Academy News - April 28, 2021
faculty retreat
Faculty Retreat Recap

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2021 Faculty Retreat on Friday, April 9. The theme was Simpler Times: An Afternoon of Reflection and Connection with guest presenters Dr. Frank Harris III, Dr. Bonni Stachowiak, and Dr. Joshua Sunderbruch. View recordings, presentation slides, resources, and more here.

If you attended, or if you view the recordings, you can still earn 0.4 CEUs by completing this personal action plan by May 7.

The Faculty Development Committee and the Academy are looking for feedback on faculty’s professional development experience at Harper. Retreat participants completed the survey, but we would love to hear from all faculty. Please take a few minutes to complete the 4-question Professional Development Survey by May 7.
Respondus 4.0 Test Generator

Harper has obtained a campus-wide license for the Respondus 4.0 software. Respondus 4.0 is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams for Blackboard Learn. You can extract exams from Blackboard and turn them into word-based exams for printing or for distribution in the classroom. And in turn, you can take word-based exams you already have on your computer and publish them to Blackboard for deploying online. 

Acknowledging the Land Harper Is On

Submitted by Rob Hill, Inclusive Instructional Design Specialist

Over the last several years, many higher education institutions and other organizations have adopted land acknowledgments. A land acknowledgment is a statement at the outset of an event or presentation that states the Indigenous people(s) who once (and often still do) lived on the land the host organization is situated on. 

summer harper campus
Blackboard Course Templates Available for Summer & Fall

Summer and Fall 2021 Blackboard course shells are now available. To assist you in your course development for these semesters, the Academy has created Blackboard Course Templates. Each template is a complete course shell with a fully developed orientation module and a weekly folder structure that aligns with the semester course dates. The Academy also developed a series of short video tutorials that provide a tour of the template along with step-by-step instructions for working with the template in Blackboard and customizing it to fit your needs. The tutorial videos also address the 15 essential features of an online course.

Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy is here to help all full-time and adjunct faculty at Harper. Here are the ways to get instructional and Blackboard support through the Academy:

Check out this fun video we made to remind you of the three ways to give us a shout!
This conference by University of Colorado will discuss the copyright implications of open access. Under open access, published works are available to users with no financial, legal, or technical restrictions. Some benefits include immediacy, rapid disperse of innovative ideas inciting new studies, impact and citations, and author and institution visibility. It is free but limited to the first 300 people who register. Previous conference materials are also available for download here. Learn more and register using the link above.

This conference by Illinois Community Colleges Online (ILCCO) is an opportunity to engage in best practices in moving your instruction and your campus to a more inclusive culture. Each Friday in May, you will have the opportunity to engage with expert presenters that highlight and celebrate being accessible, designing with educational technologies that work for everyone, working towards institutional compliance, and designing your course to have a focus on inclusive course design. Learn more and register using the link above.

Register now for Teaching Online Successfully for Summer 2021. There are three course options to choose from based on your needs: Create, Facilitate, or Enhance. Each course is two weeks, fully online, 1 GEC, and there is no cost. Learn more and register using the link above.

After a lifetime of studying meditative martial arts, one teacher would like to offer a few ways that mindset and staying centered can help ground ourselves in the middle of stressful times. There is one more session this semester. Learn more and register using the link above.

Please join us on April 29 to honor our colleagues for their years of service and affiliation to the college. See who is reaching a significant milestone this year using the link above.

At the April Town Hall, Dr. Janosik shared the plans for the phased return of academics and students affairs. For the Fall 2021 semester (now enrolling), Harper is increasing on-campus presence of blended classes beyond labs to include some lecture courses while continuing to offer a variety of Online LIVE and Online ANYTIME classes. Starting May 24, several student-facing services will begin taking on-campus appointments, on a modified schedule. All offices offering on-campus appointments will also continue to offer remote services during this time. Watch the presentation using the link above.
Student Learning
13th Annual Assessment Conference

Save the date for the 13th Annual Assessment Conference and Share Fair. This year’s conference will be held virtually and will feature the inspiring and effective educator, author, and speaker, Flower Darby! The Learning Assessment Committee will also be looking for a few applicants to be part of a panel discussion; details will be shared in the coming weeks.

  • Date: Friday, September 24, 2021
  • Time: 9 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
  • Location: Webex, Virtual
  • Add to calendar

Faculty Experience
brian cremins book
New book release featuring two Harper English Faculty

Brian Cremins, English, has co-edited a new book with Brannon Costello from Louisiana State University called The Other 1980s: Reframing Comics’ Crucial Decade. Featuring 20 essays by scholars from North America and Europe, this collection focuses on overlooked and obscure comics and graphic novels from the 1980s. These important comics have been overshadowed by more popular and canonical titles from the era like WatchmenMaus, and The Dark Knight Returns.

“One of our goals with the collection was to bring together a diverse group of scholars to write about a diverse group of artists and titles, including comics by women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ creators,” said Cremins. “The book features essays on Wendy Pini’s Elfquest, Katherine Collins’s Neil the Horse, P. Craig Russell’s opera comics, Barbara Slate’s Angel Love, and Trina Robbins’s California Girls. There are also essays on pioneer African American independent publisher and cartoonist Reggie Byers, who was one of the first American artists to popularize the Japanese manga style of art in the U.S. Other articles focus on comics about the AIDS crisis, representations of Indigenous characters, and the connections between the Wimmen’s Comix collective and the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s.”

The collection also features an article by Harper’s Meg King, English, on depictions of the Vietnam War in comics like The ‘NamReal War Stories, and G.I. Joe.

Online Learning
online learning
"Our Slimmed-Down Pandemic Pedagogy"

This unique time we are functioning in can make us all weary. David Gooblar, assistant professor at the University of Iowa, gives his take on why it’s ok to pare down the amount of material covered with students in hopes that the content that is covered will be covered more deeply and with a lasting impact. Continue reading using the link below for an honest but still hopeful message.

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
May 13, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.05)

June 7 - June 20 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: May 24

July 6 - July 19 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: June 22
What's Happening @ Harper?
Academy for Teaching Excellence | 847.925.6174 | Building F, Room F317
Monday - Thursday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The mission of the Academy for Teaching Excellence is to create a vibrant teaching and learning culture for full-time and adjunct faculty that cultivates professional development in support of student success.
Accessibility: Individuals with disabilities who would like to request an accommodation or who have questions about physical access may contact the event host or Access and Disability Services at, 847.925.6266, at least two weeks in advance of the event date.
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