classroom contracts

Rules of Classroom Conduct (HKS)

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government has a webpage dedicated to tips and tricks for teaching a class, including rules of classroom conduct

Setting Expectations

The Harvard Kennedy School of Government has a webpage dedicated to tips and tricks for teaching a class, including setting expectations.

The hidden curriculum: Engaging students on another level


Bernard Nickel Into Practice profile PicBernhard Nickel, Professor of Philosophy, engages students in his introductory College courses about the “hidden curriculum”—defined here as the social and disciplinary norms often invisible to both students and the teaching staff, including expectations about class preparation, in-session focus, respectful discussion behavior, and the role of feedback.

The benefits: Addressing the hidden curriculum explicitly in class surfaces and dispels student assumptions about conduct (for example, concerns that discussing a paper with the instructor during office hours is cheating) that often cause poor academic performance but cannot be solved with narrowly academic feedback. 

Participation (Christensen Center)

HBS’s Christensen Center for Teaching & Learning highlights brief instructor video tips on managing student participation and creating a learning environment that is fair, safe, and challenging.

How do I edit my Profile? (Canvas)

Tools such as profiles in Canvas, Harvard’s learning management system, help instructors get to know students and cultivate accountability. 

Faculty-student low-low contract

Professor Chris Winship of the sociology department describes how reciprocity can also work against learning when instructors and students agree to mutual low expectation, defined as the “faculty-student low-low contract.” 

Classroom Dynamics & Diversity

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning provides insight into managing the distinctive classroom dynamics of student cohorts. 

Knowing your Students

HBS’s Christensen Center for Teaching & Learning delivers quick faculty video tips on getting to know students.

Research: Expecting to teach enhances learning and organization of knowledge in free recall of text passages

Participants who studied a text passage in preparation to teach it to another student engaged in more effective learning strategies, and exhibited better recall, than participants who studied solely for an individual test, suggesting that instilling an expectation to teach can be a simple and …

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