Faculty have preferred ways to conduct their classes and have individual policies. However, these practices and policies differ from one instructor to another and students do not know your policies unless you explicitly inform them. On the first day of class and on the course page in your learning management system ( i.e., BlackBoard), you might address the following issues, among others:
1. Do you prefer to finish your presentation of new material before students ask questions or can students interrupt with questions any time?
2. What kinds of student collaboration are encouraged, acceptable and what is not allowed. We often give mixed messages that students can interpret differently. For example, if they can collaborate on project work, such as labs, you need to tell them if they can also collaborate on the written reports coming form the projects, such as lab reports.
3. What is your policy about how material is to be handed in- must be on paper, in your drop box in the learning management system or emailed to you through the university email?
4. Do you allow students to come late to class or prefer that they skip the class?
5. What reference citation style will you accept for their writing?
6. How should they contact you if they need to see you outside of office hours?
7. What is acceptable in terms of how formally or informally students send you electronic messages and in what medium would you prefer to receive them?
There are many others. As you think of the answers to these questions, you might start developing an information sheet that you can attach to all course shells on your course page in your learning management system. You can add more ideas to this list over time.
When students know these policies and practices, they are more likely to get off to a good start in your course and not violate rules unintentionally.