Tips for Adjuncts

Tips for Adjuncts

Getting Started Tips for Rowan Adjuncts

Find out the basics

Whether or not you receive an actual orientation before you start teaching, make it your business to find out the basics you will need to do your job. Some questions to ask the person who hired you or the department secretary:

  • Where to get your ID card?
  • How do you access Rowan Self-serve Banner for employee (tax forms, time sheets, pay info, etc.) and faculty information (class lists,  grades, schedule, etc.)?
  • Acknowledging your contract
  • Will you have an office or individual work space, or will you share an office area with other adjuncts?
  • Will you have access to a computer and printer?
  • Where is your mailbox located?
  • What is your college email address, and how do you access it off-site?
  • Where should you meet with students for office hours, if don’t have an office?
  • Will you receive keys to the room(s) and/or department? Or does the room and/or building require a you to swipe your ID card and who do you see to have your card activated. (This is especially important if you are teaching evening or weekend classes.)
  • Where and how can you make copies? If you have access to the department copy machine, what is the access code and how many copies per month are you allotted?
  • When and how should you use the Rowan University Print Center to make copies?
  • What teaching technology is available in your classroom(s)?
  • What is the procedure for getting other equipment into the classroom?
  • How to get a parking permit and best places to try to park.
  • Who to call if you are ill or are unable to make class?
  • Does your department have a new adjunct orientation?

Getting digitally prepared for the new semester

Information Resources & Technology (IRT) link above will provide you with links to:

  • Activate your network account
  • Locate your Banner ID
  • Check your Rowan email
  • Connect to the Rowan network (with your personal device)
  • Log in to Blackboard
  • Access free software
  • Store files in the Cloud
  • Develop new skills
  • Protect your personal data
  • Contact IRT

Face to face classes at Rowan use Blackboard for a learning management system. It is a tool for communicating and sharing content with students. You can use it to post course materials, PowerPoint presentations, assignments, grades, and links to external websites. You can extend class discussions through the discussion boards or use Collaborate to meet students when a face-to-face class is not possible. Blackboard can even import and grade weekly quizzes from textbook publishers that you can make available during specified time periods or you can create your own online quizzes or exams. (Blackboard Help)

Rowan Online uses Canvas for its learning management system.

Learn about the course you will be teaching

  • Can you use you use course materials you may have used when teaching the same course in the past?
  • Find out if there is a specific text to assign.
  • Ask for syllabi from previous sections taught by full-time faculty.
  • Make sure your learning objectives and assignments mirror those as closely as possible.
  • Contact the publisher of the textbook for resources, including chapter outlines, lesson plans, PowerPoints, and test banks. Some publishers have software that you can use to create quizzes for each chapter from a test bank of questions, which you can then import directly into Blackboard. Ask the publisher for any media-related items such as news clips or videos that you can use in class. Note: Some publishers need proof of employment or the request must be made through the department.

Get acquainted with Rowan’s policies and procedures

You will probably include many of these items in your syllabus as well. Some basics you need to know include the following:

How you will be evaluated as a part-time faculty member 

  • Will you be observed every semester, or once a year?
  • Will full-time faculty observe you?
  • For student evaluations does your department use the Rowan online survey in Banner or is there a specific department one?
  • Requesting a copy of the student and/or faculty evaluation form that will be used, so you know in advance the questions that will be asked to evaluate your teaching.

Know what  resources are available to students

Students will likely not know whether you’re an adjunct or full-time faculty member (or the difference between the two). Since you are the instructor, it is good to know where basic things are and the services they provide:

Take advantage of  teaching resources on campus

Make yourself known

Communicate with the chairperson (or whoever hired you) about your availability through a short email:

  • For future semesters
  • Other content areas you can teach
  • Teaching preferences (days or evenings, regular or interim semesters)
  • Interest in teaching additional classes, if any
  • If you have online teaching experience

Think about going beyond the classroom

  • Experiential assignments make content come alive
  • Arrange a field trip to a certain location or event that ties in with your subject matter. Extra credit is often a good incentive for student participation in out-of-class activities.
  • Invite a guest speaker, tell the program coordinator. He/she may way to find a larger space and open it up to other classes.



This has been adapted from: