Workshops & Webinars

The Academy for Teaching Excellence provides professional development opportunities, programs, and workshops for faculty every semester. Below are descriptions for upcoming workshops and webinars.

Questions? Please contact the Academy at 847.925.6174,

Workshops | Webinars


Deconstructing Gender

This workshop will provide an opportunity to examine how gender is conceptualized and functions on campus and in the larger social context. Facilitators will begin the session with a basic overview of gender terminology to increase understanding and support the proper usage of pronouns. Participants will examine a variety of scenarios in order to reframe how we think, behave, and communicate in regards to socially constructed notions about gender. Join us for meaningful work on deconstructing gender toward creating a more inclusive culture on campus.

  • Facilitators: LaVonya Williams, Student Development; Elke Weinbrenner, World Languages
  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Friday, February 16, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., D274
    • Wednesday, February 21, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., D276
  • CEUs: 0.1

Enhancing Distance Course Design Using the OSCQR Rubric (online workshop)

The OSCQR (Open SUNY Course Quality Review) rubric supports continuous improvements to the quality and accessibility of distance courses. Participating fully in this workshop meets the requirement to become an official, Harper, peer reviewer.

  • Facilitator: Jenny Henrikson, Instructional & Distance Education Design Specialist
  • Dates: Monday, February 19 – Sunday, March 4
  • This two-week course is fully online. The Blackboard course shell will open to registrants on February 19.

Using Humor to Maximize Learning

Let’s get serious about humor! There are numerous research-based benefits for those educators who incorporate humor into teaching and learning. However, in this session, we will explore the top ten-Letterman style! Humor fosters trust, builds relationships, reduces stress, and contributes to planting of information in the long-term memory. Join us for an energetic and fun-filled session packed with research-based strategies and practical applications. Refreshments will be provided. The first ten people to sign up and show up (in each session) will receive a free copy of Mary Kay’s book.

  • Facilitator: Mary Kay Morrison, author of Using Humor to Maximize Learning
  • Date: Thursday, March 8
  • Time: 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (there is also a staff session at 1 p.m.)
  • Location: D193
  • CEUs: 0.2

Making the 4 Connections in Your Classroom

To improve course dropout rates, Odessa College sought the common thread between courses with the greatest student success. They uncovered four simple practices that increase connection to students and promotes student success.

  • Facilitator: Melissa Baysingar, Instructional Design Specialist
  • Four sessions to choose from:
    • Thursday, April 5, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., F320
    • Friday, April 6, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., F320
    • Tuesday, April 10, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., F320
    • Wednesday, April 11, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., F320

Allyhood: Building Skills to Foster an Inclusive Work Environment

Join us as we explore our individual and collective privilege and learn how we can use our voice to create positive impacts. This workshop will begin with a brief overview of privilege and examine how privilege occurs across social group identities. You will also have the opportunity to discuss various case scenarios in small groups that focus on recognizing and learning ways to use our privilege to become more inclusive of others in the workplace.

  • Facilitators: DREAM, SAFE@Harper, and LAND Harper Employee Resource Groups
  • Two sessions to choose from:
    • Tuesday, April 10, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., W219
    • Thursday, April 19, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., D172
  • CEUs: 0.3

Writing Strategies for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

In this seminar, faculty will learn different teaching strategies designed to assist deaf and hard of hearing students in their writing assignments in a variety of classrooms. While the seminar will be grounded in a history of ASL and deaf culture in the United States, it will also draw on methodologies from writing across the curriculum principles in order to address the needs and challenges of those students for whom ASL is their primary language. The writing strategies introduced in this seminar will also be applicable more broadly to students coming from a number of writing backgrounds. The facilitators listed below have all trained through DeafTEC at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT.

  • Facilitators: Brian Cremins, English; Jackie Kramp, ADS Program Specialist; Collette Marsch, Physics; Elke Weinbrenner, World Languages
  • Date: Friday, April 13
  • Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Location: F315
  • CEUs: 0.4

Building ePortfolios in Blackboard

The Blackboard ePortfolio tool is now available for students and faculty at Harper. ePortfolios empower students with tools to effectively present knowledge and artifacts in a cohesive, personalized format.

  • Facilitator: Karen Herold, Instructional Technology Assistant
  • Four sessions to choose from:
    • Thursday, April 12, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., F320
    • Friday, April 13, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., F320
    • Tuesday, April 17, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., F320
    • Wednesday, April 18, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., F320

Understanding and Teaching Adult Learners in an Accelerated Program

Explore adult learning strategies and best practices in the accelerated learning environment. Join us in a Harper College Fast Track professional development course, “Understanding and Teaching Adult Learners in an Accelerated Program”. This course is part of the College’s commitment to strengthen the Fast Track program targeted to the adult learner. Current and future Fast Track instructors are highly encouraged to attend, as are all instructors interested in discovering and practicing successful teaching strategies in an adult-focused, accelerated, and/or blended setting. This professional development course is a total of 20 hours, 12 of which will be delivered in three weekly, four-hour sessions. The rest will be delivered online. All course materials will be provided, including the text(s).

  • Facilitator: Kathy Foldvary, Associate Professor, Business and Social Science
  • Blended course: April 16 through April 30
  • Face-to-face meetings: Mondays, April 16, 23, and 30
  • Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Location: Harper Professional Center, Room 137
  • CEUs: 2.0

Engaging Generation Z in Your Classroom

“Generation Z” has arrived on the Harper campus! Students born after 1995 are a part of this exciting group, which brings unique strengths and challenges to the classroom. Let’s fully engage this new generation.

  • Facilitator: Melissa Baysingar, Instructional Design Specialist
  • Three sessions to choose from:
    • Tuesday, April 24, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m., F320
    • Thursday, April 26, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., F320
    • Friday, April 27, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., F320

May Day Culture of Care Discussion

Are you interested in learning more about how to show care and concern for students while still maintaining high academic standards? Did you miss or attend the Spring 2018 Faculty/Staff Orientation Week panel discussion on Empathy and Rigor: Culture of Care in the Classroom and want more time for Q&A or discussion of additional questions? The Student Experience Goal Team will continue the conversation with a May Day event. We’ll explore unanswered questions (like what to do about students who try, but fail?) and more. Members of the Curriculum and Instruction Goal Team will join us to introduce some high-impact practices you can implement in your classroom. Join us for a part or all of this engaging event!

  • Facilitators: Kathleen Reynolds, ESL/Linguistics; Tong Cheng, Biology
  • Date: Tuesday, May 1
  • Time: 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Location: F315
  • CEUs: 0.2

Investigating Language and Culture Through Ethnographic Theory and Practice

Anthropological linguists adopt ethnographic theory and practice as a means by which to engage with and learn from members of communities they know little if anything about. These communities may be identified by factors such as shared ethnicities, nationalities, gender, religions, interests, as well as topics of study and/or academic classes. Analyzing the interactive behaviors of community members al lows the ethnographer of communication to identify the patterns of language use in the situations of their use as evidence of the norms under lying communicative competence. These norms emerge from cultural values and allow us to recognize both the similarities and differences across the human landscape. Attendees will be introduced to and apply ethnographic theory and methodology to naturally-occurring interaction.

  • Facilitator: Judith Kaplan-Weinger, Professor of Linguistics at Northeastern Illinois University
  • Date: Tuesday, May 1
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: D195
  • CEUs: 0.2

Recording Studio Demo

The new Academy space is home to two sound-proof recording studios for faculty use. See a demo and learn how you can use this space in your work.

  • Facilitator: Chris Dobson, Curriculum Content Graphic Illustrator
  • Three sessions to choose from:
    • Tuesday, May 1, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., F320
    • Wednesday, May 2, 4 p.m. – 5 p.m., F320
    • Friday, May 4, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., F320


Accommodating Diverse Learners

Are you prepared to accommodate diverse learners in your classroom? Pascuala Herrera and Debbie Reuter from Access and Disability Services will assist faculty and staff in answering this question in this webinar. Learn more.

  • Facilitators: Pascuala Herrera and Debbie Reuter, Access and Disability Services
  • Date: Tuesday, February 13
  • Time: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (CST)
  • Please feel free to register even if you cannot view the session live. A recording will be emailed to you to view at any time.

Level II Adjunct Faculty Engagement Program

This webinar will walk through the process, timeline, and ePortfolio components of the Level II Adjunct Faculty Engagement Program. We suggest attending this webinar to learn more about the program and ask questions.

  • Facilitators: Academy for Teaching Excellence
  • Date: Thursday, April 5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (CST)
  • You don’t need to register for the webinar, just use the following Blackboard Collaborate Ultra link below to log-in to the webinar 15 minutes before the start time. A recording of the webinar will be available on the Level II program webpage.

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.

Academy for Teaching Excellence Workshop Cancellation Policy

Occasionally, the Academy for Teaching Excellence may have to cancel a workshop due to circumstances beyond our control. With the exception of instructor illness and inclement weather, the decision to cancel a workshop will be made 48 hours prior to the scheduled date of the workshop. In the event of a cancellation, the Academy will make every effort to notify registered participants via their Harper College email account. If you have a concern about a workshop you have registered for being cancelled, please contact or call 847.925.6174.