(from Northern Illinois University Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning). Faculty Tips for Starting the Semester Remotely. The first week of the semester is a critical time for setting the tone of the course, motivating and exciting students for learning, beginning to form a community, and establishing your expectations for students. Here are a few tips for accomplishing these goals when you must start the semester remotely, so that you don’t lose that opportunity, such as prioritize well-being for yourself and your students, set clear communications with your students, and create opportunities for the students to know each other. We have also compiled student tips for starting the semester remotely, which you may want to share with your students.