New Instructor Path

Welcome to Teaching at Purdue for new instructors. The goal of this section is to provide you with essential information and resources that will aid you in orienting yourself as a new instructor here at Purdue University West Lafayette. Below you will find resources to guide you on your teaching journey.

General Course Administration

  1. Ensure you have a Purdue career account login and password.
  2. Ensure you have BoilerKey two-factor identification enabled.
  3. Ensure you have Microsoft multi-factor identification enabled.
  4. Activate your email – contact Purdue Information Technology ( or 765-494-4000)

Academic Regulations

  1. FERPA certification
    1. You must complete the FERPA training to gain access to your course in Brightspace. For information about FERPA and dos/don’ts around teaching, see the Academic Regulations path. To complete FERPA certification, go to the FERPA Certification website.
  2. Course Catalog
    1. Review the University Catalog at this website link. This is where you will find policies about incompletes, grading, and other academic regulations.
  3. Find where your courses will meet by accessing Banner
    1. (BoilerKey two-factor authentication required)
    2. (Dynamic Course Schedule)

Get to Know Your Learners

There are two types of rosters available for your courses: a class roster and a photo roster. Below are the differences between them, their uses, and where to find them at Purdue.

Class Roster

A class roster will help identify students in your course. The roster displays information such as the student’s position at the university (e.g., undergraduate), Purdue ID (known as a PUID), midterm grades for your course, the grade type, their advisor’s email address, and each individual student’s email address.

If you track attendance in your class or simply like to know who is in each class, it can be helpful to copy student names into a file and use this for your records. Keep in mind that students, staff, and faculty at Purdue may use their chosen (preferred) names on campus regardless of whether it matches their legal name. Checking with your students about their name preferences, and using those preferences, can help create a more respectful, inclusive environment.

If you are concerned about a student in your class, you can contact:

  1. The student and/or their advisor to check in with them.
  2. You may also submit your concern through the ODOS Student of Concern report. A student of concern is any student who displays behaviors that may interfere with the student’s ability to be successful and/or function well in the living, learning or work environment.

To find and download the rosters for your course(s), you can view the instructions in a PDF here.

Photo Roster

A photo roster provides names and photos of the students in your class. It is available to help you, as the instructor, identify students and be able to address them by name during class. Addressing students by name helps create a sense of connection, or relatedness, between you and your students, and inclusion in your classroom(s). To find the photo rosters for your course(s), you can find instructions to view/print photo roster here.

Note: in order to view a course roster, you must be FERPA certified. If you are not, you need to complete your FERPA certification first.

Pre-Class or First-Week Surveys

Students report appreciating when an instructor gets to know them and values their background and perspective. This can start before the class begins through a pre-class survey, or some instructors prefer to send a survey after the first few class meetings. When done before the class begins you can use the survey to help set the tone on the first day of class as well as potentially tailor parts of the syllabus to student requests. When done after the first class or first week, some instructors find students more willing to be open or honest in their answers, and the questions may be tailored to that particular cohort of students (this also allows all students to participate since some may register at the last moment or may not have technological access before the semester starts).

These surveys can both help begin the process of developing a feeling of belonging in the class and inform the structure of the class. The goal is not to rely on a survey for large-scale course decisions, but to inform smaller ones. For example, a question asking students what they hope to achieve or learn in the class can help you identify examples that may resonate with a variety of students in the course. In some classes, you might dedicate a few days to topics of students’ choosing, and this survey can begin the process of making those choices.  You can also learn about student needs or concerns. For example, if you ask students if there are things that you can do that will help them succeed, you might learn that some have health or scheduling issues that may inform how you share and discuss policies. For instance, many instructors do not mind when students need to go to the restroom in the middle of a class, and do not think this is something that needs to be articulated in the college classroom. But, many students, particularly first-year students, may come from educational environments where one’s ability to step outside to use a restroom has been curtailed.

Follow-up Message

As instructors who spend a lot of time planning a course, often the first day/week of a class is filled with energy and excitement as we start to see the fulfillment of our plans come into place. Students, however, often do not have this long build-up of energy leading to the first week. A message to students after the first week can help bridge this energy/excitement gap, by thanking students for their participation/engagement during the first days of class, sharing something that excites you about interests the students have shared, and, when applicable, pointing to a contemporary application of class material to help students perceive the relevance of class topics (perhaps drawn from survey information).