Since March 2020, Harvard University has been engaged in a prolonged and unprecedented period of remote/hybrid teaching across all Harvard Schools. The pandemic has created enormous stresses on our students, faculty, and staff, and on the core teaching and learning activities of the University. At the same time, and as has become clear over the past year, COVID-19 also stimulated extraordinary creativity, innovations, and new approaches to teaching and learning throughout Harvard and its global community.
In February 2021, with the support of Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow and Provost Alan Garber, the Harvard Future of Teaching and Learning Task Force was formed to explore the long-term implications of the changes that have taken place on our campuses over the past year for the teaching and learning activities of the University. Its charge reads in part: “How can we ensure that we use the experience from this past year to think strategically and imaginatively about the transformative opportunities around teaching and learning across the University? And how can we align this thinking with Harvard’s mission and maximize learner potential?”
The Task Force comprises seventeen Harvard faculty, leaders and administrators from a range of disciplines. Over the past five months, the Task Force has engaged in systematically exploring the key teaching and learning innovations during this year, analyzing the generalizable learnings that have emerged, and crafting a strategic blueprint for the future of teaching and learning at Harvard.
The Task Force will develop a report for the Office of the President and Provost in 2021. The report will consolidate the insights from large-sample faculty reflections and in-depth interviews, surface best practices, and present a vision for teaching and learning across Harvard that aims to amplify, extend, and strengthen the Harvard experience for current and future members of our community. It will recommend university-wide principles and concrete strategies at multiple levels, mechanisms to encourage ongoing innovation, and key areas of investment. The Task Force intends this report to enable Harvard’s many Schools, offices, and leaders to advance learning and teaching for the years ahead.
For more information, see The Harvard Gazette, The future of teaching and learning.
Members of the Task Force
- Bharat Anand (chair): Vice Provost for Advances in Learning; Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration (VPAL, HBS)
- Catherine Breen: Managing Director, Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL)
- Glenn Cohen: Deputy Dean; James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law (HLS)
- Nancy Coleman: Dean (DCE)
- Suzanne Cooper: Academic Dean for Teaching & Curriculum; Edith M. Stokey Senior Lecturer in Public Policy (HKS)
- Erin Driver-Linn: Dean for Education (HSPH)
- Lisa Haber-Thomson: Lecturer in Architecture (GSD)
- Anne Harrington: Director of Undergraduate Studies; Faculty Dean, Pforzheimer House; Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science (FAS)
- Randall King: Harry C. McKenzie Professor of Cell Biology (HMS)
- Karim Lakhani: Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration (HBS)
- Bridget Terry Long: Dean; Saris Professor of Education and Economics (GSE)
- Anne Margulies: Vice President and University Chief Information Officer (HUIT)
- Martin Puchner: Byron and Anita Wien Professor of Drama and of English and Comparative Literature (VPAL, FAS)
- David Roberts: Dean for External Education; Steven P. Simcox, Patrick A. Clifford and James H. Higby Associate Professor of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (HMS)
- Michael Smith: John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor (SEAS, FAS)
- Dustin Tingley: Deputy Vice Provost for Advances in Learning; Professor of Government (VPAL, FAS)
- Martha Whitehead: Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian; Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (Harvard Library)