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November 2020
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Dr. Parker's Corner

Dear Colleagues,


Welcome to the first edition of Academy Insights! Excitement is in the air as the Adjunct Academy and Office of Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) collaborate to bring valuable information to you each month. We understand the important role that faculty play when it comes to achieving academic success and our teams are committed to helping achieve mutual success.

Your contributions to our students are invaluable and our goal is to provide essential communication to every faculty member regarding University updates, professional development, and professional collegiality. Featured in this issue is information about our upcoming migration to Brightspace and our rededication to precision education as an operating strategy. Additional content includes timely updates from our OTLS team, Adjunct Faculty Perks, and a Faculty Spotlight.


We thank you for your commitment to our students and welcome your feedback.


Dr. Durrel Parker

Director, Adjunct Faculty Services

Featured Topic: Brightspace Migration

In alignment with the NU 2023 Strategic Plan goal to operationalize precision education as an operating strategy, National University will be migrating from the Blackboard learning management system to Brightspace. Created by D2L (Desire2Learn), Brightspace is an innovative LMS that will allow the University to provide high-quality educational experiences in a personalized and student-centered manner.

Brightspace offers:

  • Excellent mobile compatibility and responsive design

  • Accessibility through universal design principles

  • Adaptive learning opportunities

  • Improved learning data and analytics to support student success


The Brightspace adoption will occur over the next 6 to 12 months. We will send updates regarding Program migration timelines as well as opportunities for future training. You will be thoroughly supported during the process.


NU’s Office of Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) will be offering instructional support in the form of on-demand resources and professional development opportunities beginning Spring 2021 to ensure faculty have everything they need to make this transition successfully. In the interim, you can learn more about Brightspace by visiting the transition website at

From Your Teaching and Learning Team

The Office of Teaching and Learning Strategies (OTLS) has developed a new resource to support faculty and student success in the online classroom. From creating a welcoming environment through announcements to strengthening your classroom community, this guide offers quick tips and suggestions to help you effectively engage with your students from day one. Download your copy of the Faculty Success Guide here.

Audience Clapping

Looking for new ways to positively impact student engagement in your online courses? OTLS is now offering a professional development module filled with information you can apply in your courses right away. The learning module is self-paced, asynchronous, and should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Sign up today by clicking on the button below!

Adjunct Faculty Perk: NU Library Access

National University’s Library has increased services to faculty, students, and staff and can mail library books to your home address. You can also request books (excluding textbooks) from other libraries. Use the Books Direct request form available on the Library website ( ) and in the library catalog.

In addition to the delivery of physical books, the NU library staff continues to provide a wide variety of services including:

  • Access to digital journals and periodicals for all faculty, staff, and students

  • 24/7 Live Chat services – library staff is on schedule 7 days a week

  • Personalized course research guides designed by library staff specifically for your course

  • Library Instruction via Zoom– invite a librarian to present to your students

  • Individualized consultations with students on projects or assignments


The library also offers high-quality tutorials and handouts on topics such as research skills, academic citations, and information literacy. Visit for more information.

Faculty Spotlight: The Enduring Legacy

Structured inequality in the nation’s schools is deeply connected to social stratification within American society. In his new book, The Enduring Legacy, National University Certified Core Adjunct Professor Mark Ryan provides historical, political, and pedagogical contexts for teacher candidates—not only to comprehend the nature of racial segregation but, as future educators, to understand their own professional responsibilities, both in the community and in the school, to strive for an integrated classroom where all children have a chance to succeed. With a foreword by Secretary Leon Panetta, Ryan explains that the goal of providing every child a world-class education is an ethical imperative, an inherent necessity for a functioning pluralistic democracy.

You can purchase Dr. Ryan’s book directly from the publisher (University of Michigan Press) or through Amazon (Kindle version available).


Help Us Celebrate you!

For a chance to be featured in an upcoming edition of Academy Insights fill out the Faculty Spotlight form at the bottom of the Academy Insights webpage.

From Our VP

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein


Teaching is both an art and a science. It is the artistic construction of creating relevancy, engagement, and inspiring one’s student combined with informed assessment and feedback that elevates student learning. Our goal is to provide you the appropriate resources and support so you can master your art.

The Academy Insights will be one medium to communicate, collaborate, celebrate, and collect your input. We value the work you do to motivate and encourage NU students. We applaud your effort to provide students timely and specific feedback that promotes growth in your course and throughout their program.


Dr. Shannon McCarty

Vice President, Teaching and Learning