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Opening a Course

8 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 1999  

Robert F. Bruner

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Date Written: August 17, 2001


Professor C. Roland Christensen, once remarked that the management of beginnings and endings was among the most important, but least appreciated, professional skills. Professors are trained to focus on the substantive middle, the beef, as it were, in the intellectual burger. All too often the buns must fend for themselves. Such neglect can be costly. A faulty start to a course can create a legacy that will haunt the instructor for the rest of the course, or worse. A bad beginning makes a bad ending said Euripides. The reality is that first impressions are hugely important within the classroom. How can one get a course launched well? Several instructors shared ideas with me; their comments addressed a variety of aims and tactics.

Suggested Citation

Bruner, Robert F., Opening a Course (August 17, 2001). Available at SSRN:

Robert F. Bruner (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924-3823 (Phone)
434-924-0714 (Fax)


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