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Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Darla Moore School of Business

Classroom and Teaching Logistics

 Teaching Logistics

The Academic Calendar can be found online through the Office of the University Registrar. Final exam schedules are also posted on the Office of the Registrar website. You should include the official final exam date in your syllabus.

Classroom instruction for a three-credit course is normally 150 minutes a week for 14 weeks. Classes meeting one day per week must be scheduled for 165 minutes to include a 15-minute break. View the Standard Class Meeting Times for additional information.

Access information regarding the Summer Meeting TimesView the summer schedule including dates and deadlines, holidays, and the final exam schedule.

The official bookstore of USC is the Russell House University Bookstore conveniently located in the Russell House University Union. Along with required and recommended textbooks, the bookstore offers a huge selection of Gamecock merchandise. The bookstore on the Columbia campus is run by Barnes and Noble.

Faculty can order books through the Faulty Enlight online portal. Click the “Adopt” option, then either choose to create an account or continue as a guest. From there, you can place an "adoption" for textbooks. You can also request instructor copies.

The USC-Columbia Faculty Manual states that the syllabus is the single most important instrument of structure in a course. It outlines what is to be learned, how learning will occur, and how learning will be evaluated. The syllabus establishes the standards, and sets the tone for a course. Academic Affairs policy ACAF 2.03 section III., letter E provides further guidelines regarding course syllabi.

Realizing that syllabus statements are the first step in communicating expectations with students, the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has compiled Examples Syllabus Statements that are consistent with the policies and procedures related to teaching. These examples include statements on academic integrity, attendance, academic support, expectations for classroom behavior, assignment submission, disability accommodation, diversity, exams, study habits, instructional methods, and instructor expectations. The CTE has created Syllabus and Course Templates for upcoming semesters to assist you with syllabus planning.

Academic ethical behavior is essential for an institution dedicated to the promotion of knowledge and learning. All members of the university community have a responsibility to uphold and maintain the highest standards of integrity in study, research, instruction, and evaluation. The Office of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity promotes academic integrity, upholds the University of South Carolina Honor Code, and supports the ideals set forth in the Carolinian Creed to foster a better living and learning environment in the university community. 

Classrooms may be reserved by faculty and staff for events including, but not limited to, study sessions and faculty/staff meetings. The University of South Carolina's Columbia campus utilizes 25Live as our campus-wide reservation system. Access this system to place a reservation, view classroom features and equipment, and to view existing events.

Use your network username and password to access 25Live. Prior to placing your first reservation, faculty and staff will need to email and identify your academic or administrative department along with the types of classrooms or conference rooms you plan to reserve. 25Live Training is available to assist you in navigating the reservation system. 

Contact the Division of Information Technology's Service Desk to inquire about classroom technology or to request support. 

The University Libraries  include world-class archival collections, skilled professional staff and essential research resources and services. They hold the distinction of being the only member of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in the state of South Carolina. The Thomas Cooper Library is the main Columbia campus library. The University Libraries provide 24/7 access to thousands of online journals, databases, eBooks and the online catalog.  University Libraries can provide access to course materials for your students. View a full listing of Course Materials Support. Faculty library resources are listed and explained through the New Faculty Library Guide, and includes a list of departmental library liaisons.

Blackboard Learning Management System

The University of South Carolina’s Blackboard system is a Learning Management System (LMS) that allows instructors and students to engage online in instructor to student, student to material, and student to student interactions. Blackboard is a flexible LMS that allows instructors to customize the learning experience to their course objectives, materials, and activities.

In Blackboard, instructors can post course content, develop online assessments, facilitate peer to peer interactions, send announcements, communicate with students, and maintain and calculate student grades. Students have online access to course materials and assessments through Blackboard, as well as opportunities to interact with other students via discussion boards, group projects, and communication tools.

The Division of Information Technology provides 24/7 support for Blackboard users across the USC system. Technicians are able to assist with a wide range of Blackboard-related issues, including basic use, how to post and complete assignments, how to improve content accessibility through Ally, how to create quizzes/tests/exams, and how to use academic integrity tools such as Safe Assign. Anyone, from any campus, in need of Blackboard support should call the Division of Information Technology Service Desk at 803-777-1800 and follow the prompts or submit a ticket in the IT Service Portal.

The Center for Teaching Excellence has additional Blackboard information on their website. 

Center for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) inspires excellence and innovation in teaching. The CTE creates and provides programming, resources, and opportunities that foster innovative and effective pedagogical practices among all who teach at USC.

Activities of the CTE are guided by the following programmatic goals:

  • Enhance the pedagogical knowledge and effectiveness of all who teach at USC.
  • Help new faculty and instructors establish a foundation for a lifetime of excellent teaching.
  • Help graduate students who teach, or who want to teach, to be efficient and effective.
  • Increase and leverage support for programs that promote teaching excellence.

The CTE website contains valuable information about upcoming events and hosts a Teaching Resources section to assist you with classroom strategies and needs.

The Center for Teaching Excellence announces upcoming teaching-related events, workshops and grant opportunities through a subscriber listserv. The CTE also publishes an electronic semester calendar distributed to departments, and maintains an online Events Calendar. Subscribe to the CTE Listserv.

The Center for Teaching Excellence is located in room L511 of the Thomas Cooper Library on the Columbia campus and can be reached at or by calling 803-777-8322. 

Office of Distributed Learning

The Office of Distributed Learning is a service unit that advances USC's mission to grow Distributed Learning (DL) courses and programs by working collaboratively with other academic and service units to support both faculty and students. The office assists faculty and academic units with online course delivery, from providing guidance through the course approval process to assisting with technical production and course accessibility. They help instructors provide a rich learning experience that mirrors on-campus quality while ensuring that testing adheres to course and program requirements. Working together with faculty, the Office of Distributed Learning  delivers exceptional online courses to students regardless of distance, classroom availability, or time constraints. 

Integrative Learning and Student Interaction

The Center for Integrative and Experiential Learning, formerly USC Connect, leads the University of South Carolina’s comprehensive initiative to enhance undergraduate education and build a culture of Integrative Learning. CIEL is housed in the Office of the Provost and overseen by the vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies. The Center promotes student opportunities to engage beyond the classroom and synthesize and apply learning across experiences. Graduation with Leadership Distinction is the signature program of CIEL and recognizes students for significant engagement and learning, including leadership through solution-oriented thinking. CIEL also encourages Experiential Learning for all undergraduate students.

The Study Abroad Office at USC supports the goals of the Global Carolina initiative and serves the university community by engaging in global partnerships and providing accessible, safe and high quality international experiences for students that enhance their academic, personal and cultural learning. The office creates opportunities for students, faculty and staff that inspire academic and personal growth while building a university community with a broader world view, as well as a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of other cultures.

The office offers experiences for students, faculty, and staff in international studying, interning, research, and service-learning. SAO offers annual symposia, leads workshops, and partners across our campus with the goal to further internationalize USC. It also  supports semester, yearlong, and summer programs; faculty-led short-term courses; discipline-specific exchanges, like international business; professional and graduate student travel and research; as well as incoming exchange students. Visit the Study Abroad Office for information on the many exciting study abroad opportunities that are available.

The Dinner Dialogues program is an initiative of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic SuccessStudents who interact with their instructors in and out of class are more successful. Through Dinner Dialogues, instructors can host their students for dinner at their homes, where conversations can help build community among class members. This experience provides an opportunity for discussion beyond the classroom in an informal, comfortable, fun and unique setting. And, thanks to a grant from the Parents Annual Fund, there's little or no cost. 

All faculty members are encouraged to consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity. To be eligible to participate in Dinner Dialogues, you must be the instructor of record for an undergraduate class at the Columbia campus. Submit the Dinner Dialogues application two weeks prior to your event so it can be reviewed for approval. Visit Dinner Dialogues for more information and to download an application,

Student Academic and Personal Support

There may be times when you identify a situation where referring a student for help or intervention would be appropriate. Here are some USC resources for student referrals.

The Student Success Center, located in the Thomas Cooper Library, is a comprehensive, one-stop-shop for academic support services on campus, and all of their programs and initiatives are free to undergraduate students at USC. The center facilitates student learning and degree completion by providing a comprehensive array of programs, resources and services that advance academic goal-setting, skill development, personal transition to and within the university setting and effective decision making. Some of the many services offered include tutoring, study skills and time management, research assistance, and writing and communications help. Resources tailored for veterans and transfer students are also offered. To find out more about the Student Success Center, as well as how to refer a student to their office, visit the Student Success Center.

The USC Writing Center helps students at any stage of the writing process become better writers. The center assists writers in all academic disciplines develop their writing abilities, promotes collaborative learning, trains graduate students in writing center teaching and administration, and provides writing resources to the academic community. The Writing Center is available for all USC personnel, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, instructors, and staff.

Every student deserves equal access to all aspects of the USC experience. The Student Disability Resource Center coordinates efforts to ensure that students with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations, and serves as a consultant to faculty, staff and campus partners. University faculty are essential partners in making sure that all students have equal access to academic success. If a student discloses that they have a disability, or you suspect that they do, encourage the student to register with the Student Disability Resource Center in order to receive information on disability accommodations. Students may register at any time, and accommodations may be requested for temporary injuries as well as permanent disabilities. Call them at 803-777-6142 with any questions or concerns.

The Honor Code is a set of principles established by the university to promote virtue in all aspects of a student’s academic career. Honor Code violations are subject to university sanctions. Examples of violations include cheating, plagiarism, falsification and complicity. As a faculty member you have an obligation to report potential violations to the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity office. If you suspect there has been a violation of the Honor Code in your classroom, meet with the student to discuss the situation. You may refer to Academic Responsibility – The Honor Code and Discussing Violations with Students as resources for meeting with a student. Please contact the Student Conduct and Academic Integrity office at 803-777-4333 to consult with a staff member if you have questions related to a potential Honor Code violation. 

Academic disruption may include disorderly conduct, disruptive activity, failure to comply, or other unwanted behaviors. Set guidelines at the beginning of the semester, as well as in your syllabus, regarding cell phone and laptop use, late entry, side-talking and other disruptive behaviors. In non-emergency situations, first try to resolve the situation yourself when appropriate. View the Faculty Guide to Academic Disruption

Some behaviors can be important signals of distress. If you witness self-injurious behavior such as talk of suicide, substance abuse, emotional distress or self-harming behaviors you should contact the Student Care and Outreach Team at 803-777-4333, or USC Police Department at 803-777-4215. Also call these numbers, or 911, if you witness erratic behavior, including online activities that disrupt the mission and/or normal proceedings of the university community, and/or increase the potential for compromised safety such as a threat to bring a weapon on campus. If you are ever concerned about someone's health, well-being, or safety, submit a referral through the  Student Care and Outreach Team (Care Team) Incident Report.

You may identify that a student has personal issues or challenges through the course of interaction in your classroom. If you're concerned about a USC student, call the Counseling and Psychiatry department at 803-777-5223. They can help you determine what to do, and how to help the student. If you feel someone is considering harming themselves or someone else, call 911 immediately.

Often, it is the faculty and staff who provide the link between students and Counseling and Psychiatry. You can suggest that the student call Counseling and Psychiatry to make an appointment or utilize Thrive@Carolina for additional mental health access and resources. If the situation is a life-threatening emergency, call 911. If the situation is not life-threatening but urgent, call Counseling and Psychiatry at 803-777-5223 or use our 24/7 Support Line at 833-664-2854.


Guide to Mental Health Services

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.