Summer 2020 at Castleton

This summer, Castleton faculty are busily preparing to meet students in face-to-face instruction in the fall.  The faculty participation in these activities so far has been unprecedented.  Future posts will detail some of the steps faculty are taking to continue to offer students the high-value Castleton education.  All events are open to all Castleton faculty (full and part-time) and staff.

Online training:  All of Castleton’s faculty have been encouraged to take a course on How to Teach Online at Castleton.  This is a basic course that covers Castleton’s policies, pedagogy and matters such as accessibility. Many faculty members who have been teaching online in past semesters have already taken the course.

Advanced online training:  42 Castleton faculty members are currently enrolled in an advanced self-paced training course to support remote learning course design and use of the Canvas LMS. They are working in small groups with 7 faculty coaches who are serving as facilitators.  A new 4-week instance of the course begins in July with, at present, 2 more small groups planned.  Interested faculty are encouraged to sign up for the July course.

Weekly workshops:  We kicked off weekly workshops with a virtual workshop with Chris Hakala, Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship at Springfield College. Follow-up workshops have covered multi-modal course design and attending to the mental wellness of students and faculty.  The turnout has been huge with 50-75 faculty attending each one.  Future workshops include: content delivery, student interactivity, feedback and assessment in remote learning.  Workshops are held virtually on Wednesdays 1-3.  Additional workshop topics are in the planning stages.

Online resources:  We are curating a variety of online resources.  They will be found at this site, at the Remote Delivery Resources Canvas page for Castleton faculty, the Microsoft Teams site for Castleton faculty, and the comprehensive Calvin Coolidge Library LibGuides on Online Teaching that is part of the Teaching and Learning Resources.  Castleton has also just joined the Online Learning Consortium which offers a variety of resources and training opportunities.

August kickoff: We are currently planning an all-campus meeting on August 10 to kick-off final plans for the start of classes. Details TBA.

Online delivery standards committee:  A group of 12 faculty members are serving on a committee to recommend best practices and principles for remote delivery at Castleton, should it become necessary, and to guide our offering of online courses in the future.

Opening committees:  Personnel from throughout the university are serving on 16 committees to finalize plans to return to campus in the fall.

The Summer Support Team consists of Chris Boettcher, Director of the Castleton Center for Teaching and Learning; Gillian Galle, Associate Academic Dean; and Sarah Chambers, Coordinator of Instructional Technology.  The team is collaborating with various university and VSC committees including the Pathway to Graduation Project and the VSC Teaching and Learning Technologies Workgroup.

For inquiries or to sign up for the online training courses, please contact Chris Boettcher at Christopher.boettcher[at]

About Chris Boettcher

Christopher Boettcher, Ph.D. is the inaugural Director of the Castleton Center for Teaching and Learning and an Associate Professor of English. Professor Boettcher specializes in General Education teaching of courses in writing, speaking and reading. He also maintains research interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning and has published original research in community engagement and nineteenth-century literature and culture.
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