Academy News - March 31, 2021
faculty retreat
Faculty Retreat: Last Chance to Register

Life may never actually have been simple, but hopefully there was a time in your early years when the demands of your daily life were lighter and your responsibilities were fewer. For one afternoon, join us for a relaxed program with low key interaction inspired by a typical primary school schedule. Explore some of the common issues we face through 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.

online learning
Teaching with Technology - Updates

We’d like to share some exciting new features of two popular remote learning tools supported by Harper College:

Webex Recordings
For those of you who use Webex to conduct online sessions, you now have the capability to share the recordings links directly with students. These links, which are password-protected, can be shared via Blackboard or email. Watch this quick video tutorial that will show you how to share Webex recording links with students.

A “beta” release of a new Chromebook extension for Respondus LockDown Browser is currently available. Prior to this release, Chromebooks were not compatible with Blackboard exams that required the use of the Respondus Lockdown Browser or Monitor. This Chromebook extension also supports the use of Chromebooks with webcams when using Respondus Monitor for automated proctoring of exams.

summer harper campus
Summer 2021 Blackboard Course Template

Summer 2021 Blackboard course shells are now available. The Academy has created a Summer 2021 Blackboard Course Template to help faculty in their course development for the summer semester. The template is a complete course shell with a fully developed orientation module and a weekly folder structure that aligns with Summer 2021 course dates.

The Academy developed a series of short video tutorials that provide a tour of the Course 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.

Creating Authentic and Educative Assessments

Assessments, including assignments, tests, and informal knowledge checks, allow instructors to measure student learning in their classes. Many traditional assessments focus on auditing students’ knowledge, rather than enabling students to apply and expand their understanding of course material. This workshop introduces the concept of educative assessment and gives participants a chance to transform an assessment into a more authentic and educative learning experience. Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop with a course assignment or test they would like to rework.

Learn More & Register (two sessions to choose from)
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!
Harper recognizes that some students identify themselves by a name other than their legal name. Students now have the option to see their chosen name in many areas of their Harper life, including on class rosters, in Blackboard and more. Learn more 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. Not only will you be engaged and hear from experts, you'll also hear from your peers and your students.

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 are two more sessions this semester; learn more and register using the link above.

Do you have students who would benefit from help with research or citing this semester? It's not too late to get help from the Library! Request a librarian to be paired with your course for personalized instruction, or explore dozens of videos that can help your students learn specific information literacy and research skills. Learn more about offerings, including links to existing videos, using the link above.

Harper's eighth virtual town hall is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on April 13. Please submit your questions by April 5. See Webex login information and add it to your calendar using the link above.

The Office of International Education and Campus Sustainability invite you to share your photos of our beautiful planet in this year's Earth Week Photo Exhibit. Submit up to 5 of your favorite Earth-themed photos that were taken by you. Your photos will be displayed in an online gallery during Earth Week, April 19-23. Submit all photos using this form with a Google account OR complete this PDF and email your photos directly to by April 12.
Student Learning
Information Literacy Community of Practice Survey

Submitted by the Learning Assessment Committee

Information literacy is one of Harper’s General Education Learning Outcomes, and it is a critical lifelong skill all Harper students should develop.

The Information Literacy Community of Practice is conducting a survey to investigate how information literacy is being taught at Harper and what support faculty need to teach it most effectively. We hope to gather responses from faculty across Harper, even those who may not think they teach anything that relates to information literacy.

Faculty Experience
A Closer Look

Submitted by Shanté Holley, English

“Thank you, for applying… we appreciate your interest… unfortunately you have not… we wish you well…”

In 2017, I became the first Black woman in the history of William Rainey Harper College to earn the rank of full professor. But it almost didn’t happen. When I applied for a faculty position, I was rejected. The words in the opening line of this essay were from the college, telling me that I was not selected to move further in the hiring process.

So how did I end up here?

Online Learning
Teaching Online Successfully: Summer 2021 - Register Now

Register now for Teaching Online Successfully for Summer 2021. There are three course options to choose from based on your needs:

  • Create: you’re developing an online or blended course for the first time (June 7 - June 20)
  • Facilitate: you’re teaching an online or blended course for the first time (July 6 - July 19) 
  • Enhance: you’re looking for tools and techniques to enhance your online course to encourage student engagement (July 19 - August 1) 

Each course is two weeks, fully online, 1 GEC, and there is no cost. Please review the syllabi and course expectations before registering.

Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
April 5 - April 19 (GECs: 1) registration closed

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

April 8, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.05)

April 9, 1 p.m. (CEUs: 0.4)

May 13, 10 a.m. (CEUs: 0.05)
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.