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Academy News - January 11, 2021
orientation week
Orientation Week

Welcome back! We hope everyone had a restful and healthy holiday break. We look forward to seeing you virtually during Orientation Week this week (January 11 - January 15).

Browse the full schedule and make sure to check out these sessions facilitated by your colleagues in Communities of Practice:

  • January 13: Incorporating Games and Play Into Online Classes (Teaching with Games CoP)
  • January 15: Diminish the Distance: Conference and Connect (Relating to Students: Making Connections CoP)
Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy for Teaching Excellence is here to support all full-time and adjunct faculty at Harper College.

Here are the ways to get instructional and Blackboard support through the Academy:

Spring 2021 Resources

Here are important resources to help you as you prepare for the semester:

  • Spring 2021 Blackboard Course Template
  • Spring 2021 Online/Blended Syllabus Template
  • Essential Online Course Features Checklist
  • Quick Guide for Copying One Blackboard Course to Another
  • Web Conferencing Tools Comparison Guide
  • Assessment & Proctoring Options in the Online Environment

Register Now for Spring GECs

Register now for a Spring 2021 Graduate Equivalency Course (GEC). All Harper College faculty (full-time and adjunct) can register for GECs at no cost.

Teaching Online Successfully
Create: January 25 - February 7 (register by January 18)
Facilitate: February 15 - February 28 (register by February 1)
Enhance: March 8 - March 21 (register by February 22)

Race and Education
February 2 - March 9 (register by January 19)
Fostering the Four Connections Online: Shocking Findings & Simple Strategies

Learn about the Four Connections research started at Odessa College and how their findings can be applied to the online classroom at Harper.

New Tools to Help Students Succeed

We know things that happen outside the classroom can impact students’ performance in class and that’s why Harper is excited to share two new tools to support students’ health and well-being. Please share these resources, along with the additional resources listed, with your students.

This year's Faculty Retreat, Simpler Times: An Afternoon of Reflection and Connection, will take place virtually on Friday, April 9 from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Use the link above for more information and please save the date on your calendar.

Register now for Spring 2021 credit workshop (CEU) offerings. The Academy has developed programming for the spring semester with a focus on equity pedagogies and practices, accessibility, and connecting with students. All Harper College faculty (full-time and adjunct) can register for any of these offerings at no cost. Learn more and register using the link above.

The Library is currently accepting requests for Spring 2021 instruction. All Library instruction continues to be offered online in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, including our Embedded Librarian program that pairs a librarian with your course. Learn more about Library instruction offerings, tutorials/videos, and how to submit a request using the link above.

Tenured, full-time faculty who have attained a minimum of one promotion as a Harper faculty member are invited to apply for the Faculty Director position. Please use the link above to review the position terms and duties/responsibilities, ensure you meet the minimum qualifications, and discuss the opportunity with your Dean before applying. Applications are due by Friday, February 19, 2021.

With monthly updates and weekly patches/fixes on our Blackboard Server, we want to keep you up to date on all that is happening in real time with Blackboard. We’ve created a “Blackboard Known Issues/Updates” page that we will update weekly. You can toggle between the Known Issues/Updates pages in the top right corner of the page. We suggest you check this page for the latest updates and fixes. Please bookmark the link above.

Have an idea for a new project? Want to develop or pilot a program or service, but lack the funding to support it? The Harper College Educational Foundation has up to $100,000 available through the Resource for Excellence (RFE) grant program which could be the answer to those questions.

Campus Recreation invites all Harper employees and students to two upcoming virtual events: Plank it Out Challenge and Intramural Mask Madness Bracket Challenge. Learn more using the link above.
Student Learning
How well can Harper students interpret and evaluate quantitative data?

Submitted by the Learning Assessment Committee

Our General Education Learning Outcomes state that students should be able to “Use quantitative analytical skills to interpret and evaluate problems” at the time they graduate from Harper.

This spring, the Learning Assessment Committee and its Quantitative Reasoning Work Group will lead an assessment of the Quantitative Reasoning outcome. Those of you who teach a course that maps to this outcome may be asked to participate in the assessment. Courses are selected at random and faculty members will be notified by their Dean in early February. Be on the lookout for more information about this assessment early this spring.

Critical Thinking Update
A large-scale assessment of the Critical Thinking outcome was conducted in 2017-2018. A follow-up assessment will be conducted this spring. Courses that are mapped to this outcome may be asked to participate. For more information or to get involved, please contact Deann Surdo at dsurdo@harpercollege.edu, 847.925.6356.
Faculty Experience
Supporting a Successful Start: Providing Students with Clarity as the Semester Begins

As we gear up for another semester of mostly remote learning, faculty may be wondering what we can do to help students have a positive start to the semester. Just before each semester begins, students are looking for confirmation that they have access to their courses via Blackboard.

Some faculty have made them available early, whereas others wait until the first day of the term, leaving students unsure of what to expect. When there are delays to receiving communication or seeing the course shell available, students often begin reaching out to various offices across campus with concerns. In order to reduce stress for our students and help them feel confident that everything is in order with their course schedules, you may consider making the course shells available before the semester starts and/or sending out an email to students letting them know when the shell will open and how to prepare.

Continue reading... (sample pre-semester message template included!)
Online Learning
Online Skills Webinars

Making the transition to online instruction or need a reminder on essential Blackboard skills? Get up to speed fast! Watch an Essential Online Skills session hosted by the Academy.
  • Part 1: Expectations & Blackboard Shell Intro
  • Part 2: Creating & Grading Assignments
  • Part 3: Creating, Deploying, & Grading Tests
  • Part 4: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Intro

Ready to go more in-depth? Watch one or more of the Transitioning to Fully Online Instruction webinars hosted by the Academy.
  • 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

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
January 13, 11 a.m. (CEUs: 0.1)

January 13, 3 p.m. (CEUs: 1.0)
January 28, 2 p.m. (CEUs: 1.0)

January 15, 9 a.m. (CEUs: 0.1)

January 25 - February 7 (GECs: 1) register by: January 18

February 2 - March 9 (GECs: 3) register by: January 19
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.