Into Practice, a biweekly communication distributed from the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning to active instructors during the academic year was inspired by a successful 2012 HILT grant project. The e-letter highlights the pedagogical practices of individual faculty members from across Schools and delivers timely, evidence-based teaching advice, contributing to and strengthening a University-wide community of practice around teaching.

Below is a catalog of all the Into Practice issues sorted by the publication date. To subscribe to Into Practice, please sign-up via our Mailing List page.

  • Engaging with course material and serving communities at the same time

    Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, created the Harvard Kennedy School’s first-ever field lab, which combines in-class learning with real-world project work in local and state governments. Since its inception in 2005, the course has involved hundreds of students from across Harvard graduate schools. It is an advanced course focused on public finance, operations and budgeting. Each year, Bilmes and her teaching team receive dozens of applications from mayors and city managers. She and her team select a small number of intellectually challenging projects with buy-in at the highest level. The selected partners describe their projects to students at the start of the term; projects range from addressing homelessness to municipal debt. Then students go on site visits to “get a sense of the crunchiness” of each task and to rank clients by interest before they are sorted into collaborative teams. At the end of the semester, students present recommendations to clients.
  • Reconfiguring classroom mechanics to break down hegemony & build up student learning

    John Asher Johnson, Professor of Astronomy, aims to cut through dominant constructs of what teaching looks like and to disrupt hegemonies in his classes through collective norms setting and conveying to students that they are “intellectual peers with the professor.” He structures his courses around the Tao of TALC method in which students work on assignments in collaborative groups while the instructor and TFs use the Socratic method to stimulate collective problem-solving.
  • Using asynchronous learning to improve students’ learning experiences

    Elisa New, Powell M. Cabot Professor of American Literature, has ample experience blending asynchronous and synchronous learning to teach students at Harvard and beyond. Asynchronous learning happens independently from in-person class time and can take many forms. In her courses, New has incorporated on-location “field-trips,” discussions with relevant authors, and even recordings of former student discussions, which has helped current students “up their game.” “People really love those. They like to see how a good discussion works.”
  • Grappling with a global pandemic in class, as a class

    Jonathan Zittrain, George Bemis Professor of International Law, adapted his digital governance course to incorporate what everyone was really focused on in mid-spring of 2020: the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of “compartmentalizing” between class and crisis, he reworked the syllabus to respond to students’ needs and evolving experiences. Zittrain replaced the final exam with collaborative reports in which students examined aspects of the pandemic through the lens of digital governance dilemmas. “The idea was to offer students an opportunity to apply what they learned in the course to problems that were on everybody’s mind.”
  • Policy and practice: Learning data in learning design

    Topic: Policy and practice: Learning data in learning design. Speakers: Evan Sanders, Associate Director of Curriculum Services (HMS); Cynthia Deng, candidate for Master in Architecture and Master of Urban Planning, 2021 (GSD); Milos Mladenovic, candidate for Master in Architecture, 2020 (GSD); Tara Abbatello, Teaching and Learning Specialist, Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning (HBS); and Carol Kentner, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Gutman Library (HGSE)
  • Microsoft Teams for Collaborative Case Writing

    Microsoft Teams for Collaborative Case Writing, A Case Studies Affinity Group Event
  • 2020 HILT Conference

    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.
  • Keeping students engaged and learning through the “human hook”

    Maya Jasanoff, X. D. and Nancy Yang Professor of Arts and Sciences and Coolidge Professor of History, uses narratives to engage students and deepen their understanding of course content. From her Gen Ed course Ancestry to her upper-level seminar Narrative History: Art and Argument, Jasanoff demonstrates that “stories do not necessarily mean fiction; rather, stories are simply arguments based on the evidence. The former cannot exist without the latter.”
  • Case Studies Affinity Group: Challenges and Trends in Case Writing and Development

    Please save the date for our fall Affinity Group meeting, Challenges and Trends in Case Writing and Development, hosted by Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) on Thursday, October 26, 2017, from 3:00-4:30 pm.
  • Learning Spaces Affinity Group: Inaugural Event

    The HILT Learning Spaces Affinity Group will hold its first event on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 3 to 5 pm in Cabot Science Library. Please join us for a fun exploration of learning spaces around campus, and a chance to experience in person the new spaces in Cabot – featured in a recent Gazette article at http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/harvards-cabot-science-library-charges-into-the-future/
  • Simulations & Games Affinity Group: Educational Games Gallery Walk

    Wednesday, May 31, 2017: 12:00pm to 2:00pm at Cabot Science Library. HILT Simulations & Games Affinity Group invites you to join them for an afternoon of learning, fun, and exploration. Featuring hands-on board games, role plays, video games, and virtual reality -- this event will showcase a variety of educational games being used in learning experiences across Harvard.
  • Learning Data & Analytics Affinity Group Meeting

    Have you been wishing or planning to use data from your school's Canvas sites to understand student learning and behavior? Join the HILT Learning Data Analytics affinity group and VPAL Research for a presentation of VPALs Canvas Data products and a discussion how they can be used to help you answer your analytics questions.  
  • Learning Design Affinity Group

    The HILT Affinity Group for Learning Design is holding an inaugural event on May 16, 2017 in Cabot Library. 
  • Case Studies Affinity Group Lunch & Chat

    For our next Affinity Group meeting, we decided to change it up a bit!  The survey we conducted last fall indicated that many of our members wanted a chance to meet and talk in smaller, more informal groups about top-of-mind issues.
  • Case Studies Affinity Group: How to engage and support faculty new to case method teaching

    The Harvard Affinity Group for Case Studies invites you to its fall/winter session next Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 12:30pm on engaging faculty in case teaching with Willis Emmons and Matt Miller. This should be an exciting and interactive discussion, and lunch will be provided.
  • Applying Pedagogical Insights to Large Online Courses

    When William Fisher, WilmerHale Professor of Intellectual Property Law, was approached to create an online course version of his Harvard Law School Copyright course, he agreed with the stipulation that CopyrightX be paired with the residential version, that enrollment be limited to 500, and that students meet in discussion sections of 25. Both online and residential students watch the same 90-minute lecture video prior to class time. When the class meets, Fisher facilitates case study discussions with residential students and 15-20 teaching fellows do so for sections of online students. Sometimes, residential and online students meet virtually to hear from a guest speaker.
  • Socialize Remotely

    Although we moved online, we can still laugh, play, learn, and grow closer outside of class and work as a community. Socialize Remotely is a University-wide platform designed to bring us together to do exactly that. On Socialize Remotely, you can publicize and explore a variety of online gatherings available to the Harvard community.
  • Understanding pathophysiology with real-life vignettes

    Barbara Cockrill, Harold Amos Academy Associate Professor of Medicine, uses case-based collaborative learning (CBCL) in her Homeostasis I course to help medical students explore real-life clinical scenarios they may face as practitioners. Case discussions start in cohorts of four students, formed at the beginning of the course, and focus on a series of questions. Discussion continues with the full class of 40 students, facilitated by Cockrill and other medical school faculty.
  • Engaging students in a field-based, problem-oriented, experiential course

    Jorrit de Jong, Lecturer in Public Policy, combines practice, research, and engagement with learning and teaching in his course Innovation Lab: Public Problem Solving in Massachusetts Cities, in which students participate in a field-based, problem-oriented, and experiential setting, immersed in local city governments. Students observe, first-hand, the work of public servants—going on inspection tours, triaging cases, analyzing geo-spatial data, reconciling competing priorities and politics—and then pitch proposals to city mayors, usually building on the work of previous students.
  • Science Bytes

    Science Bytes Awardees: Ragini Lall (HGSE) and Aditi Kumar (MIT-Engineering) Summary: coming soon.