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Lecturer Resources

Thank you for agreeing to serve as a Lecturer for the School of Natural Sciences. As a Lecturer in our School, you will be carrying out critical work that is greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with you to create a strong partnership in educating our students.

Duties of a Lecturer Supervisor

Before classes start

Provide the lecturer with the course syllabus and other materials as appropriate (problem sets, exams, quizzes) from previous iterations of the course. Discuss these materials with the lecturer and answer any questions. 

Inform the lecturer that the UC Merced Center for Engaged Teaching and Learning (CETL) provides a variety of resources, workshops, and personal consultations to assist instructors in developing their teaching effectiveness.  The following website provides more information:

Discuss with the lecturer whether you wish to review quizzes, exams, etc. before they are given.  This is encouraged as a way to be certain that the materials are being covered at an appropriate level.

During the academic year

Attend at least one class lecture during the academic year and meet with the lecturer afterward for an informal discussion about the class.

Provide guidance to the lecturer if s/he encounters difficulties in covering the material of the course as outlined in the syllabus (e.g. the students appear unable to learn the material at the expected rate).

If you have agreed to do so, review exams, quizzes, etc. before they are given.  Correct any errors and provide feedback on how the lecturer could be improved.

Look over mid-term grades (or scores).  Provide guidance to the lecturer on responding to an anomalous failure rate or special problems with individual students. 

Provide advice on using the CatCourses website--specifically, that non-senate lecturers who supervise TAs give instruction and verify the timeliness and accuracy of TA grading. 

After the semester is over

Complete an evaluation form for the lecturer, and request to meet with the lecturer to review the evaluation.

Each lecturer is to be evaluated by his/her supervisor at the end of each semester if the lecturer is appointment only for the semester.  If the lecturer has an academic year appointment, one evaluation per year will suffice. 

Evaluations are important and helpful to both the lecturer and the school.  The lecturer assessment includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The lecturer's organization, teaching effectiveness, classroom interaction, responsiveness to suggestions (if applicable), and improvement since previous semesters (if applicable)
  • Where relevant, additional comments should be solicited from other faculty, instructors, or laboratory coordinators with who the lecturer interacted
  • If applicable, any University or community service activities
  • Where available, read and comment on the student teaching evaluations
  • Provide areas of improvement and specific advice on growth opportunities

Evaluation forms are available on our Lecturer Evaluation Program page.

At their discretion, Lecturers may respond to their evaluation and/or their lecturer program experience, using the Lecturer Response Form.

Support for Lecturers

Lecturers who are not serving as primary instructors for a course are expected to work under the direction of the primary course instructor. That person should clearly outline the goals of the course, communicate your duties, and provide you with the support you need to carry them out.

Should you feel that you are not being provided with the support you need to carry out your duties, or if you have other difficulties related to the interaction with your primary course instructor, please inform the Personnel Director, Dora Lopes ( and she will do her best to address your questions or concerns.

Duties of a Lecturer

Before classes start

Meet with the instructor in charge of your course to discuss his/her goals for the course and your duties. This person may be your mentor if you are the instructor of record.

Familiarize yourself with UC Merced's academic regulations regarding issues such as grading policy, dropping and adding courses, etc., as well as UC Merced's policy on academic honesty.

Please confirm the appointment start dates for any assigned TAs prior to scheduling any meetings, trainings, or orientations. Additionally, do not schedule any meetings, trainings, or orientations that may conflict with Graduate Orientation Week events that are mandatory for all graduate students and new TAs. You can contact the faculty support staff in your school or unit, or contact the department chair to confirm these dates.    

During the semester

Be an effective teacher. Prepare for class and give clear presentations of the material to your students. Be sure everything you do in class is related to the goals of the course.

Be on time and prepared for all assigned meetings for your course.

Hold at least two hours of office hours per week, and be prepared to devote all of that time to meeting with students. Clearly announce the time and place of your office hours in class and on CatCourses and encourage students to drop by.

Duties, support, and evaluation of lecture:

  • Proctor exams including midterms as scheduled, or as directed by primary course instructor, and final exams as scheduled by the Registrar. Proctor exams actively to guard against cheating.
  • Review session rooms can be reserved through the Office of the Registrar at the following link:
  • Convey to your primary course instructor in a timely manner any anomalous failure rate or problems with individual students.
  • Maintain a positive and professional relationship with your students and peers.
  • Attend lectures as required by the primary course instructor.
  • Attend all TA meetings as scheduled and/or as required by the primary course instructor.
  • Write or provide questions for quizzes and exams as required by the primary course instructor.
  • Work through exams and quizzes ahead of time as requested and report problems to the primary course instructor in a timely manner. Do NOT divulge any information about the content of upcoming exams or quizzes to students.
  • Grade laboratory reports, homework problems, quizzes, and exams as required. Maintain confidential and accurate records.
  • Return graded materials to students in a timely fashion. Note that privacy laws require graded materials be returned to students individually, not placed in public to be picked up.
  • Perform all grading and submit all scores for which you are responsible to the primary course instructor, and/or post scores to CatCourses as required by primary course instructor, before the designated deadline.
  • Ensure that everything you do in class is related to the goals and student learning outcomes of the course. Explicitly teaching to help students achieve the course's student learning outcomes and communicating this clearly to your students is very important.
  • Students and instructors should be aware of the student learning outcomes for the course and for the major. If you have questions about how to use student learning outcomes in your teaching, contact your course instructor/mentor.

After instruction is over

TAs and primary course instructor meet to be sure you have completed all grading and provided all input needed for grades to be assigned. Provide any other input on the course requested by the primary instructor. Depending on the date of the final exam, the grading process may extend into the week after the instructional end of the semester.


Each Lecturer will be evaluated at the end of every semester by students, and once per semester or academic year by their assigned supervisor.  Additional comments may be solicited from other faculty, instructors, or laboratory coordinators with whom the lecturer interacted.

Once you have been given your evaluation, you may provide a response using the Lecturer Response Form.  Download and save the form to your desktop to ensure full functionality of the pdf form.  

Instruction Workload Credit

The full-time (100%) instructional workload standard for Unit 18 Faculty for an academic year shall not exceed nine (9) instructional workload credits over three (3) quarters or six (6) instructional workload credits over two (2) semesters, or the equivalent. Please review the SNS Instructional Workload Course Credit Policy.

More information on Instruction Workload Credit can be found in Article 24 of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Lecturers Unit (IX).

For more information, please reference the UC Merced Non-Senate Faculty (Lecturers) Handbook.

The following individuals are located in Science & Engineering 1 370:

Angie Salinas, Assistant Dean for Student Support

• Angie can assist you with the following: academic misconduct/dishonesty, work related conflict, general administrative related questions.

Dora Lopes, Personnel Director

• Dora can assist you with the following: personnel related matters

Tom Martinez, Department Support Supervisor

• Tom can assist you with the following: office key issuance, mailbox issuance and CatCard building/room access.

Shannon Adamson, Curriculum Manager or

• Shannon can assist you with the following: instructional management and course scheduling

Vivian Saephan, Academic Resource Specialist

• The Academic Resource Specialist can assist you with the following: evaluations, textbook orders and desk copies, coordinating course field trip travel, room reservations for graduate student TA office hours, review sessions and software requests.

Instructional Support Staff are located in Science & Engineering 1 first floor:

Jim Whalen, PhD, Instructional Labs Coordinator, Life Sciences

• Jim can assist you with the following: questions related to life sciences instructional labs.

Donna Jaramillo-Fellin, PhD, Instructional Labs Coordinator, Physical Sciences

• Donna can assist you with the following: questions related to physical sciences instructional labs.

The following Student Support Staff are located in Science & Engineering 1 270:

Paul Roberts, Director, Graduate Programs

• Paul can assist you with the following: teaching assistant (TA) conduct, work related conflict with TA.

Erica Robbins, Director, Undergraduate Student Services

• Erica can assist you with the following: undergraduate questions regarding registration, questions regarding late adds or drops from your course, any and all related questions concerning students.




Lecturer FAQ

Office Hours

1. How do I get an office hours room?

If you have an office and feel it is not large enough to hold office hours, please email Vivian Saephan ( with a request for an available space.

2. How many office hours do I have?

Two (2) hours per week minimum, per course. Offer additional times to students that may not be able to attend your scheduled office hours, as needed.

3. What if I need to change my office hours?

Make sure to communicate to students the new time and location of office hours immediately and update the course webpage.


1. How do I get rosters of my sections?

Contact Vivian Saephan ( so your name may be entered into the Registrar's system.

2. What if a student who is not on my roster claims to be enrolled?

For the first week of the semester, students are allowed to enroll into any section where space is available.  CROPS rosters are updated daily and may not yet include every student.

3. What if a student asks to switch into my lecture or section?

For lab courses and math courses, the enrollment caps are strictly enforced.  If a student enrolled in your section wants to switch places with a student from another section, send the students together to the school advisors office for help.  If in doubt, please direct students with enrollment issues to the Undergraduate Advising Staff (Erica Robbins for help.


1. How do I keep track of my students' section scores/grades?

If your course is using the UCM CROPS Gradebook, you should enter your scores into the gradebook as you go. You may also wish to keep your grades in Excel (or another similar spreadsheet program). TA's/Lecturers: Remember to keep track of your grades for at least a year? Students may come back and ask about their scores. This includes keeping exams that have not been picked- up.

2. Where do TA's enter grades?

The official grade rosters are usually kept in UCM CROPS gradebook. After midterm exams scores are entered into the gradebook. At the end of the semester, TA's will be responsible for entering their students' section scores if they have not been entering them throughout the semester. Final exam scores will also need to be entered after the exam grading is completed.

3. How are exams graded?

TA's grade exams at the direction of the course instructor. The instructor will provide grading criteria and will assign who grades which question, in the case of multiple TA's.

4. Is there a Scranton reader available for grading multiple choice exams?

Yes, there is a machine in Science and Engineering 1 Building, Room 347 that reads the green forms #882-E. The School of Natural Sciences no longer has access to the red forms reader.

5. Where do students pick up their homework/mid-terms if they are handed back?

Homework and midterms are handed out in lecture or section. It is against the law (FERPA) to give graded/marked/scored materials to anyone other than the student who turned in the work. If you don't know the student, ask for photo ID before giving them graded materials. It is also against the law to place graded/marked/scored materials unattended to be picked up outside office doors or in any comparable location.

6. What if a student asks a TA to re-grade their exam?

Most instructors will set a specific re-grade policy. This policy should be strictly enforced. If you feel there was a mistake in grading a question, ask the student to submit a re-grade request according to the instructor's policy OR collect the exam and ask the instructor about the grading.

Administrative Questions

1. Can I make photocopies of course related material for my students?

By University and School policy the only items that are handed out to students are the course syllabus, lab safety protocols, exams and quizzes. TA's will be responsible for making photocopies of quizzes and exams and other required materials for their sections. This photocopying task will also be as assigned by the lecturer, especially in courses with multiple TA's.

2. What if I can't access the course webpage?

Instructors: email

TA's: email the course instructor

3. Where do I get dry erase markers?

Come to the Dean's Suite in Science and Engineering 1, Room 370 and ask at the reception desk for these materials.

4. Who do I contact with work related conflict issues?

For instructions labs: Dr. Jim Whalen (, Life Sciences Labs and Dr. Donna Jaramillo-Fellin (, Physical Sciences Labs

With fellow TA's: The course instructor AND Angie Salinas (, Assistant Dean for Student Support

With course instructor: Dora Lopes (, Personnel Director, School of Natural Sciences

5.What if I am unable to attend a required lecture/section/meeting (for TA's)?

In general, classes should not be cancelled unless there is compelling reason to do so. When circumstances related to illness or unanticipated problems arise, and you are not available to hold class, please notify your class via UCMCROPS or CatCourses of your absence. Please also send an email to Vivian Saephan, with a CC to Natalie Hibdon, so that notice can be posted on your classroom door(s). If you are unable to email, please call 209-228-4309 and inform Vivian Saephan or Natalie Hibdon of your absence. Under no circumstances should you miss any aspect of your teaching duties for personal extracurricular activities. If your absence is related to extracurricular activities (i.e., academic conference, medical appointment, family or personal matter) it is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements well ahead of time and arrange for a colleague to substitute for you. A Leave of Absence Request form should be completed and submitted to Dora Lopes if an absence will be greater than three (3) business days.

6. How do I reserve a review session room?

Email Vivian Saephan ( several days in advance. Include the date, time, number of students, any AV needs, course CRN number, and Title/Number (i.e., Math 11).


1. Who do I contact regarding for student misconduct/dishonesty issues?

Contact Angie Salinas ( Assistant Dean for Student Support with questions and/or concerns involving student related issues, which include misconduct and dishonesty.

2. What do I do if I am a TA and I witness academic dishonesty during an exam?

Immediately consult the course instructor. If you believe an assignment was copied or plagiarized, inform the course instructor It is it is the responsibility of all university members to uphold the academic integrity of UC Merced.

Lecturers: Take Note!  It is easier to prevent academic dishonesty than to take action against it. Educate students ahead of time about the ramifications of academic dishonesty and cheating. Reference the academic honesty policy in the course syllabus. It may seem obvious to you but students might think sharing their work is not a "big deal."  If you need to move a student during an exam, quietly tell him/her that you are worried someone is looking at their exam and that you want to protect their work.  This takes the blame off the student being moved, even if they are the problem.