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FAQ for Teaching Writing at URI
What needs to happen before the semester begins?
Return your signed contract, enter
or update your contact information
in the e-Campus
directory; secure a
parking pass, obtain desk copies of
the textbooks, and register on e-
Campus. Check the classroom
directory on e-Campus or, better
yet, visit your assigned classroom to
see, for example, if you need card
swipe access. Finish your syllabus,
making changes after the all instructor
meeting on January 17th.
What should I know about meeting my class on the first day?
Check e-Campus that morning to double-check your classroom, as room changes are somewhat common. If
your classroom has a security system, your I.D. should work, but checking that ahead of time is good advice.
Class rosters are on e-Campus, in your Faculty Center: click the three-headed icon!
Students must receive a syllabus on the first day (or have access to one on Sakai). The syllabus is a contract and
should state clearly and unambiguously everything that students will need to do to earn credits for the course.
At the same time, the syllabus also obligates you to deliver the course as it is presented in the syllabus. Please
log in to Instructor Resources
for standard policies and required elements for your syllabi.
What about office support?
Our main office, 319 Roosevelt, has a photocopy
machine and office supplies, plus the invaluable
assistance of Donna Hayden and our student
assistant, Steven. While we allow you to make
copies for your classes when pedagogically important
to do so, please save trees by limiting the paper
copies you distribute. We ask that you limit your
copying to materials strictly for use in the WRT
courses you are teaching. For multiple pages,
collation, etc., please fill out a request and allow 48
hours for office staff to complete the job.
Posting materials on Sakai is a good alternative, and
students can then print those sources. Another
alternative to making copies is to use transparencies
for the overhead projectors that should be in all
classrooms. Our copy machine makes them in a
flash, so you can ask for those. We also have office
supplies to make your teaching life a bit easier: just
ask for what you need--within reason! We do
currently have several gradebooks if you keep records
with pen or pencil.
Do I have a mailbox?
Our office in 319 Roosevelt Hall has a mailbox for you, a photocopy machine, and a fax machine. Donna and our
student assistant, Steven, are there to help you during regular business hours--8:30am - 4:30pm.
You will need to check your mailbox regularly, as not everything is distributed electronically. Most
importantly, the IDEA surveys (course evaluations) that you will distribute to all students during the last
week of classes must be picked up in the main office. You will be notified via email when the IDEA surveys arrive and they will be placed in your mailbox. Please do not allow students to submit papers to the
main office. Use electronic submissions whenever possible. Note that 3rd floor of Roosevelt Hall is locked
by 4:30 p.m.
What about students who want in or who don't show up?
Students who want into your class need to watch e-Campus for
openings, where they can register for your class through January
29. From January 30 - February 5, students can register for your class only
with a Permission Number from you
. You will find instructions on assigning
Permission Numbers under the administrative section of Instructor Resources
. If a student comes to the first class and wants to add,
you can give him or her a PN if you wish.
Sometimes students will stop coming but not drop the course. If
students do not attend the first two classes or otherwise remain on your roster, you can drop them by emailing
Keri Jordan in Enrollment Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will need 1) your course and section number; 2) the
students’ names; and their URI ID numbers (see your e-Campus roster).
What if I have an emergency and cannot meet my class?
Please notify your students as
soon as possible via your Sakai
site, and please let someone
know in the main office at
874-5932. If you cannot notify
your students electronically
(maybe you are stuck in traffic),
call the main office, and
someone will try to make
arrangements to put a notice on
your classroom door.
If you know in advance that you
will not be able to meet a class,
it’s your responsibility to arrange
for a class activity/assignment
on your Sakai site, or to have a
colleague cover the class for you.
Final Exam Info
All final portfolios will be submitted electronically on Sakai--and are due one week after the *university's* last day of classes--a uniform date for every section. For Spring 2013, the last day of classes is Tuesday, April 30, so final portfolios are due electronically by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7.
Do I need to hold office hours?
We encourage everyone teaching WRT to meet, outside of class time, with individual students or students in
small groups as they need or request your attention, but we also realize this is not always possible given your
schedules and our space limitations. If you wish to hold conferences or have regular office hours, please see
Donna to reserve either 334 or 325 Roosevelt. Please be aware that if you are discussing grades or class
performance, you should use a “private” space--like 334 or 325--to meet with a student.
What is Sakai and how can I use it?
SAKAI is URI's course management system (CMS), an online teaching and learning environment. Even face-toface
classes can take advantage of a SAKAI site to share resources, communicate, collaborate, submit
assignments, or participate in discussions. We ask that, as a minimum, you use SAKAI to upload your syllabus,
weekly schedule, and all assignments, so that students can access these documents 24/7. If your class is at the 200-
level or above, and you do have projection capabilities in your classroom, you can feel free to skip the paper copies
and simply refer students to your SAKAI site.
For assistance with SAKAI, please see first the SAKAI portal: https://sakai.uri.edu/portal/ or
In the department, our Digital Pedagogy Specialist, Joannah Portman Daley (left), is available
to work with you by appointment on different ways to use technologies, including SAKAI, in
your classes. Joannah administers the department's Production Lab and oversees the lab
monitors and equipment. If you need to check out a laptop, for example, for use in your
classroom, she is the one to contact, at email@example.com.
Other Teaching Resources
For additional resources, please log in to our Instructor Resources page.
First-Year Writing Coordinator
Our First-Year Writing Coordinator is Professor Kim Hensley Owens. She can help you
with planning activities,
developing materials, or with any
problems in your classroom. Kim
can offer advice, referrals, or is
available to mediate conflicts as
Every 100-level section has a prearranged
library visit, where a
reference librarian will guide your
students through the use of
reference databases. You should
have already been notified of your
scheduled library date: meet your
students in the lobby, and a
librarian will escort you to a
computer classroom. Please
PREPARE your students for this
visit and follow up on the material.
Pre-visit handouts are available online via Instructor Resources
, and hard copies are available in the office.
Located on the 4th floor of
Roosevelt Hall, the Writing
provides assistance and
resources to writers across the
university community, in the form
of walk-ins, appointments, and
outreach efforts. Five-minute
visits from a tutor can be arranged
for your class, to introduce the
center and its services. Please be
on the lookout for an email from
the WC about their class visits.
You have been added to an informal
Writing instructors listserv and should be
getting a “welcome” message to confirm
your membership. Consider it a place to
share resources or ideas.
You are encouraged to participate in any or all events sponsored by the Harrington School of Communication and Media. Watch for dates and topics for professional development seminars offered during this academic year.