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Continuing Education Instructor Handbook LibGuide

New Instructors

We are so delighted to have you as part of our team of instructors. We really hope you enjoy the experience of being an instructor with us and that you have a great onboarding experience prior to getting ready for the big day.

Your program team is there to help you succeed . Do not hesitate to contact them.

Role & Responsibilities

As a Continuing Education instructor, we rely on you to provide high quality education as well as a quality service experience for our students.  It is important that you develop your teaching skills on a continual basis and that you be familiar with relevant McMaster University Continuing Education policies and procedures. 

Be conscious of the service aspect of education.  Learners have choices to make in terms of education providers. We need to ensure that all aspects of service provision lead to a positive experience for our learners.  Students will come to you with questions and it is important that you know how or where to refer them to get the information they require. 

Ensure that you cover the entire curriculum of the course that you are teaching and that you do not make significant changes.  If you have something you would like to add or change, please consult with your Program Manager.  Significant changes to curriculum require approval through the Undergraduate Council for all credit and some non-credit programs. 

For specific responsibilities and tasks required for the role of an Instructor are listed below.  The tasks are organized by the categories of 1) Before the Course; 2) During the Course, and 3) Course Logistics.  Please review the charts carefully and consult the Program Manager with any questions you may have.   Your Instructor contract will cover many of these tasks along with additional details specific to the delivery format of the course.   

chart displaying what should be done before teaching a course

chart showing instructor responsibilities during the course

chart showing administrative duties associated with teaching

Getting Started

What is a MacID? 

As an instructor at Continuing Education, you will be assigned a unique MacID, which is not your employee number. Your MacID is typically the first part of your McMaster email address before the @ symbol. Your MacD will allow you to sign-on for a number of McMaster systems and applications including Mosaic, Avenue to Learn, and McMaster email.  

To learn more about your MacID (e.g. activation, changing password, etc.), access the following web page: MacID .

What is Mosaic?  

Mosaic is McMaster’s administrative information system. As an instructor, you will use Mosaic to submit final grades. You will also use Mosaic to activate your McMaster email account, sign-up for training modules such as health and safety and AODA, T4 slips, etc. You will also have access to your class list in Mosaic and can submit students’ final grades. 

To visit Mosaic online, access the following web page: Mosaic 

What is McMaster Email? 

As an instructor at Continuing Education, you are required to activate your McMaster email account. Your email address will be: MAC 

To activate your email account: 

  • Log into Mosaic 
  • Click on Employee Self Service 
  • Click on MAC ID and Password Management 
  • Click on Manage your Email Service 
  • Select the Activate Button, then save 

Please note that your account may not be fully functional for 24 hours. 

You can access your McMaster Email account online via Macmail: Outlook Web App 

While some documents will be directed to you via mail, most communication will occur via email. Each term, we update an instructor distribution list. Please watch for general notices, announcements, and reminders that will be sent to all instructors teaching during that term. 

What is Avenue to Learn (A2L)?  

Avenue to Learn (A2L) is McMaster University’s web-based Learning Management System (LMS). At Continuing Education, it is a key tool for administering and delivering courses. A2L allows for: 

  • Collaboration and communication; 
  • Administration of surveys, quizzes, assignments; 
  • Organization of course materials; and 
  • Design utilities for constructing courses. 

Your Program Manager will provide you with more information about how A2L is used in the course(s) you will be instructing and how to access training. 

To learn more about A2L, access the following web page: Avenue to Learn 

What is University Technology Services (UTS)?  

The UTS Service Desk provides support to the McMaster community consisting primarily of basic technical assistance and problem resolution for a specific list of supported computer products and services. Advanced questions and problems are escalated to the appropriate contact. 

If you require assistance, contact UTS


What is the MacPherson Institute?  

The MacPherson Institute works with the McMaster community to support innovation, leadership and excellence in teaching and learning. They provide development opportunities, individual consultations, events, and resources on effective teaching practices. They also work with faculty, graduate students and post-docs, and undergraduates through other programs. 

To learn more about the MacPherson Institute, access the web page: MacPherson Institute 

What is the Course Development Hub?  

The Course Development Hub was created to support McMaster University Continuing Education staff, subject matter experts, and instructors in the development and maintenance of courses. It also contains information about instructor courses that are available to all Instructors:  

  • A2L training course on how to use A2L 
  • Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners Course 

McMaster University Continuing Education's Organizational Chart

organizational chart for CCE

Who and Why 

Contact Details 

Information Specialist 

  • General inquires 
  • Program inquiries 
Include your full name and course name 

Program Manager 

  • Contracts 
  • Scheduling 
  • Student issues 
  • Instructor PD 
  • Policies & Procedures 

Contact your PM for preferred communication method 

Include your full name and course name 

Program Associate 

  • Facility Requests 
  • Classroom materials 
  • Payment issues 
  • A2L inquiries 
  • Student inquiries 
  • Textbook and courseware 
  • In-class exams 

Contact your PA for preferred communication 

Include your full name and course name 

OJN Security Guard 

  • Unlock a scheduled classroom 
  • Respond to a suspicious person 
  • Report theft or vandalism 
  • First Aid/CPR 
  • Lost and Found 
  • Classroom temperature issues after hours 


The following requests cannot be performed: 

  • Unlock an unscheduled classroom 
  • Allow access to audio/visual equipment 
  • Allow access to offices, copy machine, etc. 



OJN Security Desk: 
(905) 525-9140, etc. 23206 


If you’re unable to reach OJN Security, please contact one of the following: 

Main Campus (University Security Services): (905) 525-9140, ext. 24281 

Yale (Mall) Security: 
(905) 522-4277 
*If calling this number, make sure to specify that you need assistance with a security issue. 


Policies & Procedures

As a new instructor, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the policies that our students have to abide by as well as the policies that apply to your new role.

Starting in Summer 2018, Continuing Education will no longer provide lists or any printed materials to instructors related to their course (aside from in-classroom exams). It is the responsibility of the instructor to come prepared with the necessary supplies they need for teaching. Continuing Education highly encourages instructors to take advantage of the Learning Management System (A2L) to post class materials or handouts and refrain for printing them.  

Continuing Education requests that all instructors engage in ethical, professional behaviour at all times. At no time should the classroom be used as a forum to actively seek clients for private business. Certain business management courses rely on the discussion of specific applications along with the general managerial concepts. These discussions should not include personalized consultations on investment portfolios, detailed operational advice to individual firms, or references to specific employees, organizations or clients that rely on non‐public information. The same applies to confidentiality for clients in a social service setting. Continuing Education often consults with organizations to provide custom training solutions for their employees, leveraging our expertise from academic programs. If a student asks if you or Continuing Educaton is able to provide custom training for their organization, please refer them to your program manager. 

McMaster University has a few different policies linked to the diversity of our community. It is important to be aware of those policies and adhere by them in the classroom or in an online environment to ensure inclusion of all our students and promote a great learning environment. 


Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Human Rights Code 

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Human Rights Code requires that all staff and instructors who interact with students complete customer service training and include accessibility inclusion principles in their own teaching.  As part of your employment with McMaster, it is required that you complete the following:  

  • AODA and Human Rights Code Training: This training includes 5 short videos and a short quiz that will take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. Follow the instructions found on the Accessibility website to get access to the training on Avenue to Learn via Mosaic.  

  • We also highly encourage you to complete the Accessible Education Training for Instructional Staff called Forward with FLEXibility: A Teaching and Learning Resource on Accessibility and Inclusion. Visit the website to register and read the e-book.  If you want to add resources in your course contents (videos, documents, readings, etc) and are uncertain if they meet the AODA requirements, please feel free to connect with our staff at 

Academic Integrity is highly valued at McMaster University. Academic Integrity means:  

  • Scholars (students and instructors) practice intellectual honesty in the process of acquiring and extending knowledge. They do this by improving scholarly competence, and by exercising critical thinking and self-discipline.  
  • Scholars show respect for and courtesy to others in free discussions on academic topics and recognize the right to free inquiry and opinion.  
  • Scholars adhere to ethical requirements in their research.  
  • Scholars fully acknowledge the work of others by providing appropriate references in papers, essays and the like and declaring the contributions of co-workers. Scholars do not take credit that is not earned.  
  • Scholars strive to ensure that others are not put at a disadvantage in their pursuit of knowledge. They do not withhold material that should rightly be available to all.  

Academic dishonesty in any form is destructive to the values of the University and is unfair to those students who pursue their studies honestly. It is the responsibility of students and instructors to familiarize themselves with McMaster University’s policy on academic integrity. The full Senate Statement of Academic Integrity is available for review online. Students are required to adhere to the policy. Breaches of the policy, whether through neglect or intention, are subject to penalties ranging from a failing grade to expulsion.  

As an instructor, it is your responsibility to prevent, detect and report academic dishonesty. The three most commonly reported types of academic dishonesty are:  

  1. Plagiarism: submitting academic work that has been, entirely or in part, copied from or written by another person without proper acknowledgement, or, for which previous credit has been obtained. Some courses may use to detect plagiarism on assignments 
  1. Cheating on a test/exam: To prevent this, we encourage you make changes to your exams and quizzes, use a bank of questions or essay questions, do not allow students to review the entire quiz/exam after it is completed. 
  1. Inappropriate collaboration: It occurs when students work together beyond what is outlined as expected, e.g., students hand in assignments with sections that are identical when the assignment was to be done individually.  

The Office of Academic Integrity at McMaster has many resources for instructors to help prevent and detect academic dishonesty. Please familiarize yourself with their website 

If you suspect a student committed academic dishonesty, please follow the steps outlined here on How to Handle Academic Dishonesty and contact your Program Manager. The website has step-by-step instructions as well as letter templates to use when contacting the student.  

By becoming part of the McMaster family, you will be required to complete Occupational Health and Safety training.  This is especially important if you are an instructor for an in-class course. The Human Resources department requires the following 7 core required training to be completed:  

  • Health and Safety Orientation 
  • Fire Safety – every 3 years 
  • Violence and Harassment Prevention – every 3 years 
  • Slips, Trips and Falls 
  • WHMIS 2015 – every 5 years 
  • Ergonomics 
  • Asbestos Awareness  

If you teach only online courses, the full suite of training programs does not apply to you. You will only be required to complete the Health and Safety Orientation as this is mandatory under the OHSA. It is also recommended that you self-assess the ergonomics of your work station by using the self-assessment form provided. 

You can access all training online via the “Regulatory Training” tile in your Mosaic Account. Further instructions can be found on the Occupation Health and Safety website 

All policies and procedures that students need to be aware of are posted on our website. Please familiarize yourself with these policies which include information related to cancellation (adding and dropping courses) policies, refund schedules, program requirements and a variety of general information. Note that while Instructors should be aware of these policies, any student situations that should arise should be directed to your Program Manager to discuss with the student. It is the Program Manager’s responsibility to ensure consistent application of policies and procedures. Always direct a student to our Information Specialists at  or 905-525-9140 ext. 24321 Toll Free: 1-800-463-6223 for any information related to our Policies for students. 

Student Resources

Students may come to you with questions regarding services and supports provided to McMaster students.  It is important that you know how or where to refer them so they can get the information they require. 

The following is a list of resources and services available to Continuing Education students at McMaster University:  

For up-to-date information about the University, visit the Daily News website.  Information about closures, university events, research and services are featured on the Daily News.   

For questions or concerns regarding MACID access or MOSAIC account, contact UTS

The Office of the Registrar is the official record keeper for the University. From the MOSAIC Student Center, students can access their academic history and grade records.  For specific inquiries related to student records, refer to the Office of the Registrar. 

This office provides information and advice on the university’s Academic Integrity Policy. In addition, the office is involved in preventing cases of academic dishonesty and educating the university community on academic integrity issues.  

The Office of the Secretariat is responsible to update the policies, procedures and guidelines related to the governance of the University.  Guidelines are posted in relation to academics, student conduct and university governance committees.   

A student’s source for textbooks, the bookstore also provides a wide range of services and products such as clothing, giftware, computers, stationery, and general interest books.   

For questions regarding possible funding/bursaries for Continuing Education and part time students, please contact the SFAS office at 905-525-9140 ext.24319, or check out their website  

The McMaster Association of Part-Time Students (MAPS) represents the interests of undergraduate part-time degree students and certificate/diploma students.  All Continuing Education students (regardless of course load) are members of MAPS.  For specific services or questions, please see the MAPS website. 

Mills Memorial Library (Humanities and Social Sciences), Innis Library (Business), Health Sciences Library and the H. G. Thode Library of Science and Engineering provide collections and services supporting the teaching, learning, and research activities of the University. McMaster University’s libraries have access to a comprehensive collection of materials, reference materials and e-journals through the library system.  An active MacID is required to download articles and resources remotely.  Should you require assistance in navigating the resources, please contact the library directly. 

Student Accessibility Services provides services and supports for students requiring long-term academic accommodations.  Students must register with a SAS Coordinator to establish their accommodation plans.  Students should be referred to the SAS website, or to schedule an appointment.  

The Student Success Centre provides a number of services for students such as academic supports, career services, and professional development. Services are funded by full-time student fees.  Continuing Education students are not eligible to access many direct services offered by the Student Success Centre; however, we have online resources that are available to the general public: 

The Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO) works closely with staff, students and faculty members to advance equity and inclusion by promoting an environment of respect, safety, collegiality and openness. A full listing of services is available on their website.  Please note that some services may not be available for Continuing Education students based on the type of service and its funding model.   

Continuing Education graduates from Certificate and Diploma programs become members of McMaster’s Alumni Association.  As a member of the Alumni Association, graduates are eligible for services such as travel programs, insurance discounts and career services.  Visit the Association’s website for details. 

Benefits for Instructors

All instructors have access to the following services while working with us:  

  • McMaster Library AccessYour MacID will give you access to the McMaster Library website and resources. If it doesn’t, please email you Program Manager who can request for you to have access.  
  • Cisco Webex Conferencing Account: You can request to get access to Webex to conduct webinars in your courses or to hold virtual meetings with students. To request a Webex account, please contact Training videos are also available online. 
  • McMaster Email Account: Your MacID will give you access to a McMaster email account. You are required to use a McMaster email address to communicate with students.  
  • Free courses at Continuing Education:  Instructors scheduled to teach at least one Continuing Education course (either in class or online) per academic year are entitled to take up to two Continuing Education courses free of charge, provided that the course/module is not full, i.e. enrolment capacity numbers have not been met. The policy does not apply to modules in the Project Management and Lean Six Sigma programs. Instructors are responsible for paying in full the program application fee (if applicable), new student fee and MAPs application at the time of enrolment in the course. Enrollment must be done via a paper registration form. Contact your Program Manager for more details. 
  • Professional Development with McMaster University Continuing Education: The team at Continuing Education puts on events, courses and mini-conferences for the development of our instructors. Please stay tuned via the Instructor Newsletter. Some of the available courses are: 
    • A2L Training Course 
    • Instructional Strategies for Adult Learners Course 

To sign up for a course or learn about the Continuing Education DevTeam, access the web page: Course Development Hub 

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