2021 HILT Conference
“Tackling Global Challenges from the Harvard Classroom and Beyond”

A virtual event held on
Friday, September 24, 2021

2021 conference poster, decorative

The last two years have emphasized the importance of active learning principles, working collaboratively in groups, and engaging with local communities on important issues. Given the ongoing worldwide challenges that were at the forefront of 2020 – 2021 (pandemics, racial justice, climate change, divided nations, food insecurity, equity, etc.), students want to talk about tough problems. How can we best prepare students to address global challenges in thoughtful and creative ways?

The 2021 annual HILT Conference will explore how we teach students to become global agents of change. Our plenary session will consider how our collective experiences in remote teaching and learning allowed us to rethink our models of instruction, community building, and curriculum. Breakout sessions will explore the various ways instructors can equip students to confront ongoing world-wide challenges through active learning, collaborative groups, and engaged scholarship.

Helpful links:

Background: HILT Annual Conference

The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching annual conference is an event designed to engage Harvard faculty, students, and academic professionals in a university-level dialogue about teaching and learning innovation.

The goals of the HILT Annual Conference are to:

  1. promote dialogue across Harvard’s campuses about educational innovation, including constructive discussion of provocative, thoughtful, and contrasting perspectives;
  2. provide examples of experimental approaches and research studies that generalize across academic fields, in particular, those that help faculty think through how to experiment in their own teaching with the practical insights that come from those examples; and
  3. expand the network of Harvard scholars, instructors, senior leaders, academic professionals, and students who are improving educational practice.

The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching strives to make our programs and activities inclusive for everyone. If you have questions about accommodations or access, please contact us at (617) 496-7054 or hilt@harvard.edu at least two weeks in advance of your participation.

See content from previous events:

Championing Equitable Instruction and Inclusive Classrooms (October 16, 2020)

HILT’s ninth annual conference, held virtually on October 16, 2020, brought together a diverse, engaged, and engaging set of speakers and panelists to share their successes and challenges in building equitable learning opportunities, facilitating charged or difficult class discussions, and supporting students as they navigate rapidly shifting circumstances.

Peer Learning: Everyone’s a Teacher, Everyone’s a Learner (September 27, 2019)

HILT’s eighth annual conference, held on September 27, 2019, in Wasserstein Hall, explored various approaches to peer learning at Harvard and beyond: in the classroom (residential and online) and outside the classroom.

Implementing the Science of Learning to Advance the Art of Teaching (September 21, 2018)

HILT’s seventh annual conference, held September 21, 2018, in Wasserstein Hall, focused on insights from the science of learning and gave participants opportunities to apply concepts to their own contexts.

Evaluating Teaching (September 20, 2017)

HILT’s sixth annual conference explored various facets of evaluating teaching effectiveness at Harvard, and beyond, that incorporate partnerships between academic professional staff and faculty toward improving teaching and learning.

Interactivity (September 30, 2016)

HILT’s fifth annual conference showcased varied interactive instructional approaches and considerations for Harvard in an evolving education landscape.

Designing an Assessment for Learning (September 25, 2015)

HILT’s fourth annual conference was constructed to build on prior themes but reflected HILT’s strategically phased approach to its work. Specifically, a shift from “launching and catalyzing” to “deepening and documenting” the impact of innovative teaching and learning. With that goal in mind, HILT extended invitations to all tenured- and tenure-track faculty at Harvard, targeting those who are a) teaching a new course, b) overhauling an existing course, or c) new to the University.

Engagement and Distance (September 16, 2014)

HILT’s third annual conference was designed around a motivating question: How does distance affect student engagement?

Essentials (May 8, 2013)

HILT’s second annual conference was focused on the framing question: In this time of disruption and innovation for universities, what are the essentials of good teaching and learning?

Inaugural HILT Symposium (February 3, 2012)

The inaugural HILT Symposium opened a Harvard-wide conversation, engaging over 300 faculty and students in dialogue, debate, and the sharing of ideas about pedagogical innovation. The event convened members of the Harvard community and presenters from within Harvard and externally who offered interesting and informative perspectives on teaching and learning in higher education, with an emphasis on evidence-based approaches.