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GSE Instructor Handbook: Course Delivery, Logistics, and Support


Portland State University currently is at capacity for classrooms. The staff in the GSE will do its best to locate a room that meets your content and delivery format needs; however, we cannot promise an "ideal" classroom. Any questions regarding classrooms that have been assigned to you should be directed to the Academic Scheduler at 503-725-4707. Although we do our very best to accommodate your classroom needs, as stated above, space is limited. Therefore, it is not easy to change classroom locations after they have been assigned. Please do not switch classrooms on your own because someone else may be assigned to that room at a later time or another date. A room may look vacant and not be, so please contact the Academic Scheduler first.

If you experience any problems with your classroom during PSU’s business hours (M-F 9am-5pm), please contact Amy Nye at 503-725-8201 or go directly to the second floor of the Fourth Avenue Building at 1900 SW 4th Avenue. If a classroom needs to be unlocked before or after regular hours, please contact Campus Security, 503-725-4407.

Textbooks or other books for courses

In most cases, the department will have a recommended text they would like you to use for the course. The department may have already ordered the textbook. Confirm this with the department chair or program coordinator.

All adjunct faculty should discuss course book selection with the appropriate chair and/or faculty mentor for the course you are teaching before you order your books to ensure that a book has not already been selected and/or the text is appropriate. When you want to order a textbook, you will need: title, author, year published, edition, and ISBN of the book. (The ISBN may be found on the copyright page of the text.)

Instructor's copies of texts are ordered through the publisher, not the Bookstore, and may require a few extra weeks to arrive. (Please keep this in mind when planning for your class.) If you are planning to use photocopied materials to substitute or supplement a textbook in your course, please see the section on copyrighted material below.

The reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires that colleges and universities disclose, to the maximum extent practicable, on their internet course schedule the International Standards Book Number (ISBN) and retail price for required and recommended textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed on the schedule. The intent behind this requirement is to enable students to make more fully informed decisions regarding course selections and to enable students to seek out less expensive sources from which to acquire required materials.

In order to meet this requirement all book requests must be submitted to the PSU bookstore (see Note below) by the following dates:

For Fall term, orders must be submitted to the PSU bookstore by April 15, for Winter term, orders must be submitted by October 15, for Spring term orders must be submitted by January 15 and for summer term orders must be submitted by March 15.

NOTE: Some faculty members direct students to bookstores other than the PSU Bookstore for the purchase of textbooks and course materials. That remains acceptable. However, all textbook and course material information must nonetheless also be submitted to the PSU Bookstore in order to assure that all such information is made available to students through the online course schedule as required by the HEOA. There is no requirement that students actually purchase the materials from the PSU Bookstore; in fact, one of the purposes of the law is to allow students to more effectively seek out better prices. If materials for a course are to be made available through some other forum, then such information should be submitted to the PSU Bookstore so the online information is as complete as possible. For instance, the PSU Bookstore's web page link for a particular course can indicate: "No text required," "See instructor for materials," "Coursepack available at...", "Course materials available online at www...", etc.

Use of Copyrighted Materials

The GSE is very careful about obtaining copyright permission by following the PSU guidelines listed in the PSU Copyrighted Print-Media Materials Use Policy section. If your use of copyrighted materials exceeds the fair use guidelines, your materials will require copyright permission before they are copied. Obtaining copyright permission can take several weeks, so please plan ahead. WHEN IN DOUBT ABOUT NEEDING PERMISSION, REQUEST PERMISSION! The PSU Copyright Policy will give you more information about copyright.

Electronic reserve. For GSE adjunct faculty, please contact Alan Nguyen at with a list of the materials you would like put on electronic reserves in the Millar Library. He will create an electronic reading packet. (If the PSU Library owns the materials or a subscription to the particular journal, they can put the materials available on electronic reserve.)

Reading packets. Go to the Portland State University Bookstore or to Clean Copy (SW 6th and Clay) to have a packet developed that will include copyright permission. They request that packets are ordered at least six weeks in advance of student purchase, and they will obtain the necessary copyright clearances.

Also be familiar with PSU's Copyrighted Print-Media Materials Use Policy


Photocopying handouts for instructional use is a courtesy that the GSE is able to offer on a limited basis. Copy machines are available on every floor. You will need to get a code from the appropriate department assistant. Copies can also be submitted to the department assistant in advance (at least one full day) for duplication. Most departments will have a request form to fill out for photocopying requests.

Media Resources

Audiovisual Equipment

All classrooms on campus are high-tech, including a computer console, monitor, overhead projector, screen, speakers, and a document camera (in most rooms). The classrooms in the Graduate School of Education (FAB 30, 264 and FAB 265) are also high-tech classrooms with a podium in each room that has a DVD/BluRay player, computer, document camera, and connections for laptops. If you would like training on any of the equipment before your first class or need technical assistance during a class please contact the GSE CATS Team in FAB 266 or 270, or AV Services (503-725-4357, option 2). If your request does not require an immediate response, you can also report a problem to the CATS team by sending a message to

The GSE Curriculum and AV Library also has a small assortment of audiovisual equipment that is available for checkout. Please contact Curriculum and AV Library by phone at 503-725-4648 or stop by FAB 266 for more information.

If you need technical assistance in classrooms outside the GSE, call 503-725- 4357, option 2 or send an email to

Special Software

If you are in need of special software installed in any of PSU’s Labs and Classrooms (managed by OIT) please use the Lab & Classroom Software Request Form and provide all the required documentation, licenses, etc. Software requests are due no later than four weeks prior to the start of every term. The GSE Academic Scheduler (503-725-4707) should be able to provide faculty with the location of next term's classes at least five weeks prior to the start of the term. Software install questions should be directed to OIT at 503-725-4357 or via an email to

If you are requesting software for a GSE managed classroom or the Technology Center, please send your request to As with PSU Labs and Classrooms, requests are due no later than four weeks prior to the start of every term.

Periodic Use of a Computer Lab

Use of computer technologies for teaching is also available through the GSE CATS – Technology Center and the OIT Computer Labs and Classrooms. Lab use is limited and difficult to reserve, so please request a lab early. In addition to the stationary labs, the CATS Team maintains two portable computer labs (1 Windows, 1 Macintosh) that can be used in FAB 264 or 265. Contact the CATS Team at 503-725-4607 to reserve the Technology Center or one of the portable computer labs. Contact the GSE Academic Scheduler (503-725-4707) for assistance locating and reserving an OIT managed lab or classroom outside the GSE.

Computer Lab-Based Courses

If you require a computer lab classroom (with a computer for each student) and specific software programs for the entire course, be sure to let the department chair know as early as possible, and also whether you prefer a Windows or Macintosh lab.

Streaming Video and DVD Collections

The PSU Library has a number of streaming videos that can be used in class or embedded in an online course, as well as a small assortment of DVDs. In addition, the GSE Curriculum and AV Library has its own small video library (DVD only). You can search our catalog online or stop by the GSE Library to view the collection. GSE videos may only be checked out by faculty for use in courses. Students can view them in the Library if needed.

Putting Materials on Reserve

Reserve Library, Branford P. Millar Library, PSU

The Reserve Library must receive reserve reading lists at least four weeks prior to the start of the quarter. Lists received after that date will be processed in the order received. Instructors may place photocopies of articles (with copyright permission), homework solutions, library books, sample exams, or textbooks on reserve for students. The Reserve Library is located on the first floor of the PSU Branford P. Millar Library, next to the circulation counter. Please visit the Reserve Library web page and use the See Also links for forms and guidelines.

Curriculum and Technology Service (CATS)

If you have items you would like to place on reserve in the GSE’s Curriculum Library, please bring them to the library (FAB 266) at least a week before students will start checking them out. You will be asked to fill out a reserve slip for each item. All reserve items will be returned at the end of the term unless other arrangements are made ahead of time.

Student Class Lists

When you receive your course roster, please verify that all students attending your class are registered. It is extremely important that all students are registered within the first two weeks of class. Be sure to let students know if their names do not appear on your course roster. If you did not receive a roster, you can download a list of registered students using the PSU Information System (Banweb) online:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your User ID (PSU ID number) and PIN (date of birth, if you haven't changed your PIN)
  3. Click on Faculty Services
  4. Menu options include Detail Class List or Summary Class List

Please keep your own current class list of participants in each of your classes so that you can verify the students when it is time to report grades.

Guidelines for Course Cancellation Due to Low Enrollment

In order to serve students, the Graduate School of Education has developed the following guidelines for cancellation of classes due to low enrollment.

Course cancellation decisions should be made five working days before the class begins. The Associate Dean for Academics, in conjunction with the department chair and instructor, will make the decision based on pedagogical and budgetary factors. The department will attempt to notify every student of the cancellation via e-mail.

Returning Work to Students

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) requires us to be very careful in safeguarding our students’ right to privacy. Returning students' exams and papers by putting them in a self-serve box or envelope outside your office violates their confidentiality by making protected records available to others. This is not an acceptable practice.

Also, please do not leave returned assignments with a department assistant or the GSE front desk to return to students. Distributing returned work to students interrupts other important tasks these busy staff members have to do, and room to keep student papers and notebooks in staff workspaces is very limited.

GSE faculty can do one of the following:

  1. Return work directly to students in class:
    • Pass out assignments to students at the end of class
    • Students retrieve their work, before or at the end of class, in individual, labeled file folders or envelopes that guard the confidentiality of the work inside, under the observation of the instructor, ensuring that only the student whose name is on the label removes the material.
  2. Students arrange to pick up work from instructors outside of class.
  3. Students provide instructors with a self-addressed and stamped envelope that instructors can use to return material directly to students. (It is helpful to put a statement on the syllabus making this a course requirement.)

Faculty Absences

Class cancellations or substitute faculty must be kept to an absolute minimum. If it is absolutely necessary to miss a class, please notify the appropriate department a minimum of 4 hours prior to the start of class. We ask that you please give as much advance notice as possible so we will be able to notify students. If your class meets in the evening (after 4pm) it is essential that you call before 3pm so that a class cancellation notice can be posted on the door of the classroom.

Planned Absences – For planned absences that impact course delivery, you must provide 10 days advance notice to your supervisor (Dept. Chair) to allow for potential coverage of course delivery. 

Sick leave hours taken then should be reported to Dept. Admin. Coordinator for to be included on the paper leave rosters.  Beginning in spring of 2016 (the date is not yet finalized), all leave will be reported through an online Leave Reporting system accessed through Banweb.

Inclement Weather Cancellations

University procedures for advising adjunct faculty of situations requiring curtailing or canceling classes due to inclement weather are that in the event of a closure or delay in the opening of the University, a message to that effect is placed at the University switchboard number, 503-725-3000; also, every effort is made to place that information on announcements carried by local radio and television, especially AM  KOAC 550, KEWS 620, KXL 750, KPDZ 800, KWBY 940 (Spanish), KOTK 1080, KEX 1190, KBPS 1450, and KFXX 1520; FM  KBPS 89.9, KOPB 91.5, KGON 92.3, KPDZ 93.7, KNRK 94.7, KXL 95.5, KISN 97.1, KUPL 98.7, KWJJ 99.5, KKRZ 100.3, KINK 101.9, KKCW 103.3, and KKJZ 106.7; and TV  KATU, KOIN, KGW, KPTV and KEI (Spanish). Please note that in the event of an inclement weather cancellation, each situation may be different: evening classes may be held when day classes are canceled, or vice versa.

Dealing with Difficult Students

In the admissions process, we look for candidates who not only have strong academic skills, but whose demeanor and interpersonal skills are suited for the professions they have chosen. Unfortunately, admission interviews only give us a sample of the candidate’s behavior, and we occasionally must address the inappropriate or unethical behavior in courses or field experiences. Problem behaviors include:

  • Tardiness and poor attendance
  • Disruptive classroom interaction
  • Plagiarism
  • Dishonesty
  • Inappropriate demeanor
  • Lack of courtesy

Student Codes of Conduct. Expectations for student conduct are specifically addressed in two documents. View the university's Code of Student Conduct and Responsibility online.

The GSE also has its own Behavior and Performance Guidelines (PDF) online.

Preventative Measures. A first step in addressing problem behaviors is clearly stating expectations in the course syllabus and discussing them with students in the first class session. Stated expectations might include:

Attendance: Students will make every attempt to be in class on time and to honor the importance of making good use of class time

Preparedness: Students will keep up with the readings and come to class prepared to discuss them.

Thoughtful attention: Students will give the class their full attention and think critically about the issues discussed.

Participation: Students will participate in class practice activities and will contribute to the class’s construction of knowledge either in whole class or small group discussion.

Support: In order to create a safe space for learning, students will honor the contributions of their classmates and challenge differing opinions in respectful ways.

Thoroughness: Students will complete assignments carefully, completing all parts of the assignment.

Thoughtfulness: Students will do thoughtful, original work to the best of their ability.

Professionalism: Students will turn their work in on time and give attention to the way in which they present their work. Assignments will be typed when possible and proofread for spelling and grammatical errors.

Disruptive or Disrespectful Students. In situations in which students challenge an instructor or another student, the instructor must respond in ways that make a distinction between content and conduct. PSU honors students’ freedom of speech, and students have the right to disagree with an instructor or offer a different point of view. However, students do not have the right to indulge in inappropriate conduct. They may not dominate discussions, be disrespectful, use inappropriate language, or verbally harass the instructor or other students. Instructors have the authority to guide the direction and tone of discussion in the classroom, and may take disciplinary action against students who do not respect their authority to do so.

Consequences. Most of the time, speaking to the student privately, outside of class is the appropriate course of action for first offenses. If a student does not respond to your request to quiet himself or herself or engages in behavior that is threatening, you may ask the student to leave the classroom. If you need support in removing a student from a classroom, call the Campus Public Safety office at 503-725-4404 (urgent calls only).

At the department level, you may provide a written statement of concern and a request for a student performance review to the cohort leader or advisor and the department chair. The student should also receive a copy of the statement of concern. The department chair then will convene a review panel (department chair, two other faculty) that should take place within fifteen (15) school days of the request. The outcome of the Review Hearing will be one of the following:

  • Dismissal of concern
  • Plan of assistance
  • Approval for leave of absence from the program
  • Suspension from program

Problems in Field Placements. Because field placements involve children and other vulnerable populations, the GSE has the responsibility to assure that students’ actions are consistent with expectations for professionals in those settings. Concerns about a student’s professional behaviors should be brought to the cohort leader or program director immediately. Most often a plan of assistance will be developed with the student, cooperating teacher, and supervisor. For serious problems, a student can be removed immediately from a practicum, an internship, or student teaching field placement if such removal is requested by the onsite administrator and/or University supervisor. The department chair must be informed of any such disciplinary steps. More information about this can be found in the Student Conduct Code.

Crisis/Emergency Response


  • Know who your students are
  • State your expectations for classroom interactions and appropriate student behavior in your syllabus
  • Have contact information:
    • Campus Safety–Emergency 503-725-4404
    • Campus Safety–Non-emergency 503-725-4407
    • Student Health and Counseling Services 503-725-2800
    • Office of Student Affairs Care Team 503-725-4492
  • Take your cell phone to class
  • Have Campus Safety numbers on your cell phone
  • Know the address of the building in which you are teaching (or the cross streets)
  • Keep in mind colleagues who have offices nearby
  • Keep attendance or at least take note of who's there and who's missing
  • Sign up for PSU Alerts (


  • For health or safety emergencies: Call 9-911 or 503-725-4404 (Campus Safety) (911 will route the call to the Campus Safety office)
  • For PSU Alert of campus crisis: Don't call. Check PSU website on your smart phone or laptop ( Unless directed to do otherwise, pull the blinds, turn out lights, and stay there ("shelter in place").
  • For concerns about a student: Call the Office of Student Affairs


  • Take class time to debrief when class meets again
    • What issues did the incident bring up?
    • How could we do better if this happened again?