Academy News - February 24, 2021
Tech Week
Tech Week: February 24-26

Harper’s 3rd Annual Tech Week begins today! This year we will be connecting and engaging virtually in three days of drop-in events, captivating talks, and workshops. Download the full Tech Week & Tech Expo schedule.

Learn how to find films fast at the library, how to foster digital media literacy skills and empower students to responsibly use and share information, or how to navigate Oracle Fusion and Office 365. Each day also includes a movement break. Win prizes! Each session you attend during Tech Week will give you an entry into the prize drawing!
carl hooker
Tech Week Keynote: February 25

Are you ready to Reboot 2021? Join us for this exciting keynote presentation from Carl Hooker, educational consultant and speaker from Austin, TX. As a former teacher and administrator, Carl is a national presenter and thought leader in the education world. His thought-provoking style and humor are what we all need to "Reboot in 2021". You won't want to miss this fun and interactive presentation!

Tech Expo: February 26

Visit more than 20 live virtual room and on-demand sessions where faculty and staff will share new technologies for living and learning in this virtual world. Open to all Harper employees – drop in anytime during this 1-hour event! Visit the Virtual Expo Site on February 26 starting at 11 a.m. to join the live sessions and access on-demand sessions. The Virtual Expo site link is located under “Tech Expo” on the Tech Week site on HIP.
Captioning Methods for Ensuring Accessibility of Instructional Videos

To ensure that all students can access and learn appropriately from online instructional content and materials, including multimedia and videos, the access to transcripts and captioned videos is essential. This Academy workshop will explore methods for how to create your own captions and transcripts for your instructional materials.

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!
There are a variety of upcoming programs focusing on equity pedagogies and practices, accessibility, and connecting with students. Learn more and register using the link above. You can also access recordings of some recent workshops in the "On-Demand Programs" section of this webpage.

All Harper faculty (full-time & adjunct) are invited to attend this year's virtual Faculty Retreat on April 9. Please join us for a relaxed program with activities that include a motivational opening about how to engage students amidst chaos, story time with a popular podcaster in higher education, rest time for restoration and contemplation in the style of your choice, and play time in which you can join in one of several activities designed to leave you with ideas for your own virtual classroom.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Office of International Education welcome applications from all faculty (both full and part-time) and staff for the 2021-2022 Social Justice Leadership Certificate cohort! Learn more using the link above and apply by March 12.

Fresh Check Day aims to create an approachable and hopeful atmosphere where the campus is encouraged to engage in dialogue about mental health and build a bridge between students and the mental health resources available on campus, in the community, and nationally. A variety of virtual events will occur on March 10 throughout the day. Learn more using the link above.

The first set of Spring 2021 Starfish Progress Surveys are due by February 28. Completing your Progress Surveys continues to be the easiest and quickest way to provide student feedback and referrals. Once you raise a flag for one of your students, their assigned advisor will reach out to the student and offer support. As this semester gets underway, partnering with Advising Services and the Academic Support Centers for proactive support of students is more important than ever.

Check in with your body and your mind as you focus on your breath. Daniel Moore, Massage Therapy, will lead you through mindful meditations, natural body movements, and breathing techniques aimed to calm the nervous system. Learn more using the link above.

OpenAthens is coming to the Library March 1. OpenAthens will replace EzProxy as the means of database authentication. OpenAthens is a single sign-on (SSO) method that allows a user to log in with a single ID and password. When students/employees log in to the MyHarper portal they will have access to the library's remote resources without having to log in again.
Student Learning
Helping Harper Students Gain Essential Job Skills

Submitted by the Learning Assessment Committee

What basic skills help you in your day-to-day life? What skills do you possess, that you use on a regular basis, that you may not even think about? For example, when you wake up in the morning and start to get dressed, you might think critically about the weather, especially while living in the Chicagoland area in February. Later in the day, you might decide to pick up lunch. You might think quantitatively about which restaurants are offering specials, as to stay within your monthly budget.

Working at Harper, most of us have these basic “general” skills mentioned above. And we want our students to possess or to learn these same skills as well. But why are they important?

25th Annual Illinois Community College Assessment Fair

Submitted by the Learning Assessment Committee

Would you like to learn how other community colleges are improving student learning? Are you seeking new ways to infuse assessment techniques? Are you exploring professional development opportunities to improve student success? Attend the 25th Annual Illinois Community College Assessment Fair!

  • Date: Friday, February 26
  • Time: 8 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
  • Location: Held Virtually at the College of DuPage – Glen Ellyn, IL

If interested, please contact Deann Surdo at for more information.
Faculty Experience
Raeghan lightboard
Rethinking Remote Learning: Creating Lightboards at Home

When the pandemic hit last March and Harper classes moved to remote learning, many faculty had to do a rapid transition to teaching in an online environment. That also meant that resources and technology that were available to use on campus, were no longer an option.

  • Physics professor Raeghan Graessle was in the process of utilizing the Lightboard in the Academy recording studio when campus shut down. Raeghan was faced with the dilemma of knowing that the Lightboard is what she needed to bring her physics lectures to life.
  • Accounting professor Dominique Svarc was instrumental in bringing the Lightboard idea to Harper after seeing it in action at a conference. Pre-pandemic, she had recorded more than 75 supplemental instruction videos in the Academy Lightboard studio. With the studio no longer open, Dominique had to rethink her approach. 

To learn more about Lightboard recording at home, be sure to drop by the Virtual Tech Expo on February 26 at 11 a.m. Both Raeghan and Dominique will be sharing more details about their home-grown Lightboard experiences.
A Midsummer Night's Dream: February 28

“All the Web’s a stage….” as our Harper students, under the direction of Kevin Long, Speech and Theatre, present a free, live virtual 90-minute version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since November 2, Kevin and his all-student cast have been working on creative ways to perform this work in their own "little Webex boxes." The students collaborated with Eric Sanchez, a Mass Comms student, to create this video teaser. "As Hamlet says, 'The time is out of joint.' But these students have not let anything stop them from creating meaningful theatre," said Kevin. "Their energetic spirit and positive attitude have made this unique project very special - and tons of fun! I am incredibly proud of them and I thank them for being kind, brave, safe, and for being themselves. It's been an honor."

  • Date: Sunday, February 28
  • Time: 8 p.m.
  • Location: Livestream
Online Learning
Tips for Promoting Student Engagement in the Online Environment

We are now well into the spring term – a time that tends to be more difficult to keep students present and engaged. Learn some tips from colleagues in a recent posting of NISOD* Member Musings, along with other tips and reflections about teaching during the pandemic.

*NISOD is the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development
Teaching Online Successfully: Create (New Dates Added!)

This two-week, online course prepares and supports faculty who are developing an online or blended course in Blackboard for the first time, and any faculty who have an interest in exploring best practices in online and blended course creation.

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
March 5, 11 a.m. (CEUs: 0.1)

March 8 - March 21 (GECs: 1) registration closed

March 11, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.05)

April 5 - April 19 (GECs: 1) registration deadline: March 22

April 6, 1 p.m. (CEUs: 0.1)
April 16, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.1)
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.
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.