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Champlain College Sees Its Online Future in Digital Platform

The online division of a Vermont college is working with InSpace Proximity to make the campus experience more accessible to virtual students with tools for networking and collaboration, and new courses on the way.

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The fully remote, online division of Champlain College in Vermont has partnered with education technology company InSpace Proximity Inc. to build a virtual version of its campus experience, using the company's asynchronous online learning platform to boost student engagement and virtual course support.

According to a news release last week, Champlain College Online (CCO) is using the InSpace platform for student communication, peer collaboration and networking, hoping to mimic the “fluid, personal and interactive nature of in-person learning experiences.” CCO is also in the process of creating new courses that will place an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.

According to InSpace, more than 120 institutions are using the platform.

"We received feedback from our students that their sense of community and having a connection to the physical campus is of the utmost importance to them," CCO Vice President of Online Learning Johnna Herrick-Phelps said in a public statement. "Using InSpace, students are able to communicate in new dynamic ways, create and foster collaboration, and a sense of community and connection to the brick-and-mortar college."

For the next phase of the partnership, the announcement said, the tool will be added to all asynchronous courses and the academic advising process. Once that's complete, online students will be able to virtually access library spaces, databases, orientations, panel discussions and other events.

"When we started InSpace two years ago, our mission was to take the technology out of the way and let instructors and students connect and learn virtually," Narine Hall, co-founder of InSpace, said in a public statement. "The most innovative and forward-thinking institutions are seeking differentiated and effective video collaboration and learning partners like InSpace as a competitive advantage for their online courses."