Teaching and course information
Adjunct faculty teaching for the first time at FIU should discuss with the department chairperson issues relating to course content, book orders, office location, office hours, and the like. The instructor needs to be provided with specific information about the course, such as what level of preparation students come to the course with and how the course fits into the university/departmental curriculum. In addition, the instructor needs to have that semester’s key dates. For a tutorial on your course information, contact Michael Rodriguez. 

Panthersoft is a multi-year project with the goal of implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that will facilitate business processes and improve services rendered to students, faculty, and staff.

Blackboard is a university platform that will include course information such as the Syllabus, FAQ, How to get started, Welcome message, messages, etc. Please become familiar with this, as you will be using this to contact your students. Blackboard is used for grading, assignments, assessments, and course breakdowns.


Getting the Most of your course

Software Resources for Blackboard

Blackboard FAQ

Turn it in FAQ

Your go to for any Blackboard setup inquires

To create your own FTF Blackboard Shell




Jaime Young is our main Blackboard instructional designer



MyLab & Mastering is the world’s leading collection of online homework, tutorial, and assessment products designed with a single purpose in mind: to improve the results of all higher education students, one student at a time.

With input from more than 11 million student users annually, MyLab & Mastering creates learning experiences that are truly personalized and continuously adaptive. MyLab & Mastering reacts to how students are actually performing, offering data-driven guidance that helps them better absorb course material and understand difficult concepts. All tests will  be done on Pearson. 


Pearson Getting Started 

How to Media Share


Adobe Connect

Students should be encouraged to attend this Comm Arts practice meeting prior to the scheduled Adobe Connect course meetings. This will minimize the possibilities of numerous obstacles that may interrupt the objectives of the scheduled course meetings. The syllabus outlines the requirements for the meetings but we may have to continue being proactive in emphasizing the solutions to potential issues. This practice link is public and students may explore, experience, and test Adobe Connect functions in preparation to the required meetings.

Comm  Arts  Adobe Connect Practice Meeting https://connect.fiu.edu/r16jbthrbmu/

Student Using Adobe Connect: This video provides students with a complete overview of Adobe Connect. (Tutorial)

Share Presentation: In this video we will provide an overview of how to Share a Presentation in Adobe Connect. (Tutorial)

Student Collaboration: This video provides an overview about how Adobe Connect can be used for student’s collaboration and group work activities or projects. (Tutorial)


Class Roster
Faculty may view class rosters by using the new PantherSoft system. The sign-on is available through the FIU home page (www.fiu.edu). In the middle of the page, the PantherSoft logo and login drop-down menu or option list is available. By selecting “Student System” under the Faculty and Staff heading, faculty will be directed to the PantherSoft security login page. After entering your PantherID and password, you will access the Learning Management home page. Learning Management is Panthersoft terminology for faculty self service, which means that the information displayed is specifically tied to your Panthersoft ID.

Please note that all faculty, including adjunct faculty, have been granted access to view their class rosters in the Panthersoft System. However, access to a class roster is available only if your department has assigned you to that specific class within Panthersoft. Please contact your department chairperson if you identify any discrepancies with your class schedule.
For additional help in accessing or using class rosters, you may refer to the video tutorial or PDF document that quickly guides you through the process at: http://panthersoft.fiu.edu/train_guides2.htm. We have also included these instructions at the end of this Handbook in Appendix B.


Meeting Class
A professor must meet every scheduled class and should meet it for the entire scheduled time. On those rare occasions when professional obligations, an emergency, or illness require that you miss a class, notify your chair in advance, and make provisions for covering your class (in advance) if at all possible. If there is no one available to cover your class, make sure that someone notifies your students. Never hire anyone else to teach a course to which you have been assigned.
Classes are scheduled to meet for a prescribed period of time (generally, 1 hour and 15 minutes twice a week or 2 hours and 45 minutes once a week; lab courses last longer). Faculty are expected to use the entire class period and must meet classes in the room that they have been assigned.

Faculty must notify the chair if there is a schedule variation such as:
1. the class will not meet in the assigned classroom and will meet elsewhere
2. the class session is cancelled by the professor
3. the professor must schedule a make-up session of the class.
Adjunct faculty should never hire someone else to teach the courses for which they have been contracted.
Should the faculty member need to change the classroom, s/he should notify the appropriate departmental staff who will contact Space and Scheduling to arrange for an alternate room. Faculty should remember that changing classrooms during the peak class periods is extremely difficult and should request to do so sparingly.


Office Hours
Faculty are required to have hours available to meet with their students. All faculty must inform their students and the departmental staff the times when they will be available to meet with students. Adjunct faculty should discuss with the department chairperson the place where they can meet with their students for office hours.

The University does not have a policy on attendance. Faculty must describe on the syllabus their policy on attendance if it affects the determination of the final grade.

Faculty receive several copies of the class roll throughout the semester. Faculty must ensure that only those students whose names appear on the roll attend class. Students whose names do not appear on the roll should be referred to the Registrar’s Office and should not be allowed to continue attending class until the registration problem is solved.

In courses where the grading option is optional (i.e., students may enroll for either a letter grade or for a pass/fail grade), the instructor should announce to each student the option for which s/he is enrolled. Many problems arise because the students believe that they are enrolled for one option when, in fact, they are enrolled for the other option.

Students must pay tuition and receive a grade (even a DR grade) for any course not dropped by the end of the Drop/Add period (usually the first Saturday of the term; the Schedule of Classes provides the exact date for each semester).

Adding/Dropping Courses
During the first week of class, students may freely add or drop a course (the former, of course, if seats are available). If the course is full, the instructor has the option to allow additional students into the course, provided there are sufficient chairs for all the students.
Each department has its own policy on allowing students to receive an override into a course; please discuss the department’s policy with the chairperson.

During the second and third week of the semester, the instructor may allow students into the course. Students must have the instructor sign an add/drop form and take it to the department so that a staff member can stamp it before turning it in to the Registrar’s Office. Faculty may allow students to enroll during the fourth week of the semester; this request, however, must be accompanied by a letter of explanation as to the reason the student is adding the course so late in the semester. The letter must be approved by the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Advisement before being forwarded to the Registrar’s Office.

Students may drop a course any time until the eighth week of the semester, but will be awarded a DR grade, which is not calculated as part of their grade point average.


Final Examinations
The University’s final exam schedule for the Fall and Spring Semesters is established by the Registrar and is printed in the introductory pages of the Schedule of Classes. The schedule must be followed: instructors do not have the prerogative of rescheduling final exams. Permission to vary from the printed schedule requires approval of the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Advisement. During the last week of classes, no final exams may be given; however, faculty may give quizzes or exams that are not comprehensive. All questions regarding final exam schedule and/or conflicts are to be referred to the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Advisement.

During the Summer Term, there is no official final exam schedule; final exams may be given either the last or the next-to-last class meeting.

The culmination of the activities of a course is the awarding of grades. Faculty may take this responsibility very seriously and carefully calculate the grades that students have earned. In determining the grades, faculty must abide by the statements made on the syllabus distributed to the students.

Until the end of the eighth week of the semester, students can drop a course and receive an DR grade. Faculty are encouraged to award grades to the students prior to that date so that the students can use that information in determining whether to drop the course or not. If students have not been awarded any grades prior to that date, they will not have the necessary information needed to make that decision. The Schedule of Courses booklet lists the last day to drop a course for each semester.

Be sure that you understand the University grading system. The definition of each grade and the number of points it earns is explained below under Grading Options. Most courses use a conventional letter grading system (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C, D, F), but some courses are taught on a pass/fail basis. FIU no longer awards grades of C-, D+ or D-. You may set your own grading scale, which you must include on your syllabus, but keep in mind that below a C (still 2.0 on GPA), there is now only D (1.0) and F (0.0).

In some cases, students can elect to take a course for letter grade or pass/fail. You should review the grading options of students on your grade roll and ask students to verify the option selected the first week of classes.

There are some grades that cause special problems. The incomplete (IN) grade is given at the instructor’s discretion to a student who has been unable to complete the course due to a serious interruption not caused by the student’s own negligence. When the instructor assigns an incomplete grade, he/she also assigns a default grade-the grade the student will receive if the prescribed work is not completed by the end of the next two academic semesters. Summer C term is considered a semester. An incomplete must be completed within two semesters or it will automatically be changed into the default grade. (See the following paragraph for the rules on students who have applied for graduation.) You can require a student to finish an incomplete in a shorter period of time. It is recommended that you draw up a contract containing a firm deadline with the student. Specify as short a period as is reasonable, since experience shows that the longer an incomplete drags on, the less likely it is that the student will ever complete the work. Please advise students that they should not re-register for a course in order to make up an incomplete.

Students who are graduating are under special time constraints. Any student who applies to graduate at the end of a given semester and who has received an “IN” grade in that term or a previous term, must complete the required course work by the end of the fourth week following graduation. The change-of-grade form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the end of the fourth week of the following semester. If the student fails to complete the course or the department fails to submit the change-of-grade form in a timely fashion, the graduation application will be canceled.

An incomplete should be given only to a student who has successfully completed half of the work in the course. A student can drop a class through the eighth week of the semester; a student with medical, personal, or other problems may withdraw from the University altogether through the eighth week of the semester. For the actual deadlines for drops and withdrawals, check the academic calendar at http://www.fiu.edu/~register/academiccalendaranddeadlines.html  It is possible for a student to drop or withdraw after the eighth week when circumstances beyond his/her control make it impossible to continue. Under such circumstances, the student must submit an Appeal for Late Drop or an Appeal for Late Withdrawal form to the Office of Registrar. If the student’s appeal is approved, the Office of Registrar will request that you indicate on a special form whether the student was passing or failing at the time of the drop/withdrawal. The grades WI (withdrew), DR (drop), and AU (audit) are administratively assigned. You will never give these grades.

If a student’s name does not appear on your grade roll, notify the student so that he/she can contact the Office of Registration and Records to obtain a Course Registration Correction form. If the name of a student who has not been in your class appears on your grade roll, the Registrar recommends assigning that student an F. If there is a registration error, the F will prompt the student to contact the Registrar; if the student enrolled but never attended, the student has (unfortunately) earned the F. Non-attendance and non-payment do not constitute a drop. Sometimes students fail to pay for a course thinking this will automatically delete them from the course roll. This works only if the student is taking just that one course.

As an adjunct, you must photocopy your grade book and your syllabi and leave the copies with your department chair at the end of the semester.


Grading Systems

The University has adopted the following grade definition:


Letter Grade Point Average
A 4.00 A- 3.67
A- 3.67
B+ 3.33
B 3.00
B- 2.67
C+ 2.33
C 2.00
D 1.00
F 00


P* Pass (Satisfactory) N/A IN‡ Incomplete N/A

* Pass (P) indicates that the student met the requirements of the course. This grade can be assigned only in following courses:

1) those designated as having pass/fail grading option

2) those with optional grading when the student has chosen pass/fail option.

(Note: Many programs require all courses in the student’s major to have a letter grade.)

Some departments stipulate that a Pass grade must be the equivalent of a C grade or higher. Adjunct faculty should discuss with the department chair the departmental policy.

‡ Incomplete (IN) is a temporary grade symbol given because the course work was not completed because of serious interruption not caused by the student’s own negligence. Genuine reasons with little room for doubt should be required when awarding an IN grade. It is inequitable to permit some students and not others extra time to complete projects or assignments. The student must not register again for the course to make up the incomplete.

Entering Grades

Final Grades are entered into the PantherSoft system. Please visit http://panthersoft.fiu.edu/UPK/CS/faculty/PeopleSoft%208/Training%20Modules/Player/Publishing%20Content/PlayerPackage/index0.html


Changing Grades

Once submitted, end-of-semester grades (apart from incompletes) are final and can be changed only to correct an error or cases in which some part of the student’s work was unintentionally overlooked. A change-of-grade form must be submitted within one calendar year of the term in which the grade was earned. You must indicate the reason for the change of grade on the front of the form. Forms must be submitted to the department for signature and then to the Registrar’s Office. Do not give the form to the student.

If a student files a grievance against an adjunct (or former regular faculty member) who cannot be reached by the University, the department chair has the right to change a disputed grade.


Posting Grades

Federal laws protect students’ privacy. Therefore, posting grades in a manner which identifies the students is illegal. This includes posting grades using the student’s social security number or any other means through which the student can be identified.

The office staff cannot divulge students’ grades over the telephone, so faculty should not ask students to call the office to obtain their grades. If students wish to be informed of their grades prior to the official posting by the University, they should make arrangements with the instructor to be informed of the grades (e.g., give faculty a post card). Students should also make arrangements to have their final exams or projects returned. The departmental staff cannot be made responsible for distributing that work, nor can students’ work be left outside the office for students to pick up.

A couple of days after the last day to turn in the grades (exact date is published each semester in the Schedule of Classes), students can access their grades either over the telephone or through the University web page.

Students need to know what is expected of them in a course so that they may make a rational decision about their schedules during the first week of the semester. All instructors of record are required to provide students with a printed or published on-line syllabus for any course in which students receive academic credit and for non-credit courses required for a degree or academic certificate.

Students should receive or have access to the course syllabus no later than the first class meeting for lecture and lab courses, not later than the first day of the semester for on-line courses, and not later than the end of the first week of the semester for internships, practicum, independent study, readings, or any other courses. Exceptions to the time constraints of this policy may be made on a case-by-case basis by department chairpersons or school directors when instructors are assigned in an untimely manner.

Each department or school will maintain a file of current course syllabi either on-line or in printed copy throughout the semester, which will be available for public examination.

Most student grievances occur as a result of the faculty not having syllabi or not providing sufficient information in the syllabi.

See a sample below:

Sample Syllabus


Each course syllabus must contain the following information:

1. The name of the course, course and section numbers, course description, course objectives and learning outcomes, prerequisites and co-requisites (if any), and semester and year offered;
2. The instructor’s name, telephone number, e-mail address, department or school, office location and office hours;
3. Required purchases including texts, lab supplies, artistic supplies, professional and ancillary items;
4. A tentative outline that includes major topics, anticipated dates of assignments, performances, artistic submissions, and/or examinations;
5. Performance measures that will be considered for evaluation in awarding final grades;
6. Any policies of the instructor and/or department that may impact a student’s enrollment or final grade. All instructors should explicitly sate their policies regarding cheating and plagiarism. Students found cheating or plagiarizing in class will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Student Handbook.
7. Grading standards to be used in calculating final grades;
8. Attendance standards, if required.

The more information the instructor can provide the students early in the semester about the expectation s/he has of students’ performance, the better the students will be able to make a decision about their chance of success in the class.

Instructors are encouraged to include the following in course syllabi:
1. The University drop date;
2. Instructor’s policy on make-up examinations, assignments or performance measures;
3. Recommended purchases including supplemental texts, lab supplies, artistic supplies, professional and ancillary items;
4. The University’s Code of Academic Integrity;
5. Reference to University policies on academic misconduct, sexual harassment, religious holy days, and information on services for students with disabilities.

Instructors retain the right to modify the course syllabus for any reason throughout the semester provided that:
1. Fair and adequate notice is given to enrolled students either by e-mail, in writing, or through online publishing;
2. Modifications to the syllabus are not arbitrary or capricious, and
3. Students are not unfairly disadvantaged by mid-semester changes to grading standards, attendance standards, or performance measures.




Information Contact Person Link or Number/Email
Academic Calendar n/a http://onestop.fiu.edu/academic-calendar/fall/index.html
Code of Academic Integrity n/a http://undergrad.fiu.edu/academic-misconduct/pdfs/code-of-academic-integrity.pdf
Course Information, Dates & Numbers Shawnda Mair 305-348-1984 mairs@fiu.edu
Book Information; ISBN, etc. Shawnda Mair 305-348-1984 mairs@fiu.edu
MyCommLab Course ID & Directions Michael Rodriguez 305-348-3373 mrirodri@fiu.edu
Special Objective Disclaimers (Global Learning Objectives & Gordon Writing Rule) Shawnda Mair 305-348-1984 mairs@fiu.edu
University Policies / Grading Scale Shawnda Mair 305-348-1984 mairs@fiu.edu



Information Special Requirements
Global Learning Courses COM 3417*, COM 3461, COM 4430, IDS 3336
Gordon’s Writing Rule Courses SPC 3210, SPC 3271, COM 3404, COM3417*