Quick Start Semester Prep
The hardest part of getting started is…getting started.
Have you just been assigned a new course? Coming on board as a new faculty member? Running a little later with semester prep than you had hoped? Simply don’t know where to start?
Don’t worry. Start here, or for newer faculty, check out our Zero to Go step-by-step resource.
College Policies and Requirements
- Course standards – current as of Spring 2022
- Syllabus requirements
- Academic continuity requirements (in the event of campus closure)
- Other official College resources on teaching at Champlain
- Who to Go to tool for identifying how to direct most questions about teaching and other working-at-Champlain topics
Quick Start Course Design
Important! If you are a new faculty member (or you have been assigned a course you’ve never taught before), contact your Program Director for guidance.
- Know your outcomes – search the curriculum archive for your course, and consult the documentation under “Approved Curriculum Files” for the course
- Look for past syllabi – colleagues may allow you to consult their past syllabi; if you are a new faculty member, ask your PD to help identify colleagues to talk to
- More guidance and course design form – find more guidance for a fast start in our course design resources article
- Prioritize inclusivity and equity – resources on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in teaching, including designing for equity and inclusion
- Consider what kinds of assignments and assessments you will use:
- Designing Projects – more details on project-based learning design strategies
- Designing Exams
Less-Quick Course Design
Find yourself with more time than you thought?
- Backwards Design – a highly effective outcomes-based model for “from scratch” course design
- Designing for Project-Based Learning – collected introductory resources on experiential learning, service learning, project-based collaboration, scaffolding, and more
- Experiential Learning resources
Ramp Up Fast with Canvas
Important! Certain courses, including all Champlain College Online courses, have “model courses” — fully built Canvas courses — available, or in some cases mandatory, for faculty to use. If you have been told you will be using a model course (sometimes called a master course) for an on-campus course and you do not see content in your Canvas course shell, please contact the CLT. Model courses allow you to bypass most Canvas design except for uploading your syllabus and setting your due dates.
If you are not using a model course:
- If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course, decide whether you would like the CLT to join your Canvas shells no later than the Wednesday prior to the start of the semester
- Consult our Basic Canvas Best Practices, which clarifies what uses of Canvas are mandatory and highly recommended
- Consider using a template to make setting up regular (i.e., weekly) assignments, discussions, and modules faster and easier
- If you are using textbook publisher resources that integrate with Canvas, contact the CLT at email@example.com for setup assistance
- Make an appointment with the CLT for specific assistance or if you are using Canvas for the first time
- 24/7 Canvas technical support is available from Instructure, the makers of Canvas; click the “Help” icon in the left sidebar in Canvas for phone and live chat options
CLT staff can also provide you with other guidance and resources appropriate to your needs; contact us!
Jumpstart your Class Learning Community
As you plan the first few meetings of your class, consider how you will conduct your classroom time and build community and shared values with your students.
- Essentials of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging – including basic strategies for inclusion in the classroom
- We strongly urge all faculty to complete the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Faculty Training
- Articulating Shared Values – resources on setting class priorities and behavioral norms
- Building Community at the Start of your Course – resources on getting to know your students as the course begins
- Using “Soft Starts” for Class Meetings – strategies for framing each class meeting to encourage cohesion and participation
Need More Help?
You can always make an appointment with a CLT staff member, before or after classes start. We are available year round and can advise on all aspects of course design, as well as adjusting a course in progress. Consultations are available both on campus and virtually Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm, with additional drop-in hours available for part-time faculty who have 9-5 commitments that prevent them from making appointments during business hours (adjuncts, please consult your Champlain calendar for more information). Please do not hesitate to contact us!