From Acting Provost Catherine Morgan to Faculty
Dear Faculty and Academic Staff,
As Laurie’s email from March 11 outlined, the College will be extending spring break for students for an additional week. Please note that the semester will end as scheduled (not be extended) regardless of other developments.
Starting on Monday, March 23rd, classes will resume, and will be conducted through remote instruction for at least three weeks. Most students, other than those on campus by special permission, will be learning from home during remote instruction. I know you remain committed to our goals of academic rigor and providing quality teaching and learning experiences for our students.
Suspending classes for a week is designed to give faculty time to pivot, regroup, rethink and make plans for how to carry out their classes. I understand that we are asking a lot of faculty and I’m very appreciative of the work you will be doing to get ready for a totally different semester than what you originally planned.
The extra week also gives us some time to get our instructional support resources fully up and running to give faculty the best support we possibly can.
The Provost’s Office, with the support of The Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT), is preparing to assist faculty in achieving these goals. Fortunately we have deep resources through both Champlain College Online and our on-campus Center for Learning and Teaching, and appreciate the many online-savvy faculty who have already offered to mentor colleagues. We are confident that our dedicated faculty members, with the support of the College, will be able to provide remote courses that emphasize the right learning goals.
There are many details to be decided and questions to be answered. We’re starting with what you need to know right now and we will continue to communicate with you frequently.
This communication describes:
- Plans for providing instructional support to faculty
- Plans for providing learning support to students
- Information about Library support and availability
- Plans for how the Curriculum Committee and Senate will conduct their work
INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT FOR FACULTY
During the week of March 16, faculty will plan and implement remote teaching strategies. We have been anticipating this eventuality and preparing by developing web-based faculty support resources that are intended to help you navigate choosing technologies and strategies that are as straightforward as possible for you and your students. Your first question should be, what are the learning outcomes in each of my courses, and how do I best achieve those in a virtual environment? Complex online design is not expected, but clarity for your students about what the experience will be and how the remote course will work should be a top focus.
As you begin to transition your course to an online environment or other remote instructional format, please keep in mind the following:
- Instruction must continue until the end of the semester, and not end earlier.
- In order to cover the required instruction time of 7 weeks instruction in a 6-week period, you will need just under 3.5 hours per week for a 3-credit course.
- Classes and coursework can be delivered synchronously or asynchronously in Canvas. Options available to you include Google Hangouts, which are part of the Champlain College Google tools issued with your Champlain email suite. The methods you choose will be up to you, as long as students can access those modes of learning without additional expense to them. The CLT can provide recommendations on how best to distribute assignments to reasonably match an in-person class meeting schedule. It’s important to remember that your assignments will likely need to change and adjust to meet outcomes in the best way, rather than to assume that a straightforward translation of in-class to online will be optimal.
The CLT will reach out with details about self-service materials, including web-based resources and Canvas templates, as well as one-on-one support. You can begin by exploring the materials on the CLT website’s special section on continuity of instruction, and you may also wish to review Champlain’s Academic Continuity Policy.
The Provost’s Office will be supporting the CLT with additional resources by dedicating Josh Blumberg, Director of Academic Technology, to this work. Additionally, several of your faculty colleagues including on-campus faculty and Champlain College Online faculty have already volunteered to serve as mentors to other faculty. Faculty Librarians and staff also have volunteered to assist. The CLT is developing a strategy for supporting faculty, and more information on this is forthcoming.
To ensure the best communication, please use firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the CLT rather than individual staff addresses; this will shorten their response time.
LEARNING SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS
Communications are going out to students and families from the interim president and from Student Affairs. We recognize that this shift to remote instruction will have an impact on our students in many as yet unanticipated ways. We will manage these situations as they arise. The SMART Space, academic support and coaching services, will offer tutoring and coaching sessions virtually and also provide support through SmartThinking 24/7 Online Tutoring.
In addition, faculty should please plan to provide virtual office hours to meet with students, or indicate availability to respond to student questions via email. Our expectation is that student advising over the next few weeks will continue to occur through virtual appointments, phone or email.
We all have an obligation to provide an accessible education and meet the accommodation needs of our students. The Office of Accessibility is in communication with the CLT and will be working with them to send out information in the next few days. All students currently working with an academic coach will continue this service virtually. In the meantime, if you have questions, please reach out directly to the Office of Accessibility by emailing email@example.com or by phone at (802) 865-5764.
Please be aware that while students spend endless hours on their phones, they may not be as “digitally savvy” as we think. They are also experiencing, as we are, an unprecedented time. Please be patient with students and be very clear with your instructions and expectations. And remember that the first key to successful online teaching is to be present for and responsive to your students.
The physical library will be temporarily closed as we monitor the situation. We will continue to provide virtual services to the Champlain College community.
- All online library resources and services remain available.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the following:
- To request items from the physical collection. A librarian will collect the items for you and arrange for pick-up or delivery
- To request new electronic or audiovisual course materials
- To arrange online library course instruction
- Our reference team will continue to provide research assistance over email or chat. Google Hangout or phone calls available by appointment.
- For any other assistance or questions, please reach out to the Library Director, Emily Crist, (email@example.com) or Associate Library Director, Susan Adkins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Curriculum Committee will meet virtually, through Google Hangouts, at the regularly scheduled time of 3:30–5:00 PM on Monday, March 16. Committee Chair Tony Perriello will notify committee members with the details. Google Hangouts can be accessed through the Google Calendar meeting invitation.
Plans are being made for Senate to convene via Zoom. We will have information on how to vote on voting items as soon as those details are worked out.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Knowing that there will be many details that will need to be worked out as we prepare for a different mode of instruction, you can expect this communication from the Provost Office to be the first of many as we get questions from faculty and staff and as we think through all the implications of transitioning to remote instruction. The next communication you will receive will be this evening from the CLT.
I appreciate your patience as we work through the details of supporting teaching and learning during the period of remote instruction. Feel free to email and stay in touch with me as questions arise that we may have not yet addressed.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be another update from Laurie on the status of remote instruction on April 6th, in addition to any communication deemed necessary between now and that date. Ongoing communication and resources for Faculty and Staff will be posted on The View. A new FAQ page has been included on the View. It’s a good idea to check that daily as it is being updated based on the questions that are coming in to the administration.