June 19, 2017. The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) awarded eight Spark Grants with support of up to 15K designed to help “spark” promising teaching and learning projects. Awardees will:
- Develop hybrid activities for the classroom. Jennifer Lerner (HKS) will design in-class and online activities to improve student decision making and increase classroom engagement.
- Engage foreign language students with immersive technology. Nicole Mills (FAS), Rus Gant (FAS), and Chris Dede (HGSE) will produce and study culturally immersive virtual reality experiences for foreign language students.
- Evaluate formative active learning-inspired assessments. Madhvi Venkatesh and Ronald Jason Heustis (HMS) will evaluate whether chalk talks improve short-term and long-term student performance in experimental design.
- Implement a Team-Based Learning (TBL) course. Bernhard Nickel (FAS) will redesign a course with team-based learning principles and assess the benefits and challenges of the approach.
- Launch a Diversity Journal Club. Nia Imara (FAS) will organize discussions dedicated to understanding how diversity—or the lack thereof—in the science community impacts learning, teaching, research, and culture.
- Measure the effects of open-ended extracurricular projects. Madeline Hickman, Elaine Kristant (SEAS), Robert Hart, and Daniel Rosenberg (FAS) will expand “Project Nights” and assess their effects on student learning.
- Provide physical and conceptual space for student projects. Megan Panzano (GSD) and Lisa Haber-Thomson (FAS) will offer a series of interdisciplinary workshops that develop critical thinking through making.
- Synthesize pedagogical experiences in developing online courses. Tiffany Wong, Drew Lichtenstein, and Selen Turkay (CADM) will interview instructors and document best practices for creating MOOCs.