Like many instructors of required courses, Pinar Dogan, Lecturer in Public Policy and SLATE Faculty Liaison for Pedagogy, teaches her section of Markets and Market Failure to students with significantly divergent levels of prior knowledge of microeconomics. Seeking a way for students “to end up at the same place even though they started at very different places,” Dogan partnered with SLATE to develop videos of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) faculty experts explaining the relevance of math-intensive or potentially dry concepts (e.g., fixed costs or price elasticity) to public policy.
See Professor Robert Keegan offer a myriad of entry points into material presented throughout his lectures to keep the content fresh while boosting student engagement, in Harvard Graduate School of Education’s...
Elena Kramer, Bussey Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Noel Michele Holbrook, Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry, co-teach General Education course OEB 52: Biology of Plants through lectures, labs, field trips, and weekly quizzes that students use to combine concepts into a creative project at the end of the semester. The prompt, “Trace the rise of the sporophyte,” results in the production of resources like videos, art pieces, fashion magazines, original songs, poems, and children’s books that students present in an arts festival during the final class.
The benefits: Students have to refer back to course activities to help crystalize what they’ve been learning all semester, which ultimately helps them prepare for the final exam. Students tell Kramer the creative projects help them better understand course concepts: “It’s not just busy work, it’s not just fun; it actually makes them think about everything they’ve learned through the semester.”
The challenges:A standard grading rubric is difficult to apply to projects produced in various mediums. To address this issue, Kramer and Holbrook collaborated with a Media Fellow in the Derek Bok Center’s Learning Lab to design an accompanying activity in which all students record an introduction that explains their project and how it addresses the prompt. This “artist’s statement” is especially useful for evaluating the more abstract projects.... Read more about Mastering course content through creative assignments
Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies, trains students to interpret history through various media including graphics, data visualizations, videos, and art installations.
The Digital Teaching Fellow (DiTF) program, which pairs graduate students with faculty to develop digital active learning projects in their courses, is extending to other FAS departments with a HILT grant project helmed by history professors Dan Smail and Ann Blair.