Semester Cycle for Instructors

Planning Ahead

This checklist covers common planning and teaching steps for a 15-week semester. If you are teaching a shorter term or partial-term course, adjust accordingly. Verify your course's listing in the UAOnline Class Schedule and see UAA Dates & Deadlines for more details.

Before Classes Start

Please see our Start of Semester checklist for more detail. You can save a copy to edit or add your own course information.

Week 1

By Day 1:

  • Send a welcome email to students with basic information, such as class schedule and course materials
  • Make your Blackboard course available to students 
  • Share the syllabus with students in Blackboard 

Other Week 1 steps:

Weeks 2-3


  • Early in Week 2, reach out to students who have not attended class 
  • Submit a Week 2 Progress Report in Navigate for identified students and courses 
  • Provide review materials and activities to activate prior learning needed for your course, such as major concepts from prerequisites 
  • Use a low-stakes assessment activity to help students gauge whether this is the right semester for them
  • Remind students of add/drop period: UAA Dates & Deadlines 
  • Remind students of UAA resources to help them succeed: Student Help & Support

If you are teaching next term, start working with your department on the course schedule and classroom requests. Course materials (e.g., textbooks, software) are due in the online bookstore before mid-semester, so identify those now.



  • Connect with students needing support near midterm examinations 
  • Provide up-to-date grades to students so they know how they are doing (Blackboard Help: Grading). Students can withdraw up to Week 10 in Fall and Spring terms 
  • Submit midterm grades in Navigate for identified students and courses 
  • Update the faculty information for the IDEA survey 

Late Semester


  • Provide up-to-date grade information to students (Blackboard Help: Grading
  • Include low-stakes assignments or drafts for large projects 
  • Connect with students as needed before final examinations or projects 
  • Verify your exam time in the Final Exam Schedule and plan to hold an exam or class meeting during that time. (Note: Summer semester does not have a final exam period.) Remind students about the final session 
  • Ask students to complete the course IDEA survey 

End of Semester

Please see our End of Semester checklist for more detail. You can save a copy to edit or add your own course information.

  • Update the Blackboard Grade Center with final course grades and ask students to review them for any discrepancies. If you are not using Blackboard, share final grade and grade calculations with students in a FERPA-compliant method 
  • If collecting and assessing final work outside Blackboard (e.g., class presentations, papers, ePortfolios), save a copy of graded work for department and college assessment purposes 
  • Submit your final course grades in UAOnline. Grades are usually due the first Wednesday after final exams in Fall and Spring terms. The timeline is shorter for Summer sessions 
  • Note any changes you want to make the next time you teach 

Faculty Development & Instructional Support 
Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Academic Innovations & eLearning, and Center for Community Engagement and Learning 
Library 213 • 907-786-4496  Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.