Teaching and learning expectations and resources
Faculty instructors play a critical role in supporting students throughout their academic journey. The ASU Charter serves as a powerful reminder of the type of learning community we are trying to create at ASU. We ask faculty to consider the following questions: Are your course syllabus and policies effectively supporting that community? Does your course realize the goal of achieving both equity and excellence? As we continue to build community together, we invite you to review your course policies and how they are aligned with the charter. This page contains resources for faculty to use and consider as they review their courses and prepare for the semester, including syllabus resources, student communication resources, policy resources, and Academic Status Reports information.
Supporting student success
Wise Feedback is a tool for providing feedback and support to students as they interpret grades and associated comments. It can reassure students that grades are being impartially assigned and increase academic engagement.
“Wise feedback” affirms three points to students:
- You (the instructor) acknowledge that you have high expectations.
- You believe that the students can meet those expectations,
- You will provide specific feedback and resources to help students improve
The use of wise feedback framing confirms the instructor's aim to help students succeed by providing feedback and resources while affirming that the students can achieve high class standards. Wise feedback framing can positively influence student motivation and achievement and reduce equity disparities in educational outcomes (Cohen, Steele, & Ross, 1999; Yeager, 2014). It is more effective to provide wise feedback throughout a class session. However, it can have a particularly positive impact when students need additional motivation at the end of a session. The resources below will guide you in understanding and incorporating wise feedback framing in your classes.
Creating a Wise Feedback Framing Statement – Equity Accelerator- This resource provides information about creating wise feedback statements for your class. It includes examples of assignment comments and announcements that incorporate wise feedback.
Wise Feedback Framing Checklist (Ryan et al., 2022) - Use this checklist to help develop wise feedback statements and confirm that they follow best practices.
Wise Feedback Framing (Motivate Lab) - This list includes examples of wise feedback phrases and contrasts them with commonly used phrases that, although well-intentioned, may be discouraging to students.
Wise Framing for Feedback (Video) - This two-minute video briefly introduces wise framing.
Wise Feedback Example
Wise Feedback Example: Class Announcement Before Test
This unit focused on learning and applying knowledge related to [topic]. Many concepts are challenging, but I have seen substantial gains in your understanding of the material through your assignments/quizzes. You can do several things to prepare for the upcoming exam, including working through the additional practice problems in Canvas, reviewing the previous quizzes/assignments, and testing yourself by creating new questions on the materials. If you have any questions on the material, visit me at my office hours [list hours] or email the TA. I am confident that you can master this content.
Wise Feedback Example: Class Announcement Before Final Exam
Throughout this course, we discussed and learned to apply knowledge on [topic]. We discussed and worked through many complex concepts. I have seen your depth of understanding grow throughout the class session. As you prepare for the final exam, remember that you can still work to increase your mastery of the course material. I recommend reviewing previous tests and assignment feedback, working through the examples in Canvas, practicing questions with other students in class, and reviewing the online supplemental materials. If you have any questions, visit me during my office hours [list hours]. The final exam will be challenging, but I am confident you can understand and master the course material.
Ryan, K., Boucher, K., Logel, C. Murphy, M. (2022a). Wise Feedback Framing. College Teaching Collaborative. https://collegetransitioncollaborative.org/wise-feedback-statement/
Ryan, K., Boucher, K., Logel, C. Murphy, M. (2022b). Overview: Effective Growth Mindset Culture Messages. College Transition Collaborative. https://collegetransitioncollaborative.org/overview-growth-mindset-messages/
Academic Status Reports
Academic Status Reports (ASRs) are part of a university-wide student support system that provides students early, personalized feedback about their class progress and alerts academic advisors when needed. Faculty instructors should submit early ASRs for any students who are not performing satisfactorily due to missing classes, missing assignments/quizzes, or poor work quality. Instructors can also submit positive ASRs for students who are progressing well in the class. Instructors teaching 100 and 200-level courses are expected to generate ASRs early and often. Students are notified weekly through My ASU and via system-generated emails when they receive an ASR. More information about ASRs can be found on the Faculty Guide: ASR page.
NOTE: Faculty should submit an ASR for any student who does not attend class sessions or submit assignments during the first two weeks of the session.
We strongly recommend that faculty: 1) include a statement about ASRs in their syllabus, 2) post a class announcement prior to the first ASR submissions, 3) send follow-up messaging to students who are having difficulty in the class.
When should I submit Academic Status Reports for my class?
We recommend you submit first ASRs during Weeks 1-3 for Session C and Weeks 1-2 for Session A/B. Students who do not attend class or fail to submit assignments early in the session are at high risk of not succeeding in their classes. It is critically important these students understand their class status and how they can take action to improve their class performance. Faculty should submit an ASR for any student who does not attend class sessions or submit assignments during the first two weeks of the session. Faculty instructors should submit ASRs for any students earning a D or E (i.e., unsatisfactory status) after the third week of class. More information about ASRs can be found on the Faculty Guide: ASR page.
Confirmation of Participation
The U.S. Department of Education requires all institutions to conduct an early determination that a student has begun participation in their courses in order to establish eligibility for federal financial aid. Students must demonstrate participation in their courses by the 21st day of classes to maintain their federal financial aid eligibility. When a student does not participate, the financial aid office must recalculate the student's eligibility. There are different ways for students to demonstrate class participation, including completing a survey in My ASU. No action is needed by instructors to verify students’ participation, but you may receive questions from students. Instructors can view these participation survey reports in My ASU (see instructions below). Click here to learn more about this policy.
Instructors can view Confirmation of Participation reports for the students enrolled in their course. Students are notified their instructors will have access to their responses when they complete the survey. To access the survey reports:
- In My ASU, click on the Class Tools icon next to the course. If there are survey responses, you will see the "Student Participation Survey responses" link. If the link does not display, there are no responses.
- Click the "Student Participation Survey responses" link to view the responses for that course.
Health and Wellness Resources
ASU is here to support all Sun Devils anytime, anywhere. We encourage instructors to share the free ASU Counseling Services with students. Health and wellness resources include telehealth sessions, Open Call and Open Chat. Students can connect with someone 24/7/365.
ASU Counseling Services
ASU Counseling Services provides access to connect with emotional health and well-being support. All counseling services are confidential and free of charge for ASU students, including our 24/7 Open Call and Open Chat for campus students.360 Life Services is a comprehensive support program for ASU Online students that offers 24/7 counseling and crisis intervention via chat, phone, and in person.
ASU Health Services for Students
ASU Health Services offers in-person and telehealth appointments for students. Students can schedule an appointment or message a provider through My Health Portal. They can ASU Health Services at 480-965-3349 (after hours: 480-965-3349). For emergencies, call 911.
If you have any concerns regarding a student’s well-being or changes in behavior, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for direct assistance. If you notice a student in crisis, please consult this ASU Counseling page for available resources and recommended actions. For more information, call 480-965-6146.
Instructors have full authority to decide whether class attendance is required. Although students should be strongly encouraged to attend and engage in class regularly to enhance learning, that need should be balanced against public health concerns associated with sick students attending classes. In crafting an attendance policy, consider approaches that do not encourage students who are sick to come to class. For example, assigning a portion of the course grade strictly based on attendance may not be as effective in promoting student learning and community health as determining grades using assessments, engagement, and participation. Similarly, setting a limit on the number of classes students can miss may inadvertently encourage sick students to come to class rather than promoting the desired academic engagement.
Students should not be penalized for missing class as a result of illness. Please note that the period a student may be unable to attend classes is variable and depends on personal circumstances.Syllabi should provide clear expectations for students who may be absent due to illness, including how to contact faculty to request an accommodation. Know what kinds of accommodations you will offer and have necessary technology in place. Make up classwork is not possible in some lab, studio, and field-based classes. These situations should be handled on a case-by-case basis by the instructor. If you have concerns about how to accommodate a student, consult your chair or director or contact email@example.com.
No. Blanket opportunities for extra credit can inadvertently encourage sick students to attend class so that they are not disadvantaged relative to other students. Students who come to class have the opportunity to earn an A+ while those who become sick lose that opportunity.
This may be a reasonable accommodation if it is only available to students who miss an exam as a result of an excused absence. If the option to replace a low grade is available to all students, then those who are sick would be disadvantaged. This accommodation may be most useful in courses that have a comprehensive final examination, ensuring students are still assessed on material covered on the missed exam.
Faculty who cannot attend an in-person class under any circumstance should contact their chair, director or dean as soon as possible to discuss alternative arrangements for the course. Faculty are encouraged to identify a back-up instructor who could teach their class if necessary and share materials regularly throughout the semester. For example, if the course is in Canvas, give your back-up access to the Canvas site and copies of course materials. Academic units are encouraged to keep copies of contingency teaching arrangements available.
Generative AI has the potential to address some of the biggest challenges in education today. Faculty can learn more about GenAI in a new "Teaching and Learning with Generative AI" self-paced course designed by university experts to support generative AI usage by faculty and staff. Self-enroll in the Canvas course now. Whether you plan to incorporate generative AI into your course or avoid it, you should explain your policies in the syllabus. Usage of generative AI in the classroom is evolving quickly. You can find the most recent information about generative AI here.
It is important for faculty to specify in their syllabi the policies regarding the allowable and prohibited use of generative AI in their course. Sample syllabus language and additional resources are provided here.
Learning and Classroom Technology
ASU has an abundance of learning technology tools and support available to faculty. A full guide of teaching resources for technical help can be found here.
There are many workshops and engagement opportunities to orient faculty members to digital teaching tools including Zoom, Adobe Creative Cloud, PlayPosit, iClicker, YellowDig, and more. You can register for workshops through this training calendar. Instructors can schedule consultations with learning designers to assist with course design. The ASU Experience Center is available to support you 24/7, 365 days a year.
Classroom technology orientations can be scheduled before or after the start of classes for an in-person overview of your classroom’s capabilities.
Syllabi can set the tone and influence student expectations for the entire course. Syllabi that instill confidence and offer second chances also align with the ASU charter. Research has shown that learner-centered syllabi can result in positive outcomes for both students and instructors. We recommend you review your syllabi and consider how you can make changes to improve student perceptions and enhance their motivation. We encourage faculty to consider providing “second-chance” options to students, especially for early assignments and activities. Grading policies, flexible absence policies, and “second-chance” policies can all be essential to student success, and may provide the opportunity and motivation students need to recover from a difficult start of the semester.
Resources on learner-centered syllabi and policies and how to implement changes can be found here: Learner-centered syllabus resources.
It is important for faculty to clearly articulate the policies regarding the allowable and prohibited use of Generative AI in the course in their syllabi. Sample syllabus language and additional resources are provided here
Faculty instructors can learn more about ASRs on the Faculty Guide: ASR page.
Sample syllabus/Canvas wording:
This course incorporates an early alert reporting system called Academic Status Reports (ASRs) to give you helpful updates throughout the semester. An ASR will let you know if you are progressing well or if there are concerns related to your class performance. Concerns may be related to missing classes, missing assignments, or the quality of your work. ASR notifications will be sent to your ASU email address and are visible on My ASU in the My Classes box. The ASR may provide recommended actions, such as meeting with your instructor, TA, or academic advisor. If you receive an ASR, don’t ignore it and keep calm (it might be good news). Read the message, follow the suggested instructions, and don’t delay. Information for making an appointment with your academic advisor can be found on My ASU in the Academic Support Team box. Students should use ASRs as a catalyst to make changes, seek assistance, and improve in the course.
We strongly encourage faculty to send a message to students before the start of the semester to welcome them to the course and provide basic class information, such as a brief summary of the course, the session start date, required textbook/software, attendance policies, and other relevant items. You can share this information as a Canvas announcement or email. Faculty can create their own message or tailor one of these templates to fit their needs.
Welcome to [course and title]! I am Dr./Prof. [name], and I will be your instructor for this course. In this course, we will explore [short 2-3 sentence description or list of topics]
The start date for the course is [session start date], but you will have access to the Canvas shell before that date [or include the Canvas release date]. You can start exploring once you have access to the course shell. I recommend reviewing the syllabus first.
The required course materials include [required textbook(s), materials, software, etc. Include prices and any special instructions, such as “Purchase the software through Canvas, not through the publisher site.”]. I recommend [recommended books, materials, software] as additional resources.
[For asynchronous online courses, modify if self-paced]
[course number] is an asynchronous online course, which means we will not be meeting at the same time during this course. That said, I strongly recommend you plan and schedule specific times dedicated to working on this course. Although you can decide when you work on the course materials, this is not a self-paced course. Each week, there are learning exercises, readings, discussions, and/or assignments due. Although I will send announcements, you are responsible for keeping up with course communications, assignments/tests, due dates, and course obligations. To be successful in this course, you will want to regularly log into Canvas for updates and be sure to check your ASU email daily.
[For in-person courses]
[course number] is an in-person course, which means you are expected to attend in person at designated times each week. The syllabus includes the attendance policy, so be sure to review that. If you already know that you will miss multiple class sessions, consider registering for a different course section. Although course materials are presented in class, online materials and assignments in Canvas will also be required. I will make announcements, but you are responsible for keeping up with course communications, assignments/tests, due dates, and course obligations. To be successful in this course, you will want to regularly log into Canvas for updates and be sure to check your ASU email daily.
[For hybrid courses]
[course number] is a hybrid course, meaning students attend class in-person once a week and engage in online learning and assignments. The syllabus includes the attendance policy, so be sure to review that. If you already know that you will miss multiple class sessions, consider registering for a different course section. I will make announcements, but you are responsible for keeping up with communications, assignments/tests, due dates, and course obligations. To be successful in this course, you will want to regularly log into Canvas for updates and be sure to check your ASU email daily.
If you have any questions, the best way to contact me is [specify if Canvas messaging or direct email is preferred]. You can also contact the TA:[TA name and contact information] for support. If you need technical assistance, please submit a service request through My ASU.
I look forward to working with you this semester!
This course incorporates an early alert reporting system called Academic Status Reports (ASRs) to give you helpful notifications early in the semester. ASR notifications will be sent to your ASU email address and are accessible on My ASU in the My Classes box. An ASR will let you know if you are progressing well or if there are concerns related to your class performance, such as missing classes, missing assignments, or the quality of your work. The ASR may provide recommended actions, such as meeting with your instructor, TA, or academic advisor.
If you receive an ASR notification, don’t ignore it and keep calm (it might be good news). It is important that you read the message and follow any recommended actions. As a reminder, my office hours are listed in the syllabus and on the Canvas course site. You can also email me through Canvas to set up a meeting. Information for making an appointment with your academic advisor can be found on My ASU in the Academic Support Team box. Use this alert to propel you to make changes, seek assistance, and improve in the course.
Remember: Succeeding in college does not mean that you won’t struggle in classes or during a particular time. My goal as your instructor, and ASU’s goal, is to do what we can to support you and facilitate your academic success. ASRs can start conversations between you, your advisor, and your instructor so that together you can work out how to best achieve your educational objectives.
Getting an ASR does not mean you will not succeed in the course. It is a call to action. Please read any recommended actions in the ASR, and, if you are contacted by an advisor, respond to their outreach. Students who take advantage of offered resources are better able to move forward and succeed in their courses.