Academy News - January 11, 2022
Tips for Starting Strong in Spring 2022
Harper College will begin the Spring 2022 semester online. Whether you were planning to teach online or need to kick things off virtually until we return to campus, these tips will help you to start the semester strong!

opening week
Spring Opening Week: January 10-14

We look forward to seeing you virtually during Opening Week.

Spring 2022 President’s Address, 9 a.m., January 12
The President’s Address will be presented via Webex; do not come to the Performing Arts Center. Topics for the President’s Address include our student success and equity agenda, operational updates, faculty reflections, and a student story. Add to calendar.

Opening Week Schedule
From Ask a Technical Trainer to Transforming Learning Environments, Opening Week features approximately 20 sessions for faculty and staff. Among the many highlights:
  • Everything You Wanted to Know About Cleared4 Harper and More, 11 a.m., January 12
  • Provost’s Meeting, 9 a.m., January 13
  • Teaching Toward Justice: An Intro to Social Justice Studies @Harper, 3 p.m., January 13

View the Opening Week Schedule (Browse "Quick View" and "Tips" on the right to access a PDF version of the schedule and tips for joining and adding a session to your calendar.)
Spring Resources: Blackboard Course Template, Syllabus Template & Updates, and More

The Academy team has developed some resources to help you as you prepare for the Spring 2022 semester, including a Blackboard Course Template and Syllabus Template. The updated version of the Syllabus Template supports a variety of course modalities, and contains several important updates, including statements about the COVID-19 Vaccination/Test Mandate and COVID-19 reporting guidelines.

Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy is here to support all full-time and adjunct faculty at Harper. Due to the announcement that classes and support services will be online to start the semester, the Academy team and Blackboard Tech Support will be available remotely through January 22, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Not sure what to ask or where to start? We’re here for you! Just fill out the Academy Request Form, and an Academy team member will follow-up with you.
Blackboard Ally: Optimizing the Digital Experience for Students

With the uncertainty of living in a pandemic, more students are now participating in learning environments that require interfacing with digital content. To optimize this experience, Ally was introduced into Harper’s Blackboard environment in the Fall of 2021. If you aren’t familiar with Ally yet, it’s a tool that integrates with Blackboard allowing instructors to address accessibility issues. Ally also gives students the ability to download course content in a format that meets their needs. Instructors who use the Ally tool have shared their positive feedback on its ease of use and the knowledge they have gained about course accessibility. View the PDF infographic for more insight on the positive impact the use of Ally has made in the first semester it has been implemented at Harper.

Evidence Based
Register Now for Professional Development Credit Offerings (GECs & Workshops)
Register now for Spring 2022 Graduate Equivalency Course (GEC) and credit workshop (CEU) offerings. All Harper College faculty (full-time and adjunct) can register for any of these opportunities at no cost.

Student Development remains grateful to faculty partners who continue to encourage student success with Starfish. Harper’s early-alert system provides a wonderful opportunity to address student concerns early to support retention and student completion. Use the link above for a few reminders on how to make the best use of Starfish.

Join us for session 2 of the Campus Free Speech and Free Expression Series. As we review what the law says about academic freedom and rights of students and faculty to freely express their perspectives, we will explore how those laws apply to lecture, discussion, and student presentations across modalities. Real scenarios of challenging dialogue including highly-charged language, comments, and opinions will be presented along with how faculty managed these situations to maintain free speech while providing a safe and comfortable environment for student engagement. This will be an interactive session in which faculty can critique the illustrations provided, share their own experiences, and debate best ways to honor democratic spaces and facilitate safe and empowering discourse.

The Applying Equity Matrix is an interactive tool that allows instructors to review inclusive and equitable classroom practices in six categories: accessibility, belonging, engagement, flexibility, humanization, and transparency. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the importance of each of the six categories, navigate the interactive AEMy tool, and help participants identify small changes they can make to their courses to amplify equity and inclusion. Learn more and register using the link above.

The Faculty Retreat will be held on Friday, April 8. Watch the Academy News for details and registration information. For now, please save the date on your calendar.

The Academy is here to help you find creative and constructive ways to integrate technology into your instruction. The learning technologies listed on the Academy's Integrating Technology webpage are available across the institution and meet Harper’s criteria for cost, security, and accessibility. Choosing a tool supported by the College offers advantages, such as access to the full features of the tool and support for you and your students. Learn more using 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.
Student Learning
Call for Proposals - 26th Annual Illinois Community College Assessment Fair

Shared by the Learning Assessment Committee

The Call for Proposals is now open for the Illinois Community College Assessment Fair. Hosted by Illinois Central College in East Peoria, the Fair will take place virtually on February 18. Share your expertise in the areas of assessment best practices, career and technical education assessment, co-curricular assessment, and more!

Learn More and View the Application (proposals due by January 19)
diverse perspectives
How well can Harper students consider diverse perspectives and cultures?

Shared by the Learning Assessment Committee

Our General Education Learning Outcomes state that students should be able to “Examine diverse perspectives and cultures as they relate to the individual, the community, and the global society” at the time they graduate from Harper.

This spring, the Learning Assessment Committee and its Diverse Perspectives and Cultures Work Group will lead an assessment of the Diverse Perspectives and Cultures 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 the coming weeks. Be on the lookout for more information about this assessment in early Spring 2022.
Faculty Experience
Edward Hamel: 2021 Glenn A. Reich Award Recipient

Congratulations to Edward Hamel, winner of the 2021 Glenn A. Reich Memorial Faculty Award for Instructional Technology! Lori Reich established the award in 1999 in memory of her late husband Glenn, former director of user services at Harper College. Edward is a second-year diverse faculty fellow. Since Edward began in the music department, he has been devoted to incorporating current technological resources into the curriculum.

Online Learning
Online Learning Overview & Success Strategies - Please Share with Students!

With the Spring 2022 semester starting online, students will benefit from resources that will help them transition to online learning.

Please share the following success strategies with your students to allow them to prepare for the early online start.

teaching online successfully
Considering a Teaching Online Successfully Course?

Have you been considering taking a Teaching Online Successfully course (Create, Facilitate, or Enhance)? Registration for Teaching Online Successfully courses for Spring 2022 is now open. Not sure if you’re ready to commit to one of the two-week online courses? Read some feedback about the courses from fellow Harper faculty:

  • “I have never been a student using Blackboard, so it was wonderful for me to actually work through materials and modules as my students do.”
  • “There was a diverse selection of content as well. All of the suggested processes and tools are readily implemented. This class makes a real difference.”

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
January 24, 1 p.m. (CEUs: 0.1)

January 31-February 13 (GECs: 1) register by: January 17

February 1-March 29 (GECs: 3) register by: January 18

February 4, 11 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.