Faculty & Academic Staff Briefing #35

Dear Faculty and Academic Staff:

This brief includes:

  • Fall 2020 Classroom Logistics and Course Planning
  • CLT Announcement: Canvas Shells and Template
  • Updated Syllabus Guidelines
  • Vermont Reads – Invitation to Participate
  • Virtual Gap Update


The Academic Leadership team, Registrar’s Office, Academic Technology and Campus Facilities are actively working on a plan for new classroom technology, classroom set-ups and room capacities that represent six foot social distancing.  We understand that this information is very important for course design decisions so we are sharing the information we have as of today for your planning purposes.

Classroom Capacity. For now, as you consider your teaching design please plan for one-third to one-half of your class to attend in-person at any one time, depending on classroom capacity, enrollment, and student health.  We do have larger rooms that can accommodate more students and will be making classroom updates throughout the summer as best as we can, but we cannot guarantee this for all sections.   

Classroom Set-up.  To mitigate the risk of the spread of the virus. it is recommended that all students will face forward in the classroom, and not face each other.  We know that many faculty have pedagogical strategies that will make this challenging. Nic Anderson has done some initial mapping of a classroom with six foot social distancing in place.  Please check out a  video of CCM 444 classroom to give you an idea of what the classroom set-up might look like this fall.

Classroom Technology. We want to ensure that classrooms are set-up optimally to include remote students when you are physically in class.  We are trying to personalize the design of A/V in the classroom to the teaching scenarios that faculty envision as much as possible.  We are taking audio particularly seriously. IS/Media Services will provide a lavalier mic for faculty if face coverings/shields inhibit their ability to be heard in the classroom. The College is working to design solutions for video both in the classroom and for videos that you create outside of class.  We are in the process of licensing Panopto for Education as a platform to make this easier (more on this to come). For those that want to pre-record on-campus we are planning to make some rooms into “one touch recording studios”.

Face-masks/Face Shields. Students will be required to wear face masks in the classroom and we will have an extra supply available in classrooms for students if they need them.  Faculty will also be required to wear a face covering.  This could include a face shield with a clear barrier which we will make available for faculty.

Student Remote Learners. We plan to ask students in August about their intentions for learning/attending class in Fall 2020.  We expect to be able to share information about the number of remote students in each class with faculty in mid-August.

Parking. A plan to bring the Transportation Committee (a representative group of faculty and staff) together to discuss options for parking this fall semester is in the works. Stay tuned.

We are working with the deans and operations managers of each division to provide more detailed and specific information to their faculty as soon as it is available.  


As a reminder, the Academic Affairs Fall 2020 course standards require that Canvas be utilized as the “base” of your course.   We apologize that the launch of the Fall 2020 Canvas template has been delayed for technical reasons. The template is expected to be available early next week. This template is an optional plug-and-play model for your week-by-week module structure that also simplifies things like due dates. The delay does not affect your Canvas shells, which are already available; however, if you want to use the template, we recommend focusing on your syllabus and course delivery plans right now, and waiting until you have imported the template to begin building in Canvas. You can find more information on what the template will provide here. Thank you for your patience.


The Provost’s Office Syllabus Guidelines were recently updated to reflect the 2020 Fall Course Standards.  Please review them at your earliest convenience.


This year, Champlain College has been accepted into the Vermont Reads program offered by the Vermont Humanities Council. This effort is being spearheaded by the Library and will offer multiple opportunities for the campus to engage with the 2020 Vermont Reads book selection,  The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. It tells the story of teen Starr Carter in the aftermath of witnessing a police shooting of her childhood friend. It was an important topic before this summer, but even more timely with the current unrest. As a young adult novel, it provides an easy entry point for complex topics of racial inequity and provides an opportunity for campus wide discussions.

The Library is currently working to secure extra copies of this book for use in classes and is designing campus-wide events to support the program. If you are interested in including this book in your syllabus this fall or helping to organize other Vermont Reads events on campus please complete this form. You can also join us for a faculty information session through the CLT on Thursday, June 25th at 3:30 PM to hear more about some of the events we are hoping to offer and ask questions about ways to approach this book in a classroom setting. For more information and resources about the project you can explore our Vermont Reads LibGuide.


Our virtual gap program has recently earned some impressive press coverage.  If you have questions related to the Virtual Gap program or want to know how you can be involved, please contact Kellie Nadeau, the Virtual Gap program coordinator.


Ongoing communication and resources for Faculty and Staff are posted on The View; the most recent posts are listed here for easy access.  Finally, all Faculty Daily Briefing emails are stored here and also hosted on The View.

CLT: Fall Flex Hybrid Ramp-Up Guide
CLT: Meeting Scheduling
CLT: Upcoming Webinars
Faculty Canvas Mentor List
The View: Updates on the Coronavirus

Access to Coaching and Tutoring Support