2020 Conference: Championing Equitable Instruction and Inclusive Classrooms

A virtual event held on Friday, October 16, 2020

Video recordings can be found on our resources page.

text reads HILT conference 2020, championing equitable instruction and inclusive classrooms

Please join our 2020 Conference, “Championing Equitable Instruction and Inclusive Classrooms” which will take place virtually on Friday, October 16, 2020. Registration closed at noon EST on 10/15/20. Video recordings will be posted to this website in the coming weeks.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with newly energized movements opposing inequality and oppression of Black communities and people of color, highlights the importance of effective pedagogy in diverse classrooms and about difficult subjects. The transition to remote teaching has only emphasized the wide variety of challenges and privileges that students carry into their learning, and there is an increased need to address issues around socioeconomic constraints, accessibility, and differentiated learning. These issues, among many others, directly impact students’ ability to navigate hidden curricula, participate in charged/difficult conversations with their peers and instructors, and ask for help when they need it. As a result, faculty and academic professional staff across Harvard are implementing—or searching for—new approaches to bolstering equitable classroom instruction in our community and beyond. 

The ninth annual HILT Conference will bring 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.

In line with the University’s focus on achieving sustainable inclusive excellence, this year’s conference is the cornerstone of ongoing HILT events for faculty and academic professional staff on diversity, inclusion, belonging, and more. Before and after the conference, HILT will continue these important conversations through our regular programming including small faculty gatherings (virtual colleague conversations), speaker series events, and themed Affinity Group Events. These events provide multiple modalities for the Harvard community to deepen our commitment to inclusive teaching strategies and implementation models.

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:

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

HILT’s eighth annual conference will be held on September 27, 2019, in Wasserstein Hall, and will explore 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.