Teaching Resources

Classroom Use: Guidelines for Instructors at WashU

Resource Overview

Guidelines for instructors at WashU about general procedures for university-managed classrooms.

Approved by the Classroom Monitoring Committee (CMC), 08/03/09; revised by CMC 08/08/12; revised by CMC 09/11/19

Danforth Campus Classes: 10-minute “Passing Period”

All instructors are responsible for sharing the “passing period” between classes.

  • Day classes will begin on the hour/half hour (e.g., 10:00-10:50 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.).
  • The travel period (or passing period) will now be observed at the end of class (e.g., between 10:50-11:00 a.m.).
    • Classes are not shorter.  This is “right-sizing” the course schedule to formally allow time to travel between classes.
      • The Brown School and the School of Law have their own built-in passing period and their class start and end times should be observed as published.
      • Evening classes, like those in University College and Engineering, do not include a passing period.  Their class start and end times should be observed as published.
    • This change will help prevent confusion about class times, create more efficient use of classroom space, and allow faculty, students, and staff to schedule meetings more easily. 

Classes in University-Managed Classrooms: Guidelines for Instructors

Below are the University’s guidelines for instructors teaching in University-managed classrooms on the Danforth Campus. Please keep in mind that these classrooms are used by faculty in various disciplines, each with an individual teaching style that might involve using the chalkboard or multimedia, moving classroom furniture, and interacting with students after class.

The following guidelines are provided to minimize disruption of in-class teaching time for all instructors.

  • The instructor should make every effort to conclude class on time. If students approach you with individual questions after class has concluded, consider asking them to wait for a few minutes in the hallway while you gather your materials, erase the chalk or white boards, remove any materials from the tack-able surfaces (and recycle if appropriate), and vacate the classroom, allowing the next instructor to set-up and prepare for his or her class.
  • Please ensure that all chairs and tables are returned to the standard seating configuration at the end of class. Asking students or AIs to help with this process is a good way to make sure that it is completed efficiently. A chart showing the configuration is located near the door of each classroom.
  • When there is a class scheduled in your classroom immediately after your class, it is best to speak with the instructor who teaches that class–during the first week of the semester–to ask about his or her preferences regarding the seating configuration and the classroom multimedia system (see next bullet-point). By the same token, also plan to introduce yourself to the instructor who teaches before you so that you may communicate your own preferences and work out a routine for sharing the “passing period” in a way that is beneficial to both of you.
  • Shut down the multimedia system if the instructor teaching in the room immediately afterward does not use it, or if there is no class scheduled in the room immediately afterward.

If conflicts arise between instructors teaching in the same classroom, the instructors involved should make every attempt to resolve those conflicts themselves.

Using Classrooms Outside Scheduled Class Times

Instructors should always check with their departmental administrators before moving into a classroom that appears to be available. Doing so will help prevent conflicts if the desired room has been officially scheduled for another purpose. Please keep in mind that some classes, such as recitation sections and help-sessions, do not meet during the first week or two of the semester. In addition, classes are occasionally moved from one classroom to another during the first week or two. Therefore, it is best to wait a few weeks to determine whether a room is unoccupied during a specific time.

Additional Information

  • To schedule classes, final exams, review sessions, and other class-related events in a university-managed classroom, please contact your department administrator. Your department administrator will work with the Office of the University Registrar, to fulfill your scheduling requests.
  • To ask for assistance with multimedia or classroom maintenance, call The Center for Teaching and Learning at (314) 935-6810.

Have suggestions?

If you have suggestions of resources we might add to these pages, please contact us:

ctl@wustl.edu(314) 935-6810Mon - Fri, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.