HILT Conference 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
Wasserstein Hall, Harvard University

10:45am – 12:00pm Breakout Sessions


For faculty, instructors, and academic professionals who support active learning
This session will explore case teaching and how its practice varies across Harvard. What exactly is a case? What are some common forms of cases, and which forms best serve different types of learning goals? How might instructors leverage cases in the context of small-group learning? How might the practice of case teaching differ across disciplinary domains within and across departments?

Carolyn Wood (facilitator), Assistant Academic Dean, Director of SLATE and the Case Program (HKS)
Archon Fung, Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship and Academic Dean (HKS); Member of the Faculty of Education (HGSE)
Matt Miller, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Lecturer on Education (HGSE)
V.G. Narayanan, Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration (HBS)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • experience a live demonstration of case-based learning, and look behind the curtain to see the teaching plan and the instructor’s intended learning goals.
  • engage with a panel of Harvard faculty from various professional schools and disciplinary backgrounds who teach different types of content with cases.
  • explore a range of case formats—from vignettes to mini-cases to conventional teaching cases – and which formats are being deployed to advance different types of learning goals in an array of disciplines.
  • learn about resources across Harvard to support faculty to get started with case teaching.


For faculty, instructors, and students
This session highlights research-based initiatives that advance teaching and learning. Moderators will solicit participant feedback for future extensions, applications, and collaborations.

Andrew Ho (facilitator), Professor of Education (HGSE); Chair, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) Research Faculty Committee
Dustin Tingley (facilitator), Professor of Government (FAS); Faculty Director, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) Research Team
Meira Levinson, Professor of Education (HGSE)
Dan Levy, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy; Faculty Chair, SLATE (HKS)
Todd Rogers, Associate Professor of Public Policy (HKS)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • learn about cutting-edge educational research findings and methods from our own Harvard scholars.
  • discuss implications for our own teaching and our own degree pathways and programs.
  • meet fellow research-minded educators to build university-wide networks for spreading pedagogical innovation.


For academic professionals
Explore how to develop new, creative, and research-based ideas for supporting instructors and leading initiatives, with examples for inspiration and discussion.

Cassandra Volpe Horii (facilitator), Founding Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, & Outreach (California Institute of Technology)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • develop new approaches to working with instructors that go beyond the ordinary, engage people in essential dimensions of teaching, and don’t necessarily require extra time or resources.
  • tap into the wealth of perspectives offered by different academic disciplines—from physics to photography—to inform educational development efforts.
  • build a robust framework for inquiry and decision-making about supporting instructors and leading initiatives.


For faculty, instructors, and students
This session will provide examples of student-led learning innovations from bite-sized interventions to substantial curricular redesign and consider their purposes and effects.

Jon Hanson (facilitator), Alfred Smart Professor of Law (HLS)
Jacob Lipton (facilitator), Program Director, Systemic Justice Project (HLS)
Beth Altringer, Lecturer on Innovation and Design (SEAS, GSD)
Hisa Kuriyama, Reischauer Institute Professor of Cultural History (FAS)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • learn about colleagues’ design and implementation of student-led learning curricular components: from individual, topical assignments to collaborative entrepreneurial proposals to semester-long projects and presentations.
  • discuss the many potential benefits of student-led learning—including, but not limited to: fostering inclusivity, increasing student engagement, teaching collaborative skills—and identify which elements may be most appropriate for your course.
  • share your own ideas for feedback and brainstorming.


For faculty and instructors
This session will explore how small-scale innovations can improve teaching. Examples collected beforehand or provided by participants will scaffold a discussion. What improvements are the easiest to implement with the biggest payoff in terms of student learning?

Matthew Schwartz (facilitator), Professor of Physics (FAS)
Chris Robichaud, Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy (HKS)
Richard Schwartzstein, Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education, Director of The Academy (HMS)
Andrew Warren, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities (FAS)
Lucie White, Louis A. Horvitz Professor of Law (HLS)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • help determine the best way to communicate small-scale teaching innovations among the Harvard community.
  • learn from the examples of small scale innovations piloted by colleagues and what they wished they had known before trying them.
  • implement a small scale innovation in your own teaching and get feedback from colleagues about effective execution.


For faculty and instructors
This session will involve participatory discussion of teaching approaches that promote intensive work and deep reflection, and the benefits and challenges of embracing the difficult.

Jim Engell (facilitator), Gurney Professor of English Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature (FAS)

Attend this session if you want to:

  • engage in active, cross-disciplinary discussion: What works and what doesn’t at Harvard? How has teaching and learning changed over time, with what gains and losses? What is generalizable and what is discipline-specific about specific intensive-learning approaches? What is the value of frustration compared with a clearly demarcated path to mastery of skills or command of knowledge?
  • explore the complex skills that accompany intensive study, and reading- and writing- intensive courses, and what it takes to teach these skills
  • familiarize yourself with some of the research regarding trends of student time-on-task as essential to the value of higher education.