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.

  • Flipping the classroom for deeper student engagement and feedback on learning

    L Mahadevan, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics in SEAS, and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics in FAS used a 2017-2018 SEAS Learning Incubator LInc Faculty Fellowship to emphasize active learning in his Mathematical Modeling course. He implemented a flipped classroom approach to enable students to come to class with problems and questions to collaborate on, time to develop their own problems from scratch, and work on modeling with peers. The foundational arc supporting this process has students move from observations through abstraction, analysis and communication, and iteration.
  • Implementing collaborative experimentation

    Rachel Carmody, Assistant Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, explores a burgeoning new field in her course Gut Microbiome and Human Health. The main goals are for students to develop the skills to understand how experiments are designed and conducted, and to critically evaluate existing studies and emerging research papers. Students are challenged to generate new data of their own and run experiments to investigate a predetermined hypothesis individually and collectively during the semester. They regularly discuss the results of their experiments and produce final research papers that use the collective data to explore any aspect of the hypothesis that interests them.
  • Operation Impact Kick-Off Event

    This event, took place on Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Smith Campus Center. The University-wide kick-off launched a new year of Operation Impact. The event covered the basics of the Pilot Funds and other portions of Operation Impact. The event is useful for networking to find other students with similar interests and innovative ideas.
  • Making multiple perspectives and complexities visible

    Benjamin Sommers, Professor of Health Policy and Economics, finishes his Healthcare Safety Net and Vulnerable Populations course with a debate: students are randomly assigned to roles—as senators, witnesses, or experts—and probe aspects of healthcare policy, simulating deliberations that take place on the Senate floor. Somewhat similar to real hearings, each witness makes an opening statement and then takes questions from acting Senators.
  • Incorporating social support and love into the classroom

    Gretchen Brion-Meisels, Lecturer on Education, focuses on ensuring that holistic support is apparent and felt deeply in her classroom. From listing mental health resources on all her syllabi to convening opening circles to build relationships at the start of class, Brion-Meisels incorporates ways of “checking in.” In her course Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning, students are asked to keep reflective journals and share them with a peer to engage in a conversation around their experiences. “Fundamentally, my biggest goal is to normalize the idea that everyone needs support. We’re all works-in-progress, learning and growing, but also with a lot to contribute to each other’s growth.”
  • Usable Knowledge

    A digital publication based at the Harvard Graduate School of Education produced for educators everywhere. Usable Knowledge was founded to connect research to practice. They make education research and well-vetted strategies accessible to a wide audience: teachers and principals, district leaders, policymakers, university faculty and higher ed professionals, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, members of the media, and parents.
  • Building Teaching Professional Development for Harvard Graduate Students involved in STEMM Educational Outreach

    Awardees will create and curate professional development resources for evidence-based inclusive teaching that is specifically tailored to Harvard graduate students involved in STEMM outreach programs.
  • Holographic Electricity Toolkit and Curriculum

    Awardee will use augmented reality (AR) technology to design tools that allow students to visualize invisible phenomena and support digitally mediated scientific inquiry and knowledge exchanges in makerspaces.
  • Rubric Visualization Project

    Awardees will create a program to transform raw rubric data into an easy-to-understand visualization that shows which part of an assignment students best performed on and which parts they need help with.
  • We are all Educators: Piloting a Workshop to Prepare University Staff to Act as Effective Educators

    Awardees will create resources and a workshop that will enable staff members to more effectively act as educators when working with students on formal and informal projects.
  • Best models for blended learning between graduate students and professionals

    Awardees will test a series of blended learning modules designed to facilitate collaborative learning between professional and graduate students to highlight best practices in using blended learning to allow collaborative, co-education between professionals and graduate students.
  • Developing a Hybrid Interprofessional Education Model to Prepare Students for Cross-Sector Problem-Solving

    Awardees will build on the award-winning HarvardX MOOC, “Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health (COH),” to develop a scalable and transferable pilot module to practice interprofessional (cross-sector) team learning.
  • Teaching Students How to Learn

    Awardees will develop an interdisciplinary STEM initiative that will enable instructors to incorporate explicit lessons to teach their students how to study and learn both inside and outside of the classroom.
  • Supporting Virtual Reality Pedagogical Initiatives across Harvard

    Awardees will provide virtual reality (VR) equipment, software, and staff training for initiating and supporting innovative VR pedagogical initiatives at the Cabot Science Library VR studio.
  • 2019 HILT Conference

    HILT’s eighth annual conference held on September 27, 2019, in Wasserstein Hall, explored various approaches to peer learning at Harvard and beyond: in the classroom (residential and online) and outside the classroom.
  • Helping students see themselves as scientists

    When Dr. Kevin Eggan, Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, did research as an undergraduate, it “transformed for me what science was and what it could be.” His Precision Genetics and Gene Therapy year-long course offers sophomores a similar opportunity. In the fall, students are introduced to a “jamboree of recent medical discoveries in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).” Working in small groups, they explore and then choose a gene to focus on. In the spring, they continue in small groups to experiment on mice, learn tools for analyzing the data they generate, and present to their peers, instructors, and external experts along the way.
  • 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.