Planning for Classes: Policies and Resources

Classes must be held during their designated times; this includes synchronous sessions while the flexible hybrid and remote learning models are in effect. Students are expected to be available during those times as well.

7.1 Books and Readings

The Higher Education Opportunity Act provisions that went into effect on July 1, 2010, require that colleges and universities provide students, as practical, information about required textbooks (including ISBNs) on the online course listing. The goal of this requirement is to provide the students with the greatest flexibility in obtaining their textbooks. The University’s compliance with this federal requirement will be met by linking faculty orders placed with the bookstore to the course listings. After students register for classes, a “Textbook” link will appear at the bottom of the registration page. This link connects directly to the University bookstore’s website, where the student will find a list of the assigned textbooks, including pricing and ISBN numbers. Therefore, it is essential for faculty to reply to the bookstore’s request for book orders as early as possible.

Required reading should be ordered through the Barnes & Noble (B&N) bookstore on the campus at which the course is offered, during the semester before the one in which the course is offered. If an instructor must use a book that the bookstore is unable to order, they should locate copies of this book and inform the students of the location. Do not require a book unless the text is used in the course. Whenever possible, the instructor should also place a copy of the text in the library’s reserve room.

Information regarding the B&N college bookstore can be found on the University’s website

Faculty with concerns about the bookstore should contact Diana Lulgjuraj, director of strategic sourcing and University services, who serves as the designated University liaison between faculty and the B&N college bookstore. She can be contacted at 718-817-4914 or [email protected].

Please note that as per Section 107 of the Copyright Act, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

7.2 Classroom Use

Please note that the time and/or location of scheduled classes may not be changed without authorization. If you require the use of any specialized equipment, please consult with the associate chair or chair of the department when courses are being planned and submitted early in the semester. Please note too that there are short intervals between classes and you may not be able to prepare your classroom any more than 10-15 minutes before your class starts. Please plan accordingly.

7.3 Class Time

7.3.1 Class Length

Classes vary in length in the University’s colleges/schools. The meeting times for classes are listed on the Course Schedule page at Classes last from 50 to 150 minutes. Some begin on the hour, some on the half-hour. Moreover, courses can meet anywhere from one to five days a week.

It is expected that faculty will arrive at their classroom five minutes before their course begins and that they will end each class session on time. Faculty should vacate the classroom no later than five minutes after the course ends.

7.3.2 Class Credits

Fordham University’s credit-hour calculations follow New York State Education Department guidelines, which are based on the federal definition of a credit hour as “an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than ...

“(1) one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or

“(2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.” Three-credit courses meet 150 minutes per week for a 15-week semester with at least six hours of out-of-class work. For four-credit courses that meet for 150 minutes, the additional credit is earned by requiring three additional hours of class preparation per week in lieu of an additional
hour of formal instruction.

Faculty teaching four-credit courses should demonstrate in the syllabus how students will be required to commit this additional time to the course—through extra readings or assignments, for example.

7.3.3 Team Teaching

The Interdisciplinary Capstone Core seminars may be team-taught by professors representing contrasting disciplines, or taught by a single individual who has expertise in both disciplines. These courses are capped at 19 students per instructor (i.e., 38 students if there are two instructors). All other team teachings must be approved by the dean(s) of the relevant college(s)/school(s). The very nature of team teaching demands that both instructors be present for all class meetings.

7.3.4 Class Cancellations

In the rare event that you need to cancel a class meeting, please follow these instructions:

  1. Contact the students so they know not to come in. Faculty members should communicate with their students if their classes will be canceled. Email is the obvious way of doing this safely and quickly, and faculty members should be sure to have the appropriate email addresses at hand, both for their students and the administration. Students should be reminded they are responsible for any information sent to them at their Fordham email addresses. You can send a mass email to your class using the Summary or Detailed Class Roster on Banner (select the email icon at the bottom and the email window with addresses in the bcc: field pops up) or through Blackboard.
  2. Contact your department so they can answer questions from students. The department chair, associate chair, or departmental secretary should be notified of any cancellation of classes. Please notify the relevant dean’s office as well.

7.4 Expectations and Suggestions

7.4.1 Grading

Be consistent and fair in grading. This does not mean that everyone must pass, but it does mean that C-level work for one student should measure C-level work for another. If participation or effort is a part of the grade, this fact must be stated clearly in the syllabus as well as how it will be graded. Consistency may be improved by grading one question on all the exams before moving on to the next question and by grading blind (not checking the identity of the student until after the paper is graded).

Standard policies for grading are listed in section 3.2.1. It is the discretion of the instructor to assign a percentage range to a letter grade (e.g., 93 percent to 100 percent for an A). Such assignments should be clearly noted on the syllabus.

7.4.2 Grade Inflation

Please be vigilant about grade inflation. It is the dean’s responsibility to remind faculty, via the department chairperson or associate chair, if and when grades are inflated. Recurrent grade inflation destroys the credibility of the college within the academic community and does a disservice to all concerned. It should be noted that subjecting students to a very harsh academic regimen that falls outside of the norms and practices of the college is also not desirable.

7.4.3 Office Hours

All full-time and part-time faculty must schedule and hold regular office hours during the semester on the campus where they are teaching. These hours should be posted on the instructor’s office door, filed with the chair of the department, and included on each course syllabus. A minimum of four hours per week is expected, at times appropriate to typical student schedules in the college/school in which the course is offered. Adjuncts and part-time instructional staff are expected to be available at least one hour per week for each course they teach.

7.4.4 Classroom Suggestions

Students need metacognitive structures—knowledge about their own knowledge—in order to better grasp, recall, and make use of the knowledge they glean in a course. Here are some suggestions:

  • Hit the ground running on the first day by offering grand overviews of the course.
  • Devote a few minutes of each class to review what covered previously or to focus the direction of the lecture or course. Help students make connections by explaining how the topics of the day fit within the unit being covered and within the larger outlines of the course.
  • Help students make connections by explaining how the topics of the day fit in the wider field and how they connect to other disciplines, and why these topics are important.
  • Spend the last meeting or two of a course wrapping up the various topics and returning to the big picture, as opposed to cramming in the last two chapters of the text.
  • As a matter of professional courtesy, the classroom should be left in its original configuration.
  • Make a point of discussing teaching strategies with other instructors. We can all learn from each other.

7.4.5 Assignments

Assignments are an expected part of every student’s classroom experience. They are an essential measure for the student to gauge their progress in the course. Hence they should be collected regularly, corrected carefully, and returned promptly.

7.4.6 Suggestions from the Students

The following are suggestions that our best students frequently present to us:

  • Challenge them! The best classes are those that are the most demanding.
  • Make the most of classroom and office hours. Be on time.
  • Make a point to monitor student attendance.
  • Teach students the meaning of deadlines. Repeated extensions are more of a disservice than a favor and they discriminate against the punctual student.
  • Do not mistake personality for good teaching technique. While some personality can be used to get over the dry spots, there is nothing like a well-organized lecture/discussion to put life into a classroom.
  • Proctor examinations very carefully.

7.5 Information Technology Resources For Teaching

Fordham University offers faculty a rich array of teaching resources, including smart classrooms; computer labs; electronic reserves (ARES) for digitized course documents; Blackboard, our course management system; video conferencing; SafeAssign, the plagiarism software tool available through Blackboard; and Echo 360 for lecture video recordings. Fordham IT hosts many workshops, trainings, and private instruction so faculty can use these resources effectively in their research and teaching. A general overview with more information and general resources can be found on the University website at Academic technology resources can be found at

Faculty Tab at 
Many of the resources listed above can be accessed via the Faculty Tab, located at, the University's portal. The faculty tab also provides personalized information, including teaching schedules, class lists, and online grading.


Every course at Fordham University has a corresponding space on Blackboard. Faculty must activate their course on the site and populate it with course material before their students can use this online classroom space. Blackboard trainings are offered throughout the semester, and online support is available at

Blackboard is accessed from the portal by clicking on the Blackboard icon.

On Blackboard, faculty can find their current and recent courses listed under My Courses. All registered students should appear in the course register the week before classes start. If your current course is not listed, send the following information in an email to [email protected]:

  • Full course title
  • CRN #
  • Section # (e.g., 003, 01A, etc.)
  • School or department
  • Semester the course will be taught (fall, spring, summer).

Smart Classrooms and Media Services 
Most classrooms are equipped with one computer and audiovisual equipment. If a problem occurs with any of this equipment, there is also a hot phone in every classroom which you can use to call for help, or you can use your own phone to call the media team located on your campus:

  • Rose Hill: 718-817-4170
  • Lincoln Center: 212-636-6313
  • Westchester: 914-367-3349

Fordham University AccessIT ID 
Your AccessIT ID is your electronic identity for using Fordham University's online applications. Use your AccessIT ID every time you access the following:

  • Fordhamwifi, the wireless network on all three campuses
  • Blackboard
  • Virtual Private Network
  • Fordham Network Access Control
  • Gmail and other Fordham-based Google applications

If you do not have your AccessIT ID, you must claim it. Go to, select Claim Account below the Secure Access Login, and follow the prompts. Fordham University requires all employees to change their password every 180 days; reminders will be sent prior to the expiration date of your current password. Please note that Fordham now uses Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). More information can be found here:

New full-time faculty and adjuncts can access once they are registered with Human Resources. Call Human Resources at 718-817-4930 to find out if you are registered and to get your Fordham Identification Number (FIDN).

If you need assistance with obtaining your AccessIT ID and/or setting your password, please call IT Customer Care's Faculty Hotline at 718-817-1111.

Gmail at Fordham University 
Your Fordham Gmail address is your AccessIT [email protected]. For example, if your AccessIT ID is dd1234, then your Gmail address is [email protected].

Your Gmail account is immediately available for use after you claim your AccessIT ID. To access Fordham Gmail in, click the Gmail icon on the top right. Alternatively, use the URL

IT Customer Care (ITCC) 
IT Customer Care is available for all Fordham University students, staff and faculty. They address questions and problems with initial computer setup, your computer's operating system, software applications, claiming your AccessIT ID, Gmail, and wireless and network connections. IT Customer Care can be reached by phone at 718-817-3999. email. Please see this link for information about Faculty Technology Services ([email protected]).

7.6 Community Engaged Learning

What is Community Engaged Learning?
Community engaged learning (CEL) is a pedagogical approach that is rooted in the concept of engaged scholarship (public scholarship, civic engagement, community engagement, community-based learning, service learning, and experiential learning, etc.) and is one of the modes of integrating the classroom and curricula in the context of community. It is founded upon the premise that the most profound learning comes from experience that is supported by broad academic knowledge, intellectual analysis blended with thoughtful reflection which informs future action.

The Center for Community Engaged Learning team supports faculty in the development and teaching of CEL courses and all courses related to engaged scholarship. Please see this link,, for more information. Dynamic learning occurs when students combine thoughtful knowledge, personal observation, and community interaction with reflection on a course's themes.

What is a Community Engaged Learning Course?
What is a community engaged learning (CEL) course? CEL courses are courses tied to faculty members' teaching/research, connected to a form of student experiential learning (service learning, civic engagement, or experiential learning), with an intentional form of reflection (Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm and/or Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning), and tied to a public purpose, with the intent of being transformative for the student scholar and the community partner. The aspiration is that once students complete a CEL course they are able to understand the academic underpinning of a particular public issue, and that knowledge is expanded with experience in a community context while being molded by solid reflection which leads to more intelligent action. The goal is that these courses develop students’ capacity to become scholars and civic leaders.