HILT Conference 2019
Peer Learning: Everyone’s a Teacher, Everyone’s a Learner
Friday, September 27, 2019
Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School

Concurrent Breakout Sessions (10:30am – 11:30am)
Engaging with Colleagues: Faculty Peer Learning about Teaching

How and why might engaging with your peers be particularly helpful to improve your teaching? What are approaches and strategies for creating and leveraging a teaching-focused peer community of practice? This session will feature peer engagement on teaching initiatives across the university (HKS Teaching Week, a Classroom Visits program in data sciences, and HBS teaching groups), and a step-by-step guide for those seeking to launch a peer cohort in their own department, unit, or school.

Joe Blitzstein, Professor of the Practice in Statistics (FAS)
Thomas J. Delong, Senior Fellow (HBS)
Kessely Hong, Lecturer in Public Policy (HKS)
Allison Pingree (facilitator), Senior Instructional Coach, (HGSE)

Learning from Each Other, Learning Online: Peer Learning in Online Environments

What aspects of peer engagement can make online learning particularly effective … and vice versa? Learn about models and best practices from HBS, HKS, and DCE faculty who have taught online. Gain the learner perspective from a former student in HGSE’s online pre-matriculation experience “How People Learn.” Engage with your colleagues to consider how this session’s topic might resonate with work you are doing, either online or in person.

Bharat Anand, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL); Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration; Senior Associate Dean, HBS Online (HBS)
Mary Godfrey, Production Manager (HarvardX)
Daniel Spratt, Instructor, (DCE); Professor of Medicine at Maine Medical Center and Tufts School of Medicine
Kristin Sullivan (facilitator), Senior Director of Educational Technology and Director of Public Leadership Credential (HKS)
Teddy Svoronos, Lecturer in Public Policy (HKS)

Making Peer Learning Accessible: Tools and Practices

Peer learning activities are powerful tools for both in-person and online courses, but students with disabilities often find it challenging to participate. In this session, we will introduce easy-to-use tools and bite-sized practices that will make your peer learning activities more accessible.

Gabe Abrams, Senior Software Engineer (DCE)
Amy Deschenes, Head of UX & Digital Accessibility (Library)
Kerry Foley, Manager of Course Design (DCE)

Making Peer Learning Effective: What Does the Research Say?

Step back and reflect on how to interpret research findings for your classroom practice. Manja Klemenčič will open the session with a glimpse into the practice of education research, and then we’ll break into small groups to dig into the key findings about why and how peer learning works in the classroom.

Odile Harter (facilitator), Research and Pedagogy Librarian (FAS)
Manja Klemenčič, Lecturer on Sociology (FAS)

Peer Learning in the Classroom

How can instructors activate their students’ natural inclination to teach and learn from each other to create authentic and engaging experiences in their courses? To what degree can active, student-centered approaches to peer learning be incorporated into courses which otherwise have been taught in more conventional, instructor-centered formats? Is peer learning necessarily an “equalizer,” or does it run the risk of emphasizing the status hierarchies which students bring into the classroom with them? In this session, we will explore what we know about the benefits of incorporating peer learning into the curriculum, hear about the risks and rewards of the approach from Harvard faculty who have employed peer learning, and identify activities and assignments that you could deploy the next time you teach.

Adam Beaver (facilitator), Director of Pedagogy, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning
Timothy O’Brien, Lecturer in Public Policy (HKS)

Student Perspectives on Peer Learning: Learners are Teachers, Too

In this panel, we hear from students about when peer learning has been transformative and has had lasting effects – and when it hasn’t. Covering a range of situations from informal to formal, classroom to co-curricular, and discipline-specific to more general, students will reflect on powerful moments in which they learned from their peers, or when others learned from them. We will consider who is a peer, what qualities make peer learning most exciting and effective, and what instructors and advisers can do to maximize peer learning possibilities.

Leena Ambady, Student at Harvard College
Michael Kochis, Student at Harvard Medical School
Julia Losner, Student at Harvard College
Jungyeon Park, Student at Harvard College
Sindhumathi Revuluri (facilitator), Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education (FAS)
Najya Williams, Student at Harvard College
Maxwell Yurkofsky,
Student at Harvard Graduate School of Education