experiential learning

Research: C.R.E.A.T.E Transform Understanding of Science

The C.R.E.A.T.E. (Consider, Read, Elucidate the hypothesis, Analyze and interpret the data, and Think of the next Experiment) approach to scientific literature and experiment helps demystify and humanize the process of scientific experimentation.

Research: Social Pedagogies

This article on “social pedagogies” shows how engaging students with “authentic audiences” is crucial for understanding key (and often difficult) concepts in a course. 

Engaging real-world stakeholders to provide feedback to students

Jal Mehta, HGSEJal 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. 

Enhancing student learning through field experience

Gonzalo GiribetGonzalo 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.

Working with local communities to engage with global issues

Maria Luisa Parra-VelascoMaría Luisa Parra-Velasco, Senior Preceptor in Romance Languages and Literatures, requires her advanced Spanish language learners in Spanish 59: Spanish and the Community to complete four hours a week of engaged scholarship with local organizations as part of their language learning experience. Through classroom discussions, travels from Cambridge to Chelsea (for example), meaningful interactions, and conversations in Spanish with members of the Latino community, they explore powerful concepts like “the borderlands” as related to global migration, changes in local demography, and in-between identities.

Engaging students via field trips, near and far

James Hanken, MCZJames Hanken, Professor of Biology and Director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ), increases student engagement by taking students out of the traditional classroom. Whether organizing his freshman seminar around weekly excursions to Harvard’s museums, or guiding a spring break field trip to Costa Rica for undergraduates enrolled in OEB 167 Herpetology, these immersive experiences “provide opportunities for students to see and understand things they simply won’t get in the classroom.”

Visualization lab

See examples of research and instructional uses of Harvard’s state-of-the-art immersive 3D stereo Visualization Lab, located within the Peabody Museum.

Course-based field trip grants

The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies provides grants to faculty who design and lead course-based field trips. 

The Field Method

See Harvard field learning resources at Harvard Business School