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.

  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • T3alMENA

    Through storytelling and mentorship, awardees are connecting Arab youth with leaders they look up to by hearing relatable stories and receiving guidance in Arabic.
  • LovelyBooks

    Awardees plan to bring technology and research (e.g. customization of morals by parents, illustrating children directly into books to increase engagement etc) to improve the learning outcomes generated by children's picture books.
  • How to improve the learning experience in core clerkships at Harvard Medical School?

    The project focuses on medical students' core clerkship experiences.
  • C2B: Classroom to Boardroom

    C2B seeks to provide an immersive training program designed in close collaboration with rapidly growing industries (i.e. tech-focused companies). Awardees want to help organizations recruit and retain talents that will help increase productivity and achieve higher rate of sustainable growth.
  • Life Bonus

    Awardees will work on developing early literacy, situational empathy and self-efficacy through parent-child interaction.
  • New Teachers Thriving

    New Teachers Thriving seeks to train new teachers to achieve personal well-being, enabling them work better with students and leave the profession at a lower rate.
  • MythOS

    MythOS is addressing the growing gap in social and emotional skills among adolescents who are not being served by traditional social activities (sports, theater, etc.) but are instead consumed by digital entertainment. MythOS is using games that resonate with digitally-focused adolescents to drive home social and emotional skills.
  • 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.
  • Arts in a Circle

    Awardee wants to design an affordable one-stop art education online platform for Chinese families. They plan to educate the public about the broad definition of art education and design a series of online courses for families with children aged 5-12.
  • 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.
  • Designing Your Course

    Course design resources from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, including 1) Backward Design, 2) Functions of the Syllabus, 3) Formative ("low-stakes") vs. Summative ("high-stakes") Assessments, 4) Assignment Modalities, 5) Framing and Sequencing Assignments, and 6) Grading and Responding to Student Work.
  • In the Classroom

    Resources on in-class teaching from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, including 1) Building Rapport, 2) Classroom Contracts, 3) Active Learning, 4) Instructional Strategies, and 5) Technology and Student Distraction.
  • The Science of Learning

    Key concepts in learning sciences from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, including 1) How Memory Works, 2) Comprehending and Communicating Knowledge, 3) Metacognition and Motivation, and 4) Promoting Engagement.
  • 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.
  • Using ethnographic research to improve students’ qualitative literacy

    In distinguishing fact from opinion, quantitative information is often seen as more reliable, but Mario Luis Small, Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology, wants students also to see the value of qualitative data for assessing such claims. In his course Qualitative Network Analysis, he requires students to analyze empirical research (including their own ethnographic cases) with a qualitative lens and thoroughly evaluate “authors who believe they’re making a defensible claim about some aspect of society.”
  • Bringing the best parts of a seminar into larger courses

    When enrollment for seminar After Luther: Faith, Will, Law, and the Question of Goodness doubled last year, Michelle Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Theology, was concerned that the depth and quality of the connections—with and among students and the texts they read together—would diminish. In response, she modified some logistical elements including assigning different pairs of students to circulate brief response papers before class and then lead discussion each week.
  • Christensen Center: Teaching by the Case Method

    This section of the Christensen Center website explores the Case Method in Practice along the following dimensions: i) Preparing to Teach; ii) Leading in the Classroom; iii) Providing Assessment; and iv) Feedback Sample Class. Each subsection provides perspectives and guidance through a written overview, supplemented by video commentary from experienced case method instructors. Where relevant, links are included to downloadable documents produced by the Christensen Center or Harvard Business School Publishing. References for further reading are provided as well.