Course overview and introduction best practices

What Is It?

Some best practices to getting started.

Who Can Use It?

Montana Tech Instructors

Where Can I Access It?

  1. The instructor uses Moodle or another teaching location to provide clear and detailed instructions for students to begin accessing all course components, such as syllabus, course calendar, assignments, and support files. Examples:
    1. This can include a Start Here or Welcome page that gives basic facts about the course.
    2. A course tour or overview that breaks down the important features of the course.
    3. A clear statement for students about how they begin coursework.
  2. There should be detailed instructor information available to students that includes multiple formats for being contacted by students, availability information, brief biographical information, and a picture of the instructor.
    1. The instructor provides a short biographical paragraph and picture to personalize the course and give students a sense of the person behind the role of instructor. This approach helps students build a better rapport with their instructor.
    2. Provide methods of contacting the instructor. Ideally this will be more than one contact method that might include Moodle QuickMail, email, Skype/Zoom/chat office hours or any in-person office hours.
    3. Let students know the hours that you are available online and a statement about any times that you might not be available. Announcements in Moodle are a good way to inform students when you will be offline traveling or away for the weekend.
  3. The course description includes the purpose and format of the course, as well as prerequisite knowledge and competencies, if applicable.
    1. Include a brief synopsis of the purpose of the course in your own words.
    2. Explain the format of the course. Is it strictly online? Will it include outside content like Cengage or textbook online resources, and if so, how they will be used.
    3. List any important prerequisite knowledge required or recommended for the course.
  4. Academic integrity or "code of ethics" should be defined. Any related institutional policies for students to adhere to are clearly stated and/or links to those policies from the institutional website should be included.
    1. The Academic Dishonesty section of the current catalog contains language that you can add to your syllabus or a separate document outlining definitions and examples of student responsibilities and rights. It also covers details about policy on plagiarism and cheating.  For 2019-2020 it can be accessed here:
    2. The content could also be linked to directly using the link above from the course syllabus. Note that each catalog may contain slightly different language, so it is good practice to update the link in your syllabus every Fall.




  1. Create a course introduction video
  2. Provide links to purchase any textbooks or required resources.
  3. Give students a “How to succeed in my course” document with your specifics.
  4. Establish an Instructor blog or weekly announcement as part of the introduction.


Article ID: 104384
Mon 4/6/20 9:23 AM
Mon 7/25/22 2:36 PM