me an opportunity to explain how these are used in T&P and why they are important for Assistant Professors like myself. I enjoy educating the students about their "voice" in the process and it gives them perspective on an activity that they may have thought makes no difference and therefore has no value to them.
Q: Is the student the customer?
A: The community, including clients and employers, is the “customer.” Although it sounds a little crass, this means the student is, in a way, the product. We do students no favors by treating them like customers or encouraging them to believe the rules don’t apply to them. Employers do not want to hire graduates who act entitled.
Q: A student is struggling in my class. What can I do?
A: Refer the student to Kilohana tutoring center or other tutoring resources that become available. If too many students are struggling in a course, we might have to look at the course prerequisites.
Q: Can we tell whether a student is likely to do well in our program?
A: Students who get C’s or lower in intro courses are less likely to graduate. One option for students who may not be a good fit for the BBA is a BA in COM + a minor in business. Students who switch early can save a year of major coursework and still have business on their resume.
Q: What should I consider when I’m asked to make a change /override/ exception for a student?
A: You will need to provide the exact same exception for every other student and/or defend yourself against complaints and possible grade grievances from students who did not get the same the deadline adjustment/do-over opportunity/prerequisite exception. If you do make an exception for one student, you have to explain why you don’t do the same thing for every student?
Q: What if some concepts are too hard for a lot of my students? Should I lower the curve or change my grade weighting or deadlines?
A: You should assign the grade that each student has earned according to what you have stated on your syllabus. Anything else opens you to grievances from other students.
- Student of Concern Reporting Form (concerns about mental health etc.)
- Incident Report (for academic violations)
- Campuswide Student Conduct Code
Promotion and Tenure
According to the UH Hilo Promotion and Tenure guidelines, there are three ways that you can demonstrate promotability.
- High quality teaching, and
- High quality contributions in scholarly/creative activities, and
- Demonstrated competence in service
- High quality teaching, and
- High quality contributions in service, and
- Demonstrated competence in scholarly/creative activities
- High quality teaching, and
- A balance of contributions in scholarly/creative activities and service that substantially exceeds the minimum requirements of demonstrated competence.
Practically, Method 2 is not an option for junior faculty. This means that “competence” in Research / Scholarship is not sufficient for promotion for junior faculty.
“The standards described in this section are intended to define Competence in Research/Scholarship.
• Demonstrated competence in scholarly/creative activities: The publication of six items, three of which must be peer-reviewed articles in academic journals.
• Scholarly/creative activities that substantially exceed the minimum requirements of demonstrated competence: The publication of six items, three of which must be peer-reviewed articles in academic journals. Moreover, at least one of these articles must demonstrate substantial quality.
• Scholarly/creative activities of high quality: Scholarly/creative activities that substantially exceed the publication of six items, three of which must be peer-reviewed articles in academic journals. Moreover, at least one of these articles must demonstrate substantial quality. (See “Guidance” below)”
“As a practical matter, junior faculty seeking promotion and tenure are encouraged to pursue demonstrated Competence in service or, at best, the intermediate level of substantially exceeds minimum competence, given the lack of opportunity for achieving high quality internal and/or external service early in the candidate's career. Seeking promotion based heavily on a record of high quality service performance is more appropriate to tenured faculty.”
Making a case for high-quality teaching
Provide student evals if you wish, and make sure to place them in context.
All else being equal, we would all rather have higher student evaluations than lower. However, student evaluations are known to be prone to bias and manipulation https://www.aaup.org/article/student-evaluations-teaching-are-not-valid#.XOmPoIhKiUk. If you do choose to provide student evaluations as evidence of teaching effectiveness (you’re not required to), do your best to put them in context.
Are they low? Is it because a few students were caught cheating and are getting their revenge? Or did you give the impression of being disorganized by failing to stick to your syllabus, or taking a long time to return assignments? For the former, you can explain the situation; for the latter, you can discuss how you are working on improving.
Are they high? That’s wonderful, unless you are getting high evaluations by making the class easy. One way to reassure T&P committees is to also cite grade distribution and self-reported time spent outside of class on homework and assignments.
Document that students are generally spending the appropriate amount of time on the class
Per the federal credit-hour definition that’s used for financial aid, the average time spent outside of class for a three-credit class should be 6-8 hours per week. Students make their own time allocation decisions and you can’t control that. However, if your students’ average reported time spent outside of class is less than 6 hours per week and the grade distribution is high, the course may be insufficiently challenging. If students need to spend 20 hours per week on your class just to pass, the workload may be too high, or the class may need different prerequisites.
Grade distribution should reflect student performance.
Unlike your student evaluations, your grade distributions are accessible to P&T committees (or anyone with STAR access). Traditionally, expected lower division average GPA guideline is 2.7; upper division average GPA guideline is 3.0.
In classes with fewer than 15 students, these guidelines are less relevant. First, the standard deviation may be too large for the mean to be meaningful. Second, there’s a lot of research showing that students learn more in smaller classes, so we’d expect student performance, and therefore grade distribution, to be higher in smaller classes, all else being equal.
Make sure students are complaining about the right things
Many students are surprised at first by CoBE’s academic expectations and workload. As long as you are teaching what you’re supposed to be teaching and are clear in your expectations and fair in your grading, you don’t need to worry about students going to the dean to complain about things like workload or high expectation.
However, as faculty, we have obligations to the students as well. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- Be as clear as you can in what you will assign and how you will grade. Changes to the syllabus should only be made in genuine emergencies, such as having to postpone a scheduled student presentation because school was unexpectedly closed down. But postponing a midterm at the last minute because “the class didn’t seem ready” is unfair to those students who trusted the syllabus and prepared.
- Try to get grades back within a week. Your feedback to students is important! A large part of the value that students derive from our classes is the opportunity to be evaluated and coached by experts with advanced degrees and relevant experience. If you find yourself overwhelmed by grading, try smaller, more frequent assignments and/or the occasional well-designed multiple-choice exam.
- Avoid offensive, inappropriate, or questionable actions, analogies, or humor. We want to avoid alienating or hurting students, but as faculty in the College of Business and Economics, we also need to model professionalism. Here are examples of things that have caused problems in the past:
- Describing a paper’s required length as “the length of a woman’s skirt, long enough to cover the subject but short enough to be interesting.”
- Referring to your students as “my girls.”
- Telling jokes in class that belittle husbands or wives.
- Using unnecessarily-sexualized examples in class, such as using prostitution to illustrate economic principles.
- Touching or rubbing students’ shoulders. Sometimes a student who knows you well will invite a congratulatory hug from you; that’s fine as long as the student has initiated it. Otherwise, any touching of a student other than a handshake should be approached with caution.
- Using sarcastic humor.
- Gossiping to students about other faculty, staff, or students, or putting down colleagues or students in front of students.
We have moved technical advising to a dedicated CoBE Academic Success Coach, in a program which we call Kaʻipualei.
- direct and lift up the cherished blossoms (blossoms can be used as a poetic metaphor for people).
- To lead, direct, lift up and carry;
- pua lei
- Flowers for leis; cherished blossom or child.
Faculty members can spend advising time discussing class choices and field-specific career questions. The Academic Success Coach covers technical issues such as how to declare catalog years, fill out SACA forms for exchange programs, transfer in courses for Gen Ed, plan which classes to take next semester, etc. In addition, the ASC plans workshops throughout the academic year and provides job search consultation. The Kaʻipualei model supports a culture of consistency, engagement, and purpose for our students.
For your information, some notes on technical advising follow.
Use STAR GPS as a scratch pad, but do not rely on it. It allows students to put classes in the same semester as course prereqs and in semesters the class isn’t offered.
Always make an advisor note in STAR after you talk with the student. Check the box to email your note to the student. That way you both have a record of what you discussed.
Guidelines for exceptions and overrides
|Business major wants to take a course without completing the prereq first. e.g. student is in their last semester and has not completedprereqs. Accounting major wants to take a once-per-year class early||Steer them into the right major early. Cs in intro courses predict low grad rates. Map out a plan that accommodates the prereqs and fill in any free time with courses for a second concentration. Suggest upper-division electives from UHM, UHWO, or Maui College. Upper-division core from UHM, SUNY online, or other AACSB school.||If you think the prereq really isn’t necessary, let’s discuss changing the course requirements.|
|Declared business minor wants to waive prereqs||Have them fill out the course permission form (PDF).||This is allowed for declared business minors for the six classes only|
|Declared business minor wants substitute class||Can sub another course for MGT 425|
|Student has credit for the equivalent of the prereq at another school but still can’t register||Have them fill out the course permission form (PDF). You will have to do this every time.||Unfortunately, our system doesn’t recognize transferred-in prereqs.|
|Course from another institution didn’t transfer||1. Check our transfer database. If it’s there, it should transfer. 2. AACSB-accredited but not in database? Check course description, then ask Registrar to list as equivalent. 3. Not AACSB-accredited? Courses cannot sub for upper-division core courses. UD electives and LD courses OK, but check course description.||Registrar errors are rare, but if a course should transfer and doesn’t, please reach out to them.|
|Is a courseequivalent?||Course description must have regression, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and advanced Excel skills such as using pivot tables.||is not equivalent|