Managing the Course Environment

Fostering a positive learning environment is important for both the instructor and the students because such an environment allows students to participate and feel safe. This type of environment supports students' learning and sustains their learning effort; therefore, classroom management skills are of great importance and concern. Classroom management practices include recognizing students' classroom behaviors, creating a classroom management plan to develop and sustain a positive learning environment, applying reflective practices, and communicating with students effectively. For any instructors who have concerns regarding classroom management, they are encouraged to discuss this with their colleagues, or contact the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning for consultation.

Student Rights

Students have the right to:

  • be informed of course requirements;
  • be evaluated fairly on the basis of their academic performance (their abilities and skills) as required by a professor as part of a course;
  • experience free and open discussion, inquiry, and expression, both in the classroom and in conference;
  • experience competent instruction and advisement.
  • take exception to the data or views presented and reserve judgment about matters of opinion;
  • expect protection against a professor's improper disclosure of student's views, beliefs, and political associations which may surface as a result of instructing, advising, or counseling;
  • expect protection, through established procedures, against prejudicial or capricious evaluation (see Academic Appeals section).

Student Responsibilities

Students have the responsibility to:

  • inquire about course requirements if they do not understand them or are in doubt about them;
  • maintain the standards of academic performance established for individual courses and for programs of study;
  • initiate an investigation if they believe their academic rights have been violated (see section on Academic Appeals);
  • learn the content of any course of study;
  • act in accordance with commonly accepted standards of academic conduct (see Student Conduct section).