Launched through a generous gift from Gustave and Rita Hauser, HILT’s mission is to catalyze innovation and excellence in learning and teaching at Harvard. As a University-wide initiative, HILT is overseen by the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL). Under the VPAL umbrella, HILT is a sibling organization to HarvardX, VPAL Research, and DART.
Four sub-goals were developed in HILT’s inaugural year:
- building on Harvard’s strengths in teaching and learning;
- meeting the educational needs of students (both technological and pedagogical);
- strengthening the science of learning; and
- developing a robust network at Harvard around teaching and learning innovation.
HILT aims to be mutually reinforcing to and non-duplicative of related goals and efforts across the Schools, and to forge collaborations and provide support for these activities. The challenges we face require the combined efforts of individual students, faculty, and staff, and the thoughtful coordination of Programs, Centers, Departments, and Schools with each other and the University as a whole.
Over the course of ten years, HILT aims to have demonstrably seeded hundreds of local innovations and experiments at a variety of scales. We anticipate that those activities will have engaged a large number of Harvard instructors in renewing and improving their teaching, will have benefited student learning, and will have made teaching and learning efforts more visible and discussed across campus. We also expect to facilitate the “institutionalization” of innovations and experiments that are successful such that they are self-sustaining. A second major aim is to have developed and nurtured a large and diverse community of practice around teaching and learning excellence that involves all Harvard schools. Finally, we aim to have facilitated significant, high quality research on learning and teaching that is used by Harvard instructors and students and beyond.