Contact HCDE Student Services with questions about content on this page.


The HCDE Program Coordinator will contact you with a request for textbook orders. Orders are generally placed three months before the start of a quarter. Textbooks are ordered through the University Bookstore. The Program Coordinator may also be able to order a desk or review copy of a book from a publisher, if needed; please remember to tell her that you want a desk or review copy.

The Faculty Council on Instructional Quality is currently working on a policy that would protect faculty members' ability to teach using their own textbooks while also protecting them from a violation of the Ethics Act.

Faculty should take steps to comply with the Board's interpretation. Alternatives may include:

  • Exclude any faculty member who is the author or publisher of a textbook from participating in any decision to assign the faculty member's book to his or her class
  • Donate to the institution an amount of money roughly representing the "profit" that comes from the author's or publisher's own students (e.g. determine number of students in class who bought new books, determine the royalty the author would receive, then donate this money to the department or a scholarship fund, etc.)
  • Contact the publisher to make arrangements not to receive royalties on textbooks purchased by students in the author's classes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Secretary of the Faculty.

NOTE: The Washington State Executive Ethics Board states that it is a violation of the state Ethics Act for a faculty member who is a state employee to make a profit on the sale of their textbooks to their students at their own educational institution. This further extends to a faculty member who owns a publishing company that manufactures and ships textbooks. A violation of the Ethics Act can result in significant financial penalties as well as adverse publicity and other consequences.

Course packs

A course pack is a set of articles or book chapters that are photocopied and bound for students to use in class. The HCDE Program Assistant can assist you with compiling a printed course pack, getting copyright permission, and submitting it to a copy center for publishing and student orders. Common outlets for course packs are the Ave Copy Center and the UW Copy Center (in the Communications Building).

UW Libraries

Your Husky Card is your library card; you will use your UWNet ID for library account access. UW Libraries maintains detailed information about library privileges.

Instructors may place course-related materials on reserve for students including any combination of the following material types: Electronic Reserves (E-Reserves; UW NetID required to access), UW Library Books, Personal Copies, Media materials (e.g., Videotapes, DVDs, slides, and audio recordings).

UW Bookstore

The University Bookstore offers an annual rebate (currently 10%) to all UW students, faculty, and staff for eligible purchases made at any UW Book Store location or online; see UW Customer Rebate FAQs.

How do I get copies of materials?

Depending on your needs, there are options for copying and disseminating materials:

  • There are departmental copiers and copiers throughout campus for small copy needs. HCDE has a copy machine in Sieg. Ask the Office Manager, Jane Skau, for more information; she will email all instructors each quarter about this.
  • UW Creative Communications can handle large print/copy requests.
  • An alternative to printing/copying is to use e-reserves from the library.

Teaching Resources

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at the UW provides very useful teaching resources. The CTLwebsite provides a vast array of teaching resources as well as many links to other resources within the UW community.

The Office for the Advancement of Engineering Teaching & Learning (ET&L) offers instructional services to all UW engineering educators.

Writing an Effective Syllabus

Instructors must design their own syllabi. Often they will be given materials and syllabi from previous quarters by the supervisory faculty member that they can adapt.

An effective syllabus will usually include the following information:

  • General course description
  • Course goal(s) and course objectives (i.e., what should students specifically expect to learn?). Stated course objectives are a critical component in evaluating student learning.
  • List of course materials: books (including edition and publication date), course pack (and where to purchase it), online resources
  • Instructor contact information (avoid giving students your mobile phone number)
  • Office hours and/or appointment procedures
  • Schedule of topics, readings, activities, and due dates for the quarter
  • A list of assignments with a short description of each assignment and your grading criteria
  • The grading weight of assignments, plus any other descriptive information about the grading policy
  • Procedures for disputing a grade
  • Policy for late assignments
  • Policy about plagiarism: e.g., “You must do your own work. If it is determined that you have plagiarized, you may receive a zero for the assignment, and the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering will be notified. The Dean may assess further penalties, such as disciplinary probation or dismissal from the university. Plagiarism is a serious offense that the College of Engineering is determined to eliminate. See”
  • Any additional student responsibilities or instructor expectations

Of note, UW classes are based on a quarter system. The number of credits per class relates to the number of hours an instructor can expect a student to spend on the class, including in-class and out-of-class time. The UW credit/hour ratio is 1:3. So a four-credit class is a 12-hour class; a five-credit class is a 15-hour class. This hour load includes in-class and out-of-class time dedicated to the class.

The Center for Teaching and Learning maintains resources on writing syllabi.

Grading policies and procedures need to be planned in advance and communicated in writing to students. Grading rubrics, which clearly state the criteria used for grading, can help instructors grade consistently across students.

Overall, grading will reflect the differences in performance among your students in the course requirements. A Faculty Resource Guide (FROG) is maintained by the UW.

Note: Grading based on attendance is against UW policy. You may, however, grade on class participation.

Constructing Effective Assignments

Generally, assignments should have a written description or instructions to which students can refer. An effective assignment description includes:

  • The objectives of the assignment, including how this assignment relates to overall course objectives.
  • A description of assignment requirements.
  • Possibly some tips about the process of completing the assignment or warnings about typical problems students might have with the assignment.
  • Some indication about how the assignment will be evaluated--grading rubrics or criteria.

Additional information is in the Center for Teaching and Learning and Office of Educational Assessment.

Creating a Class Website

You will need to create your own class website. There are a number of ways class web pages can be created. UW IT has excellent web publishing resources.

UW Learning and Scholarly Technology Resources

UW Learning and Scholarly Technologies provides helpful information for creating class resources.