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Academy News - April 29, 2020
New Webinar! Getting Ready for Finals: Online Testing and Alternative Assessments

As we approach the end of the spring semester, many faculty are wondering about the best way to deploy or adapt their final exams in a way that allows them to evaluate student learning while being flexible and understanding of the difficult situation that many of our students are in. In some cases, alternative assessments such as student presentations, contextual applications, reflective journals, narrated problem solving, open-book exams with multiple attempts, or capstone projects may be suitable replacements to traditional final exams. In this webinar, we will share strategies for developing these comprehensive assessments quickly and communicating expectations to students should you decide to offer an alternative to your traditional final exam. If you still need to administer a traditional final exam, we will share best practices and tips from the experts for doing so inside of Blackboard in a way that sets students up to perform their best while maintaining academic integrity in both unproctored and proctored environments.

Two sessions to choose from:
  • Wednesday, April 29, 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (today!)
  • Thursday, April 30, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

In the meantime, as you prepare for final exams/alternative assessments you may find the resources here to be of assistance: Online Testing and Alternative Assessments .
Transitioning to Fully Online Instruction Webinar Series Recordings

To support the transition to fully online instruction for Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 courses, the Academy hosted a five-part webinar series (April 2-April 16).

  • Part 1: Laying Out Your Online Course and Providing Quality Content
  • Part 2: Bringing Your Course Activities and Assessments Online
  • Part 3: Providing Feedback and an Organized Gradebook in Your Online Course
  • Part 4: Building Community and Enhancing Communications in the Online Environment
  • Part 5: Supporting Every Student in Your Online Course through Universal Design

Apply for CEUs by May 1: To receive CEUs (for attending the webinars live or viewing the recordings), complete the corresponding personal action plan for each webinar by May 1.
Online Instruction Support & Resources

The Academy is here to support all full-time and adjunct faculty who are making the transition to online instruction. Please review the resources below and let us know how we can continue to support you!

Summer 2020 Resources (new!)
Two new resources are available to you as you prepare your Summer 2020 courses. The Summer 2020 Blackboard Course Template and Summer Syllabus Updates. Learn more .

Essential Online Skills Recorded Sessions
Watch a recording of an Essential Online Skills session. The session focuses on essential Blackboard and Collaborate (live, virtual lecture) skills.

Resources for Faculty & Students
The Planning for a Rapid Transition to Online Instruction webpage is continually being updated with additional resources as they become available. Please bookmark this page. The page also includes a "Student Resources & Support" section with information to help students succeed as they learn remotely.

Support for Blackboard and Online Instruction
Please continue to submit all Blackboard and Online Instruction requests using the Online Instruction Support form, rather than via phone or email. An Academy team member will follow up with you within one business day.
We may not be able to get together in person, but we can come together online to celebrate one another. At the event, we will honor our colleagues' commitment and contributions to the college community. Emceed by Roger Spayer with remarks by Dr. Proctor, this virtual event will include several honorees who will share their experiences at Harper College. This year's awards take place on Friday, May 1 from 10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. See Webex details and add it to your calendar .

Use the link above to view the recording of the April 24 Town Hall (when it is available) and the content that was shared, including the COVID-19 presentation by Dr. Tong Cheng, Biology.

Take a moment to view this page with information about student resources and support (services, programs, initiatives) and how students can obtain the help they need to succeed while learning at a distance. The page includes fact sheets of virtual services offered by Student Development, information about academic support (how to schedule appointments with academic advisors and the Academic Support Center), using library services, and more. Please share this important information with your students, along with this video , to remind students that we are all here to help and we are all in this together.

Library Instruction is available in online modalities, and you are encouraged to contact the Library to discuss options. Librarians have been sharing custom handouts, creating videos, helping locate alternative online course materials, and sharing general instructional resources on the Remote Library Services page. In addition, the Online Librarian program can pair your course with a librarian who will be available right in your Blackboard course for the entire term or a period of time. As you plan your summer courses, consider whether an online librarian would be useful. Visit the Library Instruction page for more details or send an email to lrcrefdk@harpercollege.edu .
Student Learning
COVID-19 Brings a Totally Different Type of Taxing Season

Submitted by DuBoi McCarty, Counseling Faculty

When the month of April arrives, we often look forward to new experiences. We anticipate enjoying more sunshine, warmer weather, spring sports, blooming flowers, spring fashion, proms, graduations, vacations, family reunions, and spending time with people we love and appreciate. Yet, with all of these anticipated new experiences, April is also known as tax season. Tax season sometimes is met with dread and nervous embrace.

Taxes may be considered a required resource contribution to the greater functioning of our society. For some, tax season is a time when they are required to produce resources that they don't have readily available. Others experience tax season as a time when they learn they have contributed over the amount required of them, and they will receive a tax refund. Our familiarity with taxes gives us a method for understanding what we must do and how we must contribute. Although tax season may not be our favorite experience, we have familiar systems in place for how to work through it successfully.

In our current experience with COVID-19, we find ourselves taxed in ways that are unfamiliar. We have been required to live in a way that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The culture for how we function as educators, families, communities, and friends has changed overnight.

Faculty Experience
Patricia Hamlen Selected for Highest Faculty Honor, 2020

Professor Pat Hamlen has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Motorola Solutions Foundation Distinguished Faculty Award, the highest faculty honor at Harper.

After considering a group of excellent nominees, the committee felt that Pat rose above the rest and was most deserving of this year's award. The committee was impressed with Pat's continued dedication to students in and out of the classroom, her willingness to serve the department and division, and her engagement in professional development. You have likely noticed the amazing anthropologic and archeologic exhibits on the first floor of Building J. If not, when the campus reopens, make sure to visit. Those displays are the creative work of Pat. Her career at Harper has been truly impressive.

Pat will be recognized and serving as the keynote speaker during the virtual commencement ceremony on May 16.
Online Learning
Join the Online Instruction Forum

Have you ever...
  • Had a question about online teaching and didn't know who to ask?
  • Wanted to share an idea with other faculty members?
  • Wanted to have conversation with fellow Harper faculty about teaching online?
  • Been curious to learn more from each other?

We are excited to announce that the Academy for Teaching Excellence has launched an Online Instruction Forum for Harper faculty. The Online Instruction Forum is part of Harper's Yammer communities. Yammer is a social platform within Office 365 that gives Harper staff and faculty a secure and convenient way to communicate and collaborate. The ability to communicate, collaborate, and share ideas is integral to the success of transitioning to online teaching. By building this community using Yammer, we can now work together, better than ever before.

Eight Steps for a Smoother Transition to Online Teaching

As colleges across the country continue to move their courses online, a recent article from Faculty Focus offers suggestions about how to make this a smoother transition for both you and your students.

Upcoming Programs & Workshops
April 29, 5 p.m. (CEUs: 0.2)
April 30, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.2)

May 4 - May 17 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: April 29
July 6 - July 19 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: June 22

June 8 - June 21 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: May 25
Faculty Photos
Faculty Retreat 2020
Faculty Senate Elections
Have a faculty photo that you'd like to share? Email it to academy@harpercollege.edu .
From Greg Clemons, professor and chair of the music department: "If the quarantine (and online teaching) is testing your patience and resolve to complete this semester and you need a lift, watch this video . Our Jazz Ensemble director, Jeff Hedberg, put this together with the music students and jazz faculty at Harper. All of it was recorded in the various homes of the Jazz Ensemble members and then mixed by jazz faculty members Jeff and Darren Scorza."
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 ads@harpercollege.edu , 847.925.6266, at least two weeks in advance of the event date.
Harper College enriches its diverse communities by providing quality, affordable, and accessible education. Harper College, in collaboration with its partners, inspires the transformation of individual lives, the workforce, and society.