group work

Leveraging individual strengths in collaborative projects


Jie Li, Into PracticeJie Li, Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, provides students with multiple opportunities to collaborate in General Education course AI 63 East Asian Cinema. Students have the option to collaborate in groups of four to five, on projects such as a short film or screenplay, for their weekly and final assignments.

The benefits: In groups, students can experience different roles in the filmmaking process (director, videographer, editor, actor) and combine their diverse talents and interests. “I try to get students to learn about film by making a film. You can only get one perspective working as an individual. In groups, Read more about Leveraging individual strengths in collaborative projects

Difficult topics: Seeking and considering alternative viewpoints in the classroom


Meira LevinsonMeira Levinson, Professor of Education, develops case studies about difficult questions in educational ethics—for example, grade inflation, charter schools, and policies that disproportionately impact low-income students of color—for A203 Educational Justice students to debate and discuss the ethical dimensions of educational practice and policy.  

The benefits: In addition to in-depth content analysis, case discussions illuminate different views among students who may have expected they were in like-minded company. Read more about Difficult topics: Seeking and considering alternative viewpoints in the classroom

Leveraging student heterogeneity to bridge gaps through active learning


Marianne Wessling-ResnickMarianne Wessling-Resnick, Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry, employs active learning strategies including debate, ‘pair and share,’ and peer evaluation to bridge gaps in student experience and knowledge. “I have found that it is to my advantage to use the heterogeneity of the class as a tool.”

The benefits: Students enrolled in graduate courses at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health represent diverse academic preparation and intended career tracks, illustrated in matrix form to prospective students. “No matter what part of the quadrant you are in Read more about Leveraging student heterogeneity to bridge gaps through active learning

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

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

Web conferences (Canvas)

Canvas, Harvard’s learning management system, enables virtual spaces for team-based assignments.

Peer review (Canvas)

Canvas, Harvard’s learning management system, enables virtual spaces for team-based assignments.

Collaborations (Canvas)

Canvas, Harvard’s learning management system, enables virtual spaces for team-based assignments.

Putting students at the helm of their learning experience

Hanson

Jon Hanson, Alfred Smart Professor of Law, saw an opportunity to improve learning by putting students in the driver's seat. Along with Jacob Lipton, JD ’14, he developed The Systemic Justice Project (SJP) – a policy innovation collaboration, organized and catalyzed by students – as a problem-oriented, team-driven, and experiential approach to courses in legal education.

The benefits: Systemic Justice” and “The Justice Lab” require that students work in teams to select and fully immerse themselves in a current social policy problem, an applied and interdisciplinary experience that many point to as the most memorable and rewarding coursework of their academic career. The approach connects students to issues they care about and the communities and people who stand to benefit from policy change. Read more about Putting students at the helm of their learning experience