Into Practice

Into Practice, a biweekly communication distributed 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.

See the most recent issues below, or filter at left through all published content.

Using ethnographic research to improve students’ qualitative literacy


Mario SmallIn distinguishing fact from opinion, quantitative information is often seen as more reliable, but Mario Luis Small, Grafstein Family Professor of Sociology, wants students also to see the value of qualitative data for assessing such claims. In his course Qualitative Network Analysis, he requires students to analyze empirical research (including their own ethnographic cases) with a qualitative lens and thoroughly evaluate “authors who believe they’re making a defensible claim about some aspect of society.”

The benefits: As the emphasis... Read more about Using ethnographic research to improve students’ qualitative literacy

Bringing the best parts of a seminar into larger courses


Michelle Sanchez, Into Practice issueWhen enrollment for seminar After Luther: Faith, Will, Law, and the Question of Goodness doubled last year, Michelle Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Theology, was concerned that the depth and quality of the connections—with and among students and the texts they read together—would diminish. In response, she modified some logistical elements including assigning different pairs of students to circulate brief response papers before class and then lead discussion each week.

The benefits: This approach allowed for rotating perspectives and democratized the class by giving students space to be the... Read more about Bringing the best parts of a seminar into larger courses

Building soft skills through applied practice


Mike NortonMichael I. Norton, Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration, uses experiential exercises to help students build strong foundations for collaborative work. In the FIELD Foundationscourse, students practice and refine their self-awareness, social awareness, and team effectiveness through activities such as identity mappingand the marshmallow challenge.

The benefits: The activities provide low-stakes, experimental ways for students to practice more... Read more about Building soft skills through applied practice

Transforming your syllabus to reach and engage students


Katharina PiechockiWhen Katharina Piechocki, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, prepares for a course she has taught before, she significantly changes the syllabus to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing world, respond to students’ (and her own) growing interests, and take advantage of events outside the classroom.  

The benefits: Piechocki finds this approach increases student interest in comparative literature by helping them see connections in unexpected places—at Harvard, in the world, and in their own life experience.... Read more about Transforming your syllabus to reach and engage students

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