Welcome to Stanford! Here's what you need to know about policies, logistics, teaching resources, and funding opportunities.
University Grading System
Here is a breakdown of Stanford’s grading system with grade definitions. However, it may still be a good idea to ask members of your home department or program such as the department/program chair or student services administrator about grading norms.
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 are Stanford's Honor Code and Fundamental Standard, and how do they impact your teaching and assignments? Also check out the additional resources with interpretations of the honor code and really useful tips for faculty and teaching assistants.
Working with Students with Disabilities
How do you handle student requests for accommodations? At Stanford, the Office of Accessible Education is your partner and resource. Don’t forget to check out the Faculty FAQ’s for specific, detailed answers.
University Policy on Recording Classes
More and more students want to record class material on smartphones, but as this policy explains, they must have explicit permission to do so, and there are limits as to what they can do with the recording.
Sexual Harassment Prevention
Stanford has several policies that address different aspects of inappropriate sexual behavior. Did you know that 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.
In your Axess (axess.stanford.edu), click on the STARS education tab to enroll in course AS-2000-WEB, a 45-minute web-based class on FERPA. Learn how to use and protect student data at Stanford.
Where do I input student grades? Where can I see my student roster (including student photos)? All of this and more can be found under the Teaching tab of your Axess portal.
Course information for all Stanford courses (including yours) can be found at the 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/time by clicking on the Schedule link below the description.
Classrooms and Room Reservations
Most classrooms are scheduled by the Registrar’s office. Descriptions and schedules of these rooms can be found online. 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!
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 at the Registrar’s exam schedule site. Don’t forget, you can also see the exam time for your class under the ExploreCourses listing for your class.
Course Management Tools
Want to set up a course website that allows you to send course-related announcements to your students or distribute electronic materials to your students without having to constantly email files? There are a variety of course management tools out there to support your class including Stanford’s centrally-provided course management system, Canvas.
End-of-quarter Teaching Evaluations
Starting in 2015-16, the university began using a new course evaluation form that focuses on student learning. Instructors can customize their forms to get valuable student feedback. Stanford's new course evaluation system also enables teaching assistants to be evaluated. Learn more about these evaluations.
Teaching Assistants (TAs)
Depending on your department, you may be assigned 1 or more TAs to support your course. Check in with folks in 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 as grading, holding office hours, and running discussion sections; and administrative tasks such as photocopying exams.
- 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.
- The university has a wealth of resources and training opportunities for TAs. You can plug them into many of these by directing them to the Teaching Commons website for TA support.
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 Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL) has trained staff who can meet with you to discuss any teaching-related topic such as teaching strategies, results of end-quarter evaluations, course design, etc. To meet with them, go to Getting Started with VPTL.
Explore VPTL's Course Design and Teaching Practices pages to get great ideas on these topics and more. Then visit Teaching Commons to read the Teaching Talk blog, see profiles of great teaching, and join the conversation with your colleagues who teach at Stanford.
Feedback & consultation services to try
- Getting student feedback: Did you know that we have trained staff to run mid-quarter student feedback sessions with your students? It’s best to request these early so that they can be conducted in weeks 4-6 of the quarter.
- Run a confidential online survey: You can create an online feedback survey for your students. VPTL will run it for you and give you a confidential, anonymous report, and consult with you about it if you wish.
- Technology for Teaching: How do I decide which technology tool is the right one for my course? Should I use clickers in class to increase student engagement? Would having my students watch short videos of course content improve their learning? If so, how do I actually make these videos? Talk with trained staff at VPTL by scheduling a consultation.
Funding Sources for Instructors
Tuition and Training Reimbursement
Have an idea for redesigning an existing course or developing a new course? Want to integrate a service learning component to enhance your course? Learn about Stanford grants to support these projects and many more. Lecturers and other academic teaching staff may apply for these grants as well, but we recommend that you confirm this first with the listed contact.