Background

The projects presented below as a collection, emerged independently but share an important goal: improving what we can see and know about curricular infrastructure in order to foster evidence-based decision-making about curricular choices. HILT is supporting this work by convening members of the project teams and providing project management when necessary.

Outline: Physics Curriculum Map

The above figure shows typical courses taken prior to and following Physics 15a (see Enrollment View below for more details)

What we hope to accomplish with these projects

Our practical goals are twofold: to help teams working on these pilot projects learn from one another, and share a set of products and models with the Harvard community. Our sense is that there are many across the University who may be interested in these models and may want to reuse some of the tools and visualizations in their own context. Our ultimate goal is to help faculty, advisors, administrators, and/or students to make more informed decisions about curricula. See HILT’s Speaker Series video for a full recap of all projects.

Student learning & enrollment patterns within subjects

Common Competencies for Master’s Redesign

Common Competencies for Master’s Redesign

To track the attainment of foundational and more specialized competencies in education that are expected of graduates of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s redesigned master’s program in education; to design systems and tools that will allow for the collection of data about students’ progress toward attainment of the competencies across a range of learning experiences (course and non-course) and use of that data in advising, course selection, learning design, creation of learner pathways and sequences, evaluation, and other aspects of academic life.

Goals by June 2019: Launch the first foundational course: How People Learn, outline new programs

Matthew Miller,  Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching; Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Rebecca Miller, Sr. Manager Curriculum Design and Research, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Enrollment View

Enrollment View

To see the overall patterns of student course selection and sequencing within Departments; to view the relationship between courses as a network; to enable viewing nearest neighbors. See video for more information.

Goals by June 2019: Have all FAS departments actively using enrollment view and have faculty discovering their "nearest neighbors" regularly.

Dustin Tingley, Professor of Government, Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Faculty Director for the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning

Nearest Neighbors

Nearest Neighbors

To connect instructors who teach the same students; to investigate whether students will learn more when making connections across different courses; to encourage open dialogue about teaching practices among instructors who share many students and support cross-course connections; to identify and nurture neighborhoods of instructors to spread good teaching, improve student learning, and increase coherence and connections across the course catalog.

Goals by June 2019: Complete full integration with VPAL instructor tools and establish emails to intructors answering, "who is your nearest neighbor?" and, "what do good neighbors do for each other?"

Andrew Ho, Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education

Physics Learning Outcomes

Physics Learning Outcomes

To align the department’s assessments of learning with increasingly refined learning goals leading to clarity, transparency and alignment for both concentrators and faculty; to build on the government department’s work above; to administer an additional “test” of senior concentrators to understand work through the department connected to graduation outcomes. See video for more information.

Goals by June 2019: Have all physics concentrators take the physics assessment twice (2nd year and 4th year), student-level and deparment-level interventions in response to results, and validate the assessment itself.

Chris Stubbs, Samuel C. Moncher Professor of Physics and of Astronomy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Louis Deslauriers, Director of Science Teaching and Learning; Senior Preceptor on Physics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Logan McCarty, Director of Sciences Education; Lecturer on Physics; Lecturer on Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Science Advising

Science Advising

To make apparent the various ways science concentrators move through their courses and understand how key variables differentiate one path from another; to be able to better advise students about science coursework, research opportunities, and the relationship to post-graduate trajectories.

Goals by June 2019: Have a mix of "top down" and "bottom up" data collection about undergraduate research in science and make data accessible and useful to inform advising about research and courses.

Logan McCarty, Director of Sciences Education; Lecturer on Physics; Lecturer on Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

 

Addressing content taught across Harvard’s Schools

Applied Quantitative Methods

Applied Quantitative Methods

To identify all courses across Harvard that teach students how to apply statistics to social science problems; to define a nascent community of practice, especially among courses taught for non-statisticians and not ordinarily thought of in the data science discussions underway on campus, and develop resources for them; to eventually help advise students on course selection and sequencing.

Goals by June 2019: Create a web resource to facilitate optimal course selection for students, create a synthesis-based deep dive of what's being taught at Harvard with an aim to developing taxonomy of courses, summary of report of what's being taught, and community building.

Subu Subramanian, Professor of Population Health and Geography, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health

Curricle, a course search tool

Curricle, a course search tool

To provide a curiosity-driven, robust course selection tool for students; to examine how course content and approaches to teaching and learning have evolved over Harvard’s history. Click here for more details.

Goals by June 2019: Have one full academic year of public prototype testing completed, suite of visualization "micronarratives" published, and mobile version in demo.

Jeffrey Schnapp, Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and Faculty Director of metaLAB (at) Harvard
Matthew Battles, Associate Director of metaLAB (at) Harvard
Sebastian Diaz, Director of Technology, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
Jessica Yurkofsky, Creative Technologist, metaLAB (at) Harvard

Digital Assets for Reuse Teaching (DART)

Digital Assets for Reuse Teaching (DART)

To allow for more direct reuse of digital resources by instructors and students; to provide data and tools that help investigators more directly examine Harvard content for contextual and pedagogical features. For more information: https://dart.harvard.edu/about

Goals by June 2019: Have cross-institutional content sharing and allow for more direct use of Canvas resources by instructors and students.

Daniel Seaton, Product Owner, DART

Ethics

Ethics

To illuminate where and how ethics is being taught across Harvard; to understand alignment between instructional methods and student learning experiences; to build on findings to develop reliable, scalable, volunteer or opt-in, methods for assessing ethics education.

Goals by June 2019: In Fall of 2018 have the final round of faculty surveys, refine and administer pre- and post-semester student surveys, and test and transfer methodologies to other campuses.

Danielle Allen, Director, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University; James Bryant Conant University Professor
Jess Miner, Research Director, Safra Center for Ethics
Michael Blauw, Research Assistant, Safra Center for Ethics
Maggie Schein, Research Director of the Humanities & Liberal Arts Assessment (HULA) Project
David Kidd, Postdoc, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Associate Research Director of the Humanities & Liberal Arts Assessment (HULA) Project

Social Innovation

Social Innovation

To better understand both Harvard’s curricular and extracurricular offerings on social innovation; to use data to inform a strategy to highlight and enhance social innovation experiences to prospective and current students. See video for more information.

Goals by June 2019: Create a compendium of social innovation curricula, identify relevant faculty and teaching staff across Harvard, and make recommendations to improve student pathways for social impact, both curricularly and extracurricularly.

Julie Battilana, Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Organizational Behavior, Harvard Business School; Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School
Brittany Butler, Executive Director, Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School
Colleen Kelly, Program Manager, Social Innovation + Change Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School