Academy News - September 1, 2021
Ally Advocate
Become an Ally Advocate

Ally is a new tool in Blackboard that provides easy to follow guidance on how to correct accessibility issues within your course. Ally also gives students the ability to download course content in a format that meets their needs. In just the first week of classes for the Fall 2021 semester, students have downloaded 2,735 alternative formats in 664 courses!

With the launch of Ally, the Academy is introducing the chance to become an Ally Advocate! Ally Advocates are recognized for their ability to leverage the Blackboard Ally tool to improve the accessibility, quality, and usability of course content for all students. Ally Advocates will be awarded a badge and 1.0 CEUs for completing a chosen pathway in the Ally Checklist. This badge can then be shared through various platforms to show verification of completing training and criteria for course accessibility.

If you would like to become an Ally Advocate, here are the steps to get started...
Equity Series
Enacting Equity Series

The Enacting Equity Series uses sections of the Enacting Equity Guidelines to direct professional development along four axes of inclusive teaching: self-reflection, introductory information, course content, and assessment and evaluation. In each workshop, participants will reflect on how aspects of their teaching are shaped by various forms of inequity and apply inclusive teaching practices to address equity gaps. There are four workshops this semester:

  • Facilitating for Diverse Populations
  • Setting Guidelines for Inclusive Discourse
  • Who is Represented in Your Course?
  • Evidence-Based Equity Strategies Across the Curriculum

Karen Herold Blackboard
Academy & Blackboard Support: How to Get Help

The Academy is here to support all full-time and adjunct faculty. During the Fall 2021 semester, we will continue to be available remotely during our normal business hours. In addition, Academy staff will now be available (on a rotating basis) on campus Monday through Thursday for drop-in support: View Schedule and Details.

Additional resources and links to assist you this semester:
HyFlex Roundtable
Hybrid-Flexible Teaching Roundtable Series

This roundtable discussion series hosted by the Academy is an opportunity for faculty to discuss hybrid flexible teaching (HyFlex) practices, philosophies, and technologies. The purpose of the roundtable is for faculty to share their experiences, address challenges, and discuss any aspects of interest related to HyFlex. Whether you are newer to HyFlex or have been using hybrid and/or flexible models for quite some time, we welcome you to come discuss lessons learned, current practices, and future possibilities and limitations with us. There are three discussions scheduled for this semester:

  • Blended, HyFlex, Flipped... What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?
  • HyFlex Pedagogy: Engaging Students, Assessing Student Learning
  • Evaluating Impact of HyFlex Design

library instruction
Online and On-Campus Library Instruction

Online or on campus, the Library has you covered! If your class meets on campus, a librarian can do an in-person session with you and your students. On campus capacity is limited, though, so if it doesn’t meet your needs or if your class is entirely online, the Library still has a wide variety of virtual options including an embedded librarian (personal librarian for your class in Blackboard), live online presentations in Webex or Collaborate, and asynchronous videos to meet student needs “on demand.” None of those work for you? Maybe you’d like to assign students to make research appointments with librarians to receive personal library instruction without sacrificing class time.

Learn more about the possibilities and how to request library instruction.
The Fall 2021 version of the of the Harper College syllabus template is available on the Harper Syllabus webpage. This version supports a variety of course modalities. It contains several important updates, including the Student Support Resources section to reflect the current student success, wellness, and safety resources available on campus and virtually for the fall semester. You can download the Fall 2021 syllabus template here or visit the Harper Syllabus webpage for more information. Also check out the Fall 2021 Resources page for information about the Fall 2021 Blackboard Course Template as well as other resources to help you in your fall course preparations.

In June 2021, philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced Harper was among 286 "high-impact" and "equity-oriented" organizations to receive a transformational gift. Harper is committed to exploring strategies and high-impact initiatives to leverage its $18 million gift to advance academic innovation, increase basic needs support, reduce persistent equity gaps in student success outcomes, and increase community impact. The campus community is invited to bring forward ideas for the best ways to use these funds. Submissions are due by September 10. Learn more and submit using the link above.

Register now for the 8th Annual Adjunct Faculty Teaching & Learning Conference on September 23. The conference features keynote speaker, Flower Darby, along with perspectives from Harper adjunct faculty, a fun and interactive Quiplash session, raffles, and more! Learn more and register using the link above.

Your Harper ID card can give you campus benefits such as borrowing items from the Library, utilizing employee copy machines, authorized access to specific rooms on campus, and obtaining discounts at the Box Office. The ID card office in Building J, Room J135 is open five days a week. See hours and more information using the link above.
Student Learning
13th Annual Assessment Conference and Share Fair: September 24

Submitted by the Learning Assessment Committee

Save the date for the 13th Annual Assessment Conference and Share Fair! Featured speaker, Flower Darby will share her perspectives on exploring equitable and engaging evidence-based practices for online teaching and assessment. Additional sessions on assessment will be presented by Harper faculty and staff. Learn more and save the date.

Faculty Experience
Starfish Superstars

Submitted by Student Development

We can’t say it enough: Partnership in support of student success is EVERYTHING. Thank you to the faculty heroes who provide feedback – both in the form of flags and the famous Starfish kudos. Over the past year, we were amazed by the record-breaking work, and a few faculty members deserve a little extra recognition – as Starfish SUPERSTARS.

Starfish Superstars:
  • Respond to 100% of surveys
  • Use the “anytime” flag and kudo option
  • Provide timely feedback to students

Looking at the top 5% performers in these categories, we’re pleased to announce…drumroll please…. the following Superstars...
Online Learning
Blackboard Assist - Student Success Hub for Campus and Online Resources

Blackboard Assist is a student success hub for campus and online resources, available on desktop or from anywhere with the Blackboard mobile app.

This tool provides an opportunity to build awareness of and highlight Harper resources including academic and student support, health and wellness, and student life so students can find the help they need.

Learn more and please share this information with your students.
Upcoming Professional Development Credit Opportunities
September 1, 1 p.m. (CEUs: 1.0)
September 2, 4:30 p.m. (CEUs: 1.0)

September 8, 3:30 p.m. (CEUs: 0.1)

September 9, 10:30 a.m. (CEUs: 0.15)

September 13 - September 26 (GECs: 1) registration now closed

September 14, 1 p.m. (CEUs: 0.15)
September 15, 5 p.m. (CEUs: 0.15)
September 16, 10:30 a.m. (CEUs: 0.15)
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.