Teaching Overview

As a research-intensive institution, UCSB's ladder faculty members are expected to engage in research that contributes to creating new knowledge in their disciplines and applying that knowledge to their pedagogy.

  • Professor, Teaching Professor, and Non-Senate Faculty are also expected to provide a productive, supportive, and engaging learning experience for students. UCSB research, along with other research, has shown that this occurs when faculty:
    • Make clear that they welcome students, their identities, and their experiences as part of the learning process. This can take place via language in the syllabus, language in class, and presence in office hours.
    • Recognize that, as experts, faculty have different understandings of how knowledge is made in the course and discipline than students, who are novices.
      • Remember that what seems “simple” or “logical” for experts is rooted in this expertise, and may not be as accessible for novice learners
      • Create ways for students to understand and practice with how and why knowledge is made in the discipline as it is -- the fundamental understandings, assumptions, or beliefs that lead to the “right” ways of doing things. This occurs as faculty identify course goals and connect them to those fundamental ideas through spoken language and class curriculum, activities, and assessments.
    • Recognize that learning is a social process that takes time, feedback, and support. Faculty can act on this by helping students to connect with each other (in class and/or via small group activities like study groups); and providing feedback via formative, low-stakes assessments (in addition to higher stake assessments, if applicable).

As a minority-serving institution, it is especially important that faculty design courses that focus on students' assets - the knowledge and experiences that they bring to their education. Faculty can also understand that students' experiences may differ from their own, recognizing the need to be curious and respectful of these differences and considering how students' knowledge can contribute to the knowledge-making activities that are at the core of faculty members' teaching and research.

UCSB's Office of Teaching and Learning offers many workshops and seminars for faculty to learn about and practice with these ideas, including a New and Nearly New Pedagogy Orientation and multiple workshops, seminars, and guest speakers each year.

The Office of Teaching and Learning also has many resources that can help faculty to put together courses and course materials. These include:

Basic Expectations

Faculty members are expected to meet and teach their assigned classes; provide students with a syllabus; post and hold office hours; hold examinations at the time specified in the schedule of classes; grade coursework fairly; and turn in grades in a timely manner.

Like most U.S. postsecondary institutions, UCSB offers four levels of undergraduate classes. Each entails that faculty members take different approaches to curriculum, pedagogy, and instruction.

  • General Education (GE): an undergraduate program spanning departments that is intended to help students learn to study and practice with knowledge-making techniques that form foundations for academic and career success: critical thinking, written communication, textual interpretation, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and oral communication. While GE competencies are broad, faculty should remember that they are enacted in specific ways within disciplines (and other contexts). There is no "general thinking," "general writing," or "general reasoning" that applies across all disciplines; hence, faculty members have a responsibility to show students how these function in their disciplines. As students are exposed to the different ways that GE goals are woven into courses, they become flexible thinkers and practitioners who can adapt their skills in different contexts.  There are seven GE subject areas: English Reading and Composition; Language; Science, Mathematics, and Technology; Social Sciences; Culture and Thought; Arts; and Literature. There are also five special subject areas that are usually integrated in courses that fulfill one of the seven subject areas: Ethnicity, European Traditions, World Cultures, Quantitative Relationships, and the Writing Requirement. Faculty can find a complete list of GE courses in the College of Letters and Science here or in the College of Engineering here. Faculty can learn more about the GE program here. GE courses at https://assessment.ucsb.edu/data/ge.
  • Lower Division: undergraduate classes within GE or major programs that are intended to introduce students to ways of creating knowledge in a discipline. Many lower division classes also fulfill major and GE requirements. Faculty can learn more about whether their course fulfills GE requirements by looking at the Learning Management System website, which will list GE learning outcomes, or by doing an internet search for "UCSB GE Requirements."
  • Upper Division: undergraduate classes within a major that are intended to provide an immersive and thorough experience in the discipline for majors. Occasionally, upper division classes may also fulfill GE requirements.
  • Graduate courses: Intended to introduce and provide graduate students an opportunity to develop expertise in a discipline.
  • The department chair assigns faculty to teach courses based on the department's need to offer a variety of general education, lower division, upper division, and graduate-level courses. The department chair will try to accommodate faculty interests and abilities. If you are assigned to teach a course that meets General Education requirements, check with the department chair to learn more about the requirements. You may also consult with the Office of Teaching and Learning for consultation on GE courses.  If you are assigned to a class which meets General Education requirements, check with the department chair to determine if certain writing assignments or quantitative exercises are required. General Education requirements are detailed in the UCSB General Catalog. If you need assistance with specific requirements, contact the staff in your college's Undergraduate Academic Advising Office.
  • Departments receive teaching assistantships through their college or divisional deans, based in part on lower division enrollments. Department chairs will then assign teaching assistantships (TAships) to specific courses, based on enrollment numbers. Discuss with your department chair whether your courses are entitled to TAs; if so, how many; and what the department's practice is for matching individual graduate students to particular courses.
  • Mentoring graduate students is another key part of many faculty members’ positions. The Graduate Division and the Graduate Council emphasize the importance of interacting with graduate students as junior colleagues.
  • Faculty can support graduate students in their professional milestones as well as their intellectual development.
  • Give clear instructions on departmental expectations and constructive feedback on performance.
  • Provide feedback on activities considered career milestones - ask questions they will face in oral qualifying examinations and sit in on their demonstration of the talk for job interviews.
  • Include funds for graduate student research support in extramural grant proposals. [If you have no research grant funds to pay for employment, faculty may still incorporate students into research efforts through special studies courses or practice.] Faculty supervising graduate students as TAs should meet with them regularly to discuss teaching philosophy, connection between lecture and section, how to use section to support undergraduate students’ practice with key course concepts and activities, and more. philosophy of teaching, the main skills or facts you want undergraduate students to acquire from the course, and your system for assigning grades. Your training of this generation of graduate students will be projected into the future as they train future students.
  • If you mentor students whose goal is a career in academia, encourage them to publish and present papers at conferences, improve their teaching skills, and participate in campus governance as student representatives on key committees. For students who choose alternatives to academic career paths, encourage industry, service or non-profit internships or research experiences which will enhance their employment opportunities.
  • A faculty member is designated as the department's official graduate advisor. This person's signature is required on student petitions and other communications with the administration, although he or she may ask your opinion regarding requests from students under your mentorship. Departments should have departmental graduate handbooks for graduate students and/or teaching assistants. Familiarize yourself with the contents of those handbooks if you mentor graduate students or supervise TAs. The Graduate Division's website contains information on procedures and policies for graduate students. If you have questions about campus-wide academic policies affecting graduate students, consult that website or contact the Graduate Division directly.
  • Letters and Science Information Technology (LSIT) supports a multi-faceted, centralized campus computing service for the UCSB community. They support some faculty computing needs, run centralized student classroom computer labs, and maintain the campus Learning Management System, UCSB Canvas. Staff will also assist faculty in the selection of software and hardware, introductory training, and scheduling. Faculty may choose to lecture in the facility, and/or they may choose to schedule separate times for students to utilize computing resources outside of class time. 
  • In addition to Canvas, UCSB faculty have access to Panopto (video recording), iClickerCloud, Google Suite, Gradescope, and many other instructional/pedagogical applications. Notification of technology trainings are delivered via email from the Office of Teaching and Learning and posted on the LSIT and OTL websites. Faculty may also email help@lsit.ucsb.edu to request specific training.
    • The Campus Office of Software Licensing (the "Software Depot'') is also part of LSIT. A wide variety of popular software packages are available for academic sale at greatly reduced prices. Information on products and related policies are available on the Software Depot's website.
    • Other computing services are available throughout the campus. They may be based in departments or centered within the colleges. Technical staff are available, in most areas, to assist faculty in determining which resources best meet their needs. Faculty can email help@lsit.ucsb.edu with questions and they will be routed appropriately.
  • Instructors are able to monitor enrollment in courses, generate class lists (including student email addresses), and assign grades using eGrades. For more information and instruction in use of the eGrades system, go to the Office of the Registrar's website and follow the link "For UCSB Staff & Faculty." One of your department's staff persons, typically your department's academic advisor, will be the designated liaison to the Office of the Registrar and can usually answer questions about registration, class lists, enrollment caps, petitions for adds and drops, grading, etc.
  • Academic Senate regulation, Part 2, Section 2: Grades and Credit (Regs. 20-40), specifies the qualitative meaning of letter grades A-F and the variety of codes for incompletes, withdrawals, and other actions which show on the student's transcript. Beyond those guidelines, there is no uniform campus policy regarding grading. Some professors grade on the curve, others use absolute standards. Talk with colleagues about the norms for your department.
    LETTER grade point per unit
    A (excellent) 4
    B (good) 3
    C (adequate) 2
    D (barely passing) 1
    F (not passing) 0
    P (passed) 0
    NP (not passed) 0
    I (incomplete) 0
    IP (in progress) 0
    W (withdrawal) 0
  • As the authority in the classroom, students may approach you to discuss grades. These conversations go more smoothly when grading criteria are clear and accessible to students. Some students may want to discuss changing a grade; faculty may decide whether to engage in these conversations. Once a final course grade is reported, if students approach you to renegotiate the terms of their grades, it is your choice whether to engage in such negotiations for quizzes and midterms; once the final course grade is reported, Academic Senate regulation 20 specifies the conditions under which faculty may or may not change a grade. Academic Senate regulation 25 describes procedures for students to appeal course grades.
  • Students have a formal avenue through which to protest a grade they believe to be unfair (Senate regulation 25). To challenge a grade successfully, students must prove that the grade was assigned for reasons unrelated to the quality of their work, such as bias against their religious or political beliefs.
  • Other forms of grades (I, IP, and W) are for the following circumstances:
    • I: Incomplete (I) may be assigned when an undergraduate or graduate student's work is of passing quality but is incomplete. The petition for an incomplete grade may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar's website.
    • IP: In-progress (IP) may be assigned provisionally in all but the last term of special courses extending over more than one term. In the last term, the grade assigned by the instructor replaces the provisional IP grades for all prior portions of the course. If a student fails to enroll in or complete the final course of a sequence in the next quarter in which it is offered, the IP grades will be replaced by the grade of I (incomplete). Further changes of that grade will be subject to the conditions covering incomplete grades. IP designations are not included in the computation of grade-point averages.
    • W: For undergraduate students, the W grade will be assigned when a student withdraws from the university or receives permission to drop a course after the deadline for dropping courses established by the Executive Committee of the college or school in which the student is enrolled. The W grade will be assigned for each course affected, including graduate courses when an undergraduate student has been approved to enroll in a graduate course and subsequently withdraws. Courses in which a W has been entered on the student's record will be disregarded in determining a student's grade-point average and will not be considered as courses attempted in assessing the student's grade-point average for graduation.
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects students' rights to have their grades remain private. Faculty may not post grades on a bulletin board or office floor in such a way that someone else could determine what an individual's grade is.
  • Returning term papers and examinations at the end of the quarter also requires a regard to privacy. Do not leave them unattended in a box in a hall or mailroom. Even if the grade is on an inside page, the student's name and grade can be easily identified. If students want their papers or exams returned after the quarter has ended but before office hours begin for the next quarter, ask them to provide a stamped, self-addressed envelope large enough to accommodate bluebooks or papers. Keep unclaimed examinations and papers on hand for at least one quarter, in case there are questions about the basis for a particular student's grade.
  • Deadlines
    • Deadlines for adding and dropping classes are listed online on the Office of the Registrar's website under Calendars and Deadlines.
  • Budgetary Implications of Enrollment
    • The campus receives part of its budget from UC systemwide, based on enrollments calculated at the end of the third week of classes. It is to our financial advantage for students to be enrolled in their full complement of classes by that date. Although Academic Senate regulations define a student's full-time status as at least having enrolled in 12 units, the Office of the President provides campuses with budgetary resources based on 45 units per academic year, or a 15 units per quarter average. Students may carry less than 15 units a quarter for academic or personal reasons, but this will have budgetary consequences for the campus.
  • Auditors
    • Occasionally, members of the public or students will ask to attend your lectures without registering for the class. You may grant or deny permission based on availability of space and your own discretion. There is no formal signup procedure for auditing during the regular school year; during summer sessions there is a fee. Auditors usually do not write papers, take exams, or participate in class discussions, but may do so if you are willing to permit it.
  • Open Enrollment Program (Concurrent Enrollment)
    • Members of the general public who wish to take a class and participate in class activities, including papers and exams, may do so without being formally admitted through the University. They register and pay a unit-based fee through UCSB Professional and Continuing Education's Open University Program, which is offered as a community service. You may accept or deny requests for concurrent enrollment in your classes, at your discretion. Concurrently enrolled students should be treated with the same standards used for regularly enrolled students. Occasionally, prospective graduate students will register for a course or two through concurrent enrollment to help them decide whether they are interested in applying for regular graduate standing.
  • Independent Studies
    • Students will occasionally approach you to sponsor them for independent studies or field work (usually numbered in the 190s for undergraduates and 590s for graduate students). You may accept or decline independent studies requests at your discretion. If you agree to sponsor a student for independent studies, discuss your expectations thoroughly, and then have the student draft a contract, a copy of which you both keep, as to what topic they will study, what deliverables (e.g., book reports, research papers, lab notebooks) they will provide for grade assignment, in what quantity, and on what schedule.
  • Internships
    • Several offices on campus cultivate internships for students so that they can apply the theories they learned in the classroom to actual situations. Occasionally, students may wish to earn academic credit for their internship by writing a paper on the experience. Treat such requests in a manner similar to the request for independent studies. Sometimes faculty may wish to require an internship or field work as part of a class project. Discuss your department's position on internships with the department chair.

      UC has two systemwide internship opportunities: one based in the Capitol (UCDC) and one in Sacramento (UC Center Sacramento). UCDC combines courses and internships to offer students a glimpse into the public policy processes firsthand. UC Center Sacramento is similar to UCDC, but students will maintain full-time UC enrollment while working in a structured internship program with an agency or organization of their choice in Sacramento.

Online Education Resources

Online education has changed dramatically in scope and form throughout the last decade. UC Online Courses and UCSB Online Courses aim to provide the same quality instruction that students get in the classroom, and they provide opportunities for pedagogical innovation through interactive instructional technologies. There are many reasons that students may need or want to take a course online, and why some courses, specifically designed for online education, can be more successful in that medium. Online instruction also can serve campus needs by making some courses more accessible, reducing enrollment pressures, and helping students achieve degree objectives in a timely manner.

This resource is meant to help guide you as you consider teaching online and provide answers to the basic questions of where to go, how to apply, and what types of support are available to you. There are three main ways to offer online courses: UC Online (UC-wide courses), UCSB-specific online courses, and UCSB Summer Sessions. All online (and some hybrid) courses must go through a supplemental Course Approval process.

We encourage departments and faculty to propose courses that enrich our current curricular offerings. We are especially interested in supporting courses that:

  • Align with departmental priorities (e.g. relieve bottleneck courses or offer online versions of courses for which additional qualified instructors might be useful). 
  • Incorporate innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Are central to a department or major’s equity plans.

UCSB offers funding, pedagogical expertise, help with course design, and technological support. There are multiple grants available to help you develop your online course. Please contact the Instructional Consultants at the Office of Teaching and Learning in order to know which grant or funding source is a good fit for your proposed course.

All of the Educational Technology that UCSB licenses is listed here, along with help information. Faculty can always contact the Instructional Consultants for individualized help choosing and testing the technologies for their courses.

All Senate Faculty are eligible to apply to teach online courses, with the permission of their chair, based on departmental need. In addition, we strongly encourage departments to consider developing online courses to address student demand by offering impacted courses online. Groups of faculty can also collaborate to develop joint projects. Online courses can be based on existing courses or created specifically to be taught online.

Remote teaching (via Zoom) was used during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic as an emergency stopgap measure until universities could resume in-person teaching. Online teaching is intentional, often asynchronous (i.e. uses pre-recorded lectures and assignments that students can do at their own pace), and designed to optimize the student’s learning experience.

Online courses have no required in-person meetings. Online courses can have required online synchronous meetings and online synchronous sections. Online courses also can be fully or primarily asynchronous.

Hybrid courses have some required in-person meetings, with the rest of the learning and interaction happening online in asynchronous and/or synchronous modes. Sections and labs are not allowed to be held regularly online in a hybrid course. For further information about course formats, click here.

It usually takes 12 months to complete the course design, get the necessary approvals, and develop the online materials. If you are applying for a course development grant, you need to factor in the grant application process.

All online courses need to go through the supplemental Course Approval Request (CAR) process. Hybrid courses must be approved if 50% or more of the classes are online. For details about the Course Approval Request process, click here.

Most grants request budgets for developing an online course. Sample budgets are available from the Instructional Consultants, and may include such line items as:

  1. Faculty compensation.
  2. Video production and editing.
  3. Students to help create and test the Canvas site.
  4. Graduate students revamping existing content into digital format.
  5. If needed: consultants to create multimedia content, or specialized equipment for the instructor to record content (e.g. on field trips).

Video Services in Kerr Hall has recording studios and producers/directors that can help them become comfortable in front of a camera. The studios have a Learning Glass, green screen, teleprompter, large monitor, and a white board to help with instructional videos. Video Services can  film outside of the studios, either on or off campus. Grant funding is available from Instructional Development and can be used to help fund recording and editing fees for UCSB Video Services, or from external video production facilities. Cost for the recording studio begins at about $200/hr to film with a one-camera set up and minimal editing. Fees increase depending on number of cameras, staff involved, filming location, editing needs, etc.  Please contact the Instructional Consultants for advice about services and costs.

We encourage faculty to explore these opportunities and work with our highly-qualified and experienced staff.


The 10-week quarter system can be especially stressful for these students. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have experienced stress and trauma that lead them to request accommodations to policies associated with attendance, homework, exams, and other deadlines. While faculty have some discretion regarding accommodations, it is important to remember that any decisions about accommodations must be equitable. This can be considerably complicated, especially when dealing with students in very large classes.

Faculty are encouraged to refer students with requests for accommodations to the Disabled Students Program (DSP). DSP has procedures through which requests can be made, and will provide resources for students who are determined to require accommodations to support success. Faculty will also be notified (via email) when a student who is enrolled in their class has been determined to require reasonable accommodation. This may entail receiving extra time for exams, having a notetaker in class, or other accommodations. If a determination is made, DSP will facilitate a dialogue with the instructor to negotiate a reasonable accommodation. Faculty can contact DSP or the Office of Teaching and Learning if they have questions about how to implement these accommodation requests. They should not negotiate with individual students.

  • Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers study workshops and supplemental instruction for selected courses. These services are free to students and are categorized by the following:
    • Tutorial Groups, which are course-specific and require advanced enrollment. Additionally, these groups generally meet twice a week and are offered in the following subjects: Biology & Chemistry, Math & Physics, and Economics & Statistics.
    • Drop-In services are subject-specific and do not require advanced sign-up. They are offered in the following: Language Services, Writing Appointments, Biology & Chemistry, Math & Physics, and Economics & Statistics.
    • Workshops are one-time meetings where students can learn more about general study skills, as well as course-specific study skills. Test-taking workshops are also offered.
    • Academic Skills Consultations focus on specific issues, such as making a study plan, but can also address more general topics, such as how to be a successful student, as well as many others.
  • The Community Service Organization is composed of students who act as liaisons between UCSB students and the Police Department. CSOs patrol the campus 365 days a year, reporting on crimes in progress, assisting in emergency services, and detecting safety hazards. In addition, the organization provides safety escorts on campus and in Isla Vista. Safety escorts are available 24/7, 365 days a year, and are encouraged if you are walking or biking alone during the evening or early morning hours.
  • Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to providing timely, culturally appropriate, and effective mental health services to the diverse student body at UCSB, as well as professional consultation to faculty, staff, and families. CAPS offers a range of different options: short-term individual counseling, single session therapy, long-term individual therapy, teletherapy, group therapy, and the Mental Health Peers program. CAPS also offers massage and Alpha Wave Egg Chairs.
  • Campus Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE) is a resource available to all students who are seeking confidential support regarding relationship violence, harassment, stalking, and sexual assault. CARE champions survivor empowerment and prevention through policy development and community collaboration. CARE Advocates provide affirming, empowering, and confidential support, while helping survivors navigate resources and options. Do remember that as a faculty member, you are a responsible employee, and are required to disclose incidents of sexual violence to the Title IX Office. If a student comes to you seeking help, please first inform them of your role as a responsible employee and inform them of confidential resources, such as CARE.
  • Career Services helps students plan for their careers, look for permanent jobs to start after graduation, and find part-time jobs now. They offer a wide range of services, and offer quarterly job fairs that are usually hosted in an on-campus venue. Career Services also provides materials that can be useful for creating resumes, job portfolios, cover letters; learning about interview best practices; and career planning services. The staff also maintains a placement file containing letters of reference which can be sent out on short notice for graduate students seeking jobs in academia.
  • The Office of the Ombuds is a resource for conflict management that serves all members of the UC Santa Barbara community, including faculty, staff, students, and anyone with a campus-related concern. The Office of the Ombuds assists the campus community with the informal resolution of any University-related complaint or conflict by offering a safe and confidential place to discuss workplace issues, interpersonal conflict, academic concerns, bureaucratic runarounds, and many other problems.

Due to illness or family emergency, students may miss examinations or term paper deadlines. The Office of Student Life, student and parent liaison, will verify only the most critical situations. They will not verify absences related to standard treatment at Student Health or other medical facilities. In the event the staff receives confirmation of the death of a student's parent, you may receive notification from the Office of Student Life.

Distressed Student Protocol
Please refer to the Distressed Student Protocol website for more information.

  • In recent years, Counseling Services and the Office of Student Life have received an increasing number of calls from faculty members, teaching assistants, medical professionals, and staff regarding students' emotional states, learning difficulties, and safety, as well as academic and career indecision. These professionals have significant contact with students and often are the first to notice a student experiencing difficulties or distress.
  • Attending to a student's concerns and providing information about campus resources can be an important intervention, which may prevent escalation of the problem or situation. A faculty member, TA, medical professional, or staff member who first becomes aware of an emergency situation involving a student may consider notifying the chair of the department; the dean of the appropriate college; Student Engagement and Leadership; the assistant to the dean; and when appropriate, CAPS, Career Services, and/or Student Health, Urgent Care for consultation.
  • UCSB has multiple professionals poised to respond to distress students. These staff members include social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and coordinators of student mental health services. Student Mental Health Coordination Services is a readily accessible single point-of-contact for staff, faculty, and students who are concerned about a distressed student. In an emergency situation, Campus Police should be called (9-911 from campus phones). In a difficult situation, an individual staff or faculty member should never feel obligated to proceed beyond their comfort level or handle a situation alone.

Classroom Performance

Units within the campus's Office of Teaching and Learning provide research-based seminars focusing on everything from pedagogy to socially just and equitable teaching and learning. Faculty can find more about these services in the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning (CITRAL), or Instructional Development (ID). Instructional Development also deals with the production of multimedia materials and the deployment and maintenance of instructional technologies in the general assignment classrooms. Through them, faculty may order commercial movies, videos, slides, and multimedia materials, or produce your own.

Most of Instructional Development's services to instructors are free in support of courses listed in the Schedule of Classes, with some limits. Faculty who exceed the standard allowance may speak with their department chairs about how to cover the excess charges. Faculty may also apply for a mini-grant from Instructional Development to fund production of new teaching materials or as seed money for a small project which could later seek more substantial funding from UCSB's Instructional Improvement Program or from extramural sources.

Office of Teaching and Learning

The Office of Teaching and Learning is focused on the active exchange between students and teachers, and collaborates with stakeholders to enable and promote research-based, equitable teaching and learning across campus. The Office of Teaching and Learning houses both CITRAL and Instructional Development.

  • CITRAL is a research hub that promotes and supports inclusive, equitable, and just teaching and learning. We collaborate with others to systematically study teaching and learning and develop evidence-based programs and innovations across campus. CITRAL's activities put into practice UCSB Teaching and Learning Initiatives' Collaborative Principles.
  • Instructional Development is a one-stop-shop for help with any aspect of teaching and learning. The department is unique in the UC system for having faculty consultation and classroom and educational technology support under one roof. The staff in the Office of Instructional Consultation are available for individual consultations, as well as group workshops on all aspects of pedagogy, instructional design, and research on teaching and learning. The staff of Classroom Services are available to provide advice and assistance in using all of the instructional technologies in the General Assignment classrooms, as well as assistance with key elements of the campus' educational technology ecosystem, such as Panopto, Gradescope, iClicker Cloud, and Nectir. Additionally, Instructional Development provides support and advice related to all aspects of event audio-visual production, and video and photographic documentation for events.

Department practices vary regarding how teaching is evaluated by students. All scheduled classes must be polled at the end of each quarter for two standardized questions. Surveys may include other questions specific to the department's academic discipline or instructional methods. Surveys which use the campuswide ESCI (Evaluation System for Courses and Instruction) system to process results can easily add questions appropriate to a particular course. Usually, academic departments develop, distribute, and collect undergraduate course evaluation questionnaires, then forward the questionnaires to Instructional Development for processing. If you need help in interpreting your evaluations, contact Instructional Development. Your merit/promotion and tenure file must include student evaluations of your teaching. For details, see the page on Academic Personnel's Review Process.

Plan for a shorter class period on the day designated for your course's evaluation, since most questionnaires take students at least ten minutes to complete. Ask department staff how your department distributes and collects questionnaires; the instructor under evaluation should not handle the surveys.

Instructional Development administers ESCI. The system makes the process of gathering and summarizing student course feedback easy for both instructors and departments, while providing flexibility to create customized surveys. Instructional Development manages the interface, email reminders, FAQs, and help requests for ESCI, while also providing instructors with information on how to increase response rates and obtain high quality feedback. Additionally, five-year instructor summary reports and secondary analysis can be requested directly from the ESCI Office.

The Academic Senate annually recognizes distinguished faculty teaching performance. Nominations may be made by undergraduates, graduate students, or faculty. Each award recipient receives a cash stipend and a framed certificate from the Academic Senate. Four teaching assistants are similarly honored with funding from the Chancellor, and the Graduate Students Association has awards for outstanding TAs. If you wish to nominate a TA whose teaching skills are exemplary, coordinate such a nomination through the department chair. Some departments make their own internal teaching awards.

  • There are 4 main awards offered by the Academic Senate:
    • Faculty Research Lecturer Award, which is awarded annually to one faculty member determined to be the most distinguished in research or other creative achievement. The award is considered to be the highest honor the UCSB faculty can bestow on one of its members. The Faculty Research Lecturer receives an honorarium of $5,000 and delivers a lecture or a similarly appropriate presentation.
    • Faculty Diversity Award, which recognizes Senate and non-Senate faculty who have engaged in or promoted exceptional contributions to the advancement of diversity, equality, and justice. Nominations are judged on the basis of extraordinary efforts to promote equal access, public service, research, or mentorship on behalf of California's diverse, underrepresented, or underserved populations. One Senate or non-Senate faculty member will receive an honorarium of $2,000 and a framed certificate.
    • Distinguished Teaching Awards, which acknowledge the efforts of Senate faculty members who have successfully united teaching and research, as well as non-Senate faculty based on excellence in teaching and contributions to the teaching mission of the University. A maximum of six Distinguished Teaching award recipients will be selected, each of whom receives a cash award of $1,000 and a framed certificate.
    • Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award, which recognizes the exemplary contributions of faculty to mentoring and training graduate students. Up to three recipients are selected, each of whom receives an honorarium of $1,000 and a framed certificate.
  • The College of Letters and Science annually honors one junior faculty member with the Harold J. Plous Award, for "outstanding performance or promise of performance as measured by creative activities and contributions to the intellectual life of the UCSB community." Good teaching weighs heavily in evaluating nominees for this award.
  • The Academic Senate also has an "Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award," which recognizes the contributions of graduate students to teaching and learning. Faculty, staff or students may nominate teaching assistants for this award, and up to four recipients are selected, each of whom receives an honorarium of $1,000 and a framed certificate.

Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty can include but is not limited to the following categories:

  • Copying or attempting to copy from another student, allowing another student to copy, or unauthorized collaboration with another student
  • Using any unauthorized material such as notes, cheat sheets, or electronic devices during an exam
  • Looking at another student's exam
  • Talking, texting, or communicating during an exam
  • Submitting altered graded assignments or exams for additional credit
  • Bringing pre-written answers to an exam
  • Having another person take an exam for you, or taking an exam for another student
  • Signing an absent student in for attendance, or allowing a fellow student to do the same
  • Unexcused exit and re-entry during an exam period
  • Taking credit for any work created by another person including, but not limited to, books, articles, methodology, results, compositions, images, lectures, computer programs, or internet postings
  • Copying any work belonging to another person without indicating that the information is copied and properly citing the source of the work
  • Creating false citations that do not correspond to the information used
  • Providing false information in order to obtain exceptions to course requirements, deadlines, and the postponement of exams
  • Forging signatures or submitting documents containing false information
  • Making false statements regarding attendance at class sessions, requests for late drops, and/or incomplete grades
  • Working together on graded coursework without instructor permission
  • Working with another student beyond the limits set by the instructor
  • Providing or obtaining unauthorized assistance on graded coursework
  • Sharing course materials without the explicit written permission of the instructor or creator
  • Purchasing or copying assignments or solutions to complete coursework
  • Unauthorized use of another student's work

Responding to academic dishonesty involves two processes. You have responsibility for assigning grades, which may reflect breaches of academic dishonesty. The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) has responsibility for handling student discipline matters. If you believe you have evidence of academic dishonesty in a course, you should speak to the student about your concern and provide the student an opportunity to respond. If, after providing the student with this opportunity, you believe there is evidence that the student has violated academic integrity rules, you should notify the OSC. You can choose whether or not to refer the case to the Student Faculty Committee on Student Conduct. Students who are not referred to a hearing will receive a letter of reprimand from the OSC and their name will be kept on file in the case of future violations. If you choose to refer the student to a hearing before the Student Faculty Committee on Student Conduct, you should withhold the student's grade until the case has been resolved.

Incidents of academic dishonesty may be reported to the OSC using an online reporting form. Workshops on preventing and detecting academic dishonesty can also be provided by the OSC. For more information regarding academic dishonesty, visit the OSC website.