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New to Teaching at Stanford

An FAQ resource for faculty, lecturers, and instructors

Whether you are an experienced instructor moving to Stanford or at the beginning of your teaching career here, these tips and links can help you get oriented to the specifics of teaching at Stanford.

Information on this page is organized by category:

Emergency and disaster preparation

Where do I find current information about emergency or pandemic-related policies?

Resources for emergencies, disasters, and other disruptions has been curated on the Teaching Commons site.

Where do I check health information?

The Health Alerts site provides important updates about infectious diseases, travel warnings and other public health issues, including the university’s operations and policies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes information for faculty and instructors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

University policies

Where can I find more information about university policies?

The Stanford Bulletin's Academic Policies Overview page provides a central source for policies – both academic and non-academic – that are applicable to all Stanford students.

How do I grade assignments?

This page on Stanford’s general grading system describes Stanford's grading policy with grade definitions. However, it may still be a good idea to ask members of your home department or program, such as the department or program chair or student services administrator, about grading norms.

What are the final exams and End-Quarter Period policies?

Find out about Stanford’s official policies regarding the End-Quarter Period (aka “Dead Week”) and final exams.

What is the Stanford Honor Code?

Review Stanford's Honor Code and Fundamental Standard to understand how they may impact your teaching and assignments. Also check the Office of Community Standards website for these useful tips for faculty and teaching assistants and further policies and guidance.

What is my role in supporting students with disabilities?

Be aware of your role in student requests for accommodations. At Stanford, the Office of Accessible Education (OAE) is your partner and resource. Don’t forget to check the Faculty FAQs for specific, detailed answers.

What is the university policy on students recording classes?

More and more students want to record class material on devices such as smartphones, but as this policy explains, they must have explicit permission to do so, and can only use recordings for personal use; no posting or further distribution or use is permitted.

What is the guidance for instructors recording classes?

This guidance on recording course meetings can help you to decide if and how you might recording your course sessions.

*Required training: Sexual harassment prevention

Academic staff (such as lecturers) are required to complete sexual harassment prevention training and possibly additional training. Find out what training you need to complete.

Stanford has several policies that address different aspects of inappropriate sexual behavior. Learn more on the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education-Title IX Office (SHARE-TIX) website.

*Highly recommended training: FERPA compliance

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 established certain privacy rights applicable to a student’s educational record. Instructors play an important role in protecting student privacy.

In Stanford Axess (, click the STARS education tab to enroll in course AS-2000-WEB, Appropriate Use and Protection of Student Data, a 45-minute web-based class on FERPA. This course is highly recommended to learn how to use and protect student data at Stanford.


Where do I enter grades or check the student roster?

Axess is Stanford's consolidated online platform for records and transactions related to most teaching and administrative functions.

You will enter student grades and view your  student roster (including student photos) on Axess. All of this and more can be found under the Teaching tab of your Axess portal.

How can I check course information?

Information for all Stanford courses (including yours) can be found on the Stanford Bulletin ExploreCourses website, including the course description, any prerequisites, when the course is offered, and the number of units for the course. You can easily see your assigned classroom and final exam date and time by clicking the Schedule link below the description.

What are the standard meeting times for classes?

Standard class meeting patterns are common meeting times used across undergraduate and graduate schools to reduce course conflicts.

How are classrooms scheduled and requested?

Most classrooms are scheduled by the Registrar’s Office. Descriptions and schedules of these rooms can be found online by visiting Stanford's 25Live dashboard and searching for the room name in the "Search Locations" search box. If there’s a problem with your scheduled room, you should work with your department administrative assistant in charge of submitting room requests.

One of the best ways to prepare for your class is to visit the room ahead of time and test out any media devices that you may need.

What is the final exam schedule?

The final exam schedule is based on the official class meeting times of your class. You can find the general exam pattern information on the End-Quarter Period and Examination Policy page. You can also check the exam time for your class under the ExploreCourses listing for your course.

What are Stanford’s course management tools?

Canvas is Stanford’s centrally-provided course management system. Canvas courses are created automatically each quarter. Instructors do not create their own courses, but they will be added to their Canvas courses automatically as long as they are added as instructors in Axess.

How do I get end-term student feedback?

Starting in 2015-16, the university began using a course evaluation form that focuses on student learning. Instructors can customize their forms to get valuable student feedback. Stanford's course evaluation system also enables teaching assistants to be evaluated. In winter 2021, the Student Affairs Evaluation and Research team launched a new evaluation system, EvaluationKit, using the same forms and customization options. Learn more about teaching evaluations at Stanford

How do I work with Teaching Assistants (TAs)?

Depending on your department, you may be assigned one or more TAs to support your course. Check in with  your department or program to learn more about expectations for TAs, including:

  • the number of hours per week that TAs should be spending on your class
  • typical TA tasks such as grading, holding office hours, and running discussion sections
  • administrative tasks such as photocopying exams

The university has a wealth of resources and training opportunities for TAs. You can connect them with many of these by directing them to the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) page for TA training and support.

Note: Both “Teaching Assistants (TAs)” and “Course Assistants (CAs)” are typically referred to as “TAs”. Although there are some distinctions, they likely don’t impact how assistants support your class. If you have questions about this, you should check in with your department or program.

Teaching resources

How should you think about writing your syllabus? What’s the best way to prepare for the first day of class? What teaching strategies are most effective in large classes? Lab classes? The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)  has trained consultants who can meet with you to discuss any teaching-related topic, such as teaching strategies, results of end-quarter evaluations, course design, and so on. Request a consultation with CTL.

Explore CTL’s Teaching Support section  to get great ideas on these topics and more.

How can I request feedback and consultations?

Where can I find information on classrooms and technology for teaching?

CTL's Academic Technology Solutions Lab (ATSL) is a resource center for faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants interested in using academic technology to improve teaching, learning, and research. Visit their learning technology page to review the many tools, software, and hardware available, or email to schedule an appointment.

Questions about classroom spaces and technology? Learning Technology and Spaces, a part of Stanford Student Affairs, supports a variety of platforms, tools, and services, as well as technology-rich classrooms and learning spaces. 

Funding sources for instructors

What is my eligibility for tuition and training reimbursement?

Did you know that you may be eligible for tuition and training programs that provide funds for training and courses related to your career development (e.g., STAP funds)? 

Where can I find teaching grants and awards?

Start with the Grants and Resources section on the VPUE website.

Take advantage of the CTL grants and programs designed for Stanford faculty and instructional teams.

Stanford has numerous internal funding opportunities for faculty and their research teams, but it’s not always apparent where they all are, or how to apply. Stanford Seed Funding makes it easy to find opportunities and simple to apply.