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 real-world stakeholders to provide feedback to students

    Jal David Mehta, Associate Professor of Education, directs students to use design thinking and interact with real-world stakeholders when making proposals to improve educational systems in his course Deeper Learning for All: Designing a 21st-Century School System. At the end of the semester, students present final projects to panels of educational experts ranging from superintendents to K-12 teachers to Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty.
  • Structuring intellectual collaboration and play

    Emily Dolan, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of the Humanities, co-teaches the graduate seminar Instruments and Instrumentalities with Professor and James McGill Chair in Culture and Technology Jonathan Sterne of McGill University in which students from both Harvard and McGill (representing a range of disciplines) engage with one another via audio and video conferencing, trips to each campus, online documents, and other tools.
  • Using a student cohort to test and innovate new training materials

    Tyler Giannini and Susan Farbstein, Clinical Professors of Law, pull back the curtain on pedagogy for students in the seminar Advanced Skills Training in Strategic Human Rights Advocacy by making them part of a learning community and giving them ownership over the learning process. For example, each year students work to improve simulations in which they originally were participants, in an earlier prerequisite seminar attached to the International Human Rights Clinic.
  • Enhancing student learning through field experience

    Gonzalo Giribet, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, takes students in his course Biology and Evolution of Invertebrate Animals (co-taught this semester with Professor Cassandra Extavour) to Panama to do fieldwork during spring break to help them see how invertebrate animals “are assembled in nature,” and how “organisms are integrated into systems.” Students incur no costs for the trip thanks to funding from the Museum of Comparative Zoology.
  • Education Innovation Showcase

    The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) held its inaugural Education Innovation Showcase on Thursday, April 11 at the Harvard Innovation Labs. More than 100 people gathered to hear learn about 30 projects designed to enhance teaching and learning, sponsored by HILT. Read a synopsis of the event featured in The Harvard Gazette! 
  • Applying human-centered design processes to build successful teams

    Bethanne Altringer, Senior Preceptor in Innovation and Design and Director of the Desirability Lab, uses personalized approaches to students’ learning in courses like The Innovator's Practice: Finding, Building and Leading Good Ideas with Others and Design Survivor: Experiential Lessons in Designing for Desirability, focusing on individual-level growth that leads to team effectiveness by grading both process and product.
  • Conveying large amounts of material efficiently and clarifying complex ideas

    Tyler VanderWeele, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology, uses lectures to integrate and illuminate core concepts, bringing new insights to students and sometimes for his own scholarship in the process. His courses—on religion and public health, on applied statistics, and on research design—often cross disciplinary boundaries and involve unexpected combinations of ideas. 
  • Enriching learning through student-led provocation

    Though Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Lecturer on History and Literature, Public Policy, and Education, plays an integral role in class discussions for his course Stories of Slavery and Freedom, students are responsible for leading the majority of classes through an exercise McCarthy refers to as “provocation.” “The provokers do not come in and give a summary of what we’ve read or a mini-lecture about the top-line themes that might emerge from the assigned readings. I really want them to find some way to literally provoke us into conversation, get the juices flowing, and try to get all the students to think about something urgently at the outset of class.”
  • Data Science and Applied Statistics Education Workshop

    Friday, January 25th | 10:00am—3:00pm in CGIS Belfer Case Study Room. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Data Science Initiative, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, this event will focus on data science and applied statistics and bring together a select set of faculty, student teaching fellows, and staff to: Illuminate how these domains are taught and learned in various ways across Harvard; Demonstrate tools recently developed to support that pedagogical work; Share results of cross-University curriculum mapping efforts in these domains; Meet colleagues from other departments and schools who are teaching similar content
  • Aman

    This project aims to tackle hatred and bigotry in India and Pakistan through developing curriculum, guidelines and training for teachers.
  • Pushing students to confront limits by transforming the abstract to physical form

    In her Transformations course, Assistant Professor of Architecture Megan Panzano uses architectural design methods and concepts, and a workshop approach for giving feedback, to engage undergraduates from a wide range of concentrations. When students translate abstract ideas into physical form through a variety of materials and fabrication techniques (see photos below), they confront limits, question assumptions, and expand their problem-solving capacity.
  • Using faculty videos in required courses to engage students at all levels

    Like many instructors of required courses, Pinar Dogan, Lecturer in Public Policy and SLATE Faculty Liaison for Pedagogy, teaches her section of Markets and Market Failure to students with significantly divergent levels of prior knowledge of microeconomics. Seeking a way for students “to end up at the same place even though they started at very different places,” Dogan partnered with SLATE to develop videos of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) faculty experts explaining the relevance of math-intensive or potentially dry concepts (e.g., fixed costs or price elasticity) to public policy. 
  • Data Coach for Teachers

    Awardees project seeks to address this problem through an easy-to-understand and free website or software that educators could use to (a) consolidate their data, (b) analyze their data, and (c) move quickly from analysis to action-planning.
  • S.A.F.E. – Share. Access. Flourish. Engage

    Teachers serving preschoolers in low-income and marginalized communities across the world, are struggling with issues that are affecting their ability to do their work. SAFE will be an online and mobile application platform that will give teachers access to developmentally appropriate resources to provide solutions to problems facing in their classroom, access to professional development opportunities, and the opportunity to form sub-groups of educators or educator communities connected by a similar challenge or a shared interest.
  • Understanding culture through material artifacts

    Students in Japanese art and architecture courses taught by Yukio Lippit, Professor of History of Art and Architecture, often encounter cultures quite different from their own.  Lippit immerses them in those cultures through deep engagement with material artifacts, by examining roof tiles or carpentry, visiting the Japanese house at the Boston Children’s Museum, or participating in a tea ceremony.  
  • Moving from passive learning to active exploration of the physical world

    Scott Edwards, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), makes extensive use of the museum’s ornithology collections in his courses and brings specimens into his lecture sessions to engage students in close analysis during weekly three-hour labs. Edwards models “ways of making meaning” by looking to specimens as key evidence for testing claims and theories.
  • Teachly: A research project

    Teachly was developed at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to help faculty members teach more inclusively and effectively. The tool enables faculty to get to know their students and interact with them in a meaningful way through the robust data infrastructure.
  • “Making space” for interdisciplinary critical thinking

    Awardees will offer a series of interdisciplinary workshops that develop critical thinking through making.
  • Project Nights and open-ended design research

    Awardees will measure the effects of open-ended extracurricular projects on student learning.
  • Digital Teaching Fellow program

    Awardees will expand the digital teaching fellow program from one to at least seven departments in the humanities and social sciences, pairing students with faculty to develop a variety of course-related digital projects, encouraging pedagogical experimentation in digital active learning, multi-media assignments, and unique faculty-student collaboration.