Here are five:
5. Complete the course set up. In addition to the content this involves setting due dates, adding supplemental resources, and a review of standard communications such as welcome announcements and grading feedback mechanisms. For example, am I fully leveraging all the tools that I can? Is there a best practice I've been missing out on? Have any nifty new feature been released yet to be discovered?
4. Read up on current events in my field: Computer Science. While the words of Dante's Inferno, the Pythagorean Theorem, and the atomic weight of Silicon are not changing between terms, chances are there is news pertaining to consumer technology, network security, privacy laws, nanotechnology, and much more than I need to know about in order to ensure for meaningful discussions.
3. Throw the Wild card. Each term I like to try something new. It can be a new method of interacting, a new resource to help the students, or applying something I've picked up from a peer. It can be basic and sort of low-key or quite spectacular. For example, a few years ago I dropped the publisher materials and adopted open source content.
2. Learn about my students. During introductions ask questions and make connections. Also, make every effort to personalize the course via inclusion of brief video segments and more.
1. Ensure I've added variety to my reward system. While this certainly applies to student feedback and acknowledgement of their masterpieces, this is more about my personal reward system. Once grading is complete for the week we need to recharge and reconnect. There are many ways to do this and I've found the best approach is variety. Also, grading is such a sedentary activity so when I am complete I get up and go places. For example...