peer instruction

Social Learning and Social Entrepreneurship Education

This program study using social theories of learning to develop best practices for entrepreneurship education found that respecting learners’ identities and making them feel safe in the community of practices is critical to program success.

Social Physics: How Social Networks Can Make Us Smarter

Bottino bases some of his pedagogical approach in Pentland’s Social Physics, which discusses how people learn more from being exposed to a greater variety in actions, not simply a greater variety in how people claim they will act. 

Encouraging learning by creating alongside diverse feedback


Paul BottinoPaul B. Bottino, Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Lecturer at the Technology & Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard, offers Start-up R&D to undergraduate students across disciplines who are interested in the field and have a particular project idea in mind. Within the workshop course structure, “each student project is the educational centerpiece.” Student groups work on a variety of innovative startup projects seeking solutions to problems they care about. The course uses multiple approaches to help students build upon their ideas and receive constructive feedback: “challenge sessions” where students outline their biggest obstacles to a small group of peers; individual meetings with Bottino and teaching fellows; and connections with alumni. “It’s like a Greek forum of peers, near-peers, and mentors” with students learning that “entrepreneurship is a creative and iterative research practice of idea formulation, experimentation, and feedback.” At the end of term, students present and receive feedback on projects at a public event “Demo Day.”

Using a student cohort to test and innovate new training materials


Tyler GianniniSusan FarbsteinTyler Giannini and Susan Farbstein, Clinical Professors of Law, pull back the curtain on pedagogy for students in the seminar Advanced Skills Training in Strategic Human Rights Advocacy by making them part of a learning community and giving them ownership over the learning process. For example, each year students work to improve simulations in which they originally were participants, in an earlier prerequisite seminar attached to the International Human Rights Clinic

Enriching learning through student-led provocation


This issue of Into Practice is adapted from Instructional Moves content produced by the Teaching and Learning Lab at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Timothy McCarthyThough Timothy Patrick McCarthy, Lecturer on History and Literature, Public Policy, and Education, plays an integral role in class discussions for his course Stories of Slavery and Freedom, students are responsible for leading the majority of classes through an exercise McCarthy refers to as “provocation.” “The provokers do not come in and give a summary of what we’ve read or a mini lecture about the top-line themes that might emerge from the assigned readings. I really want them to find some way to literally provoke us into conversation, get the juices flowing, and try to get all the students to think about something urgently at the outset of class.”

 

 

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Encouraging students to engage with one another to solve problems (and problem sets)


Cassandra ExtavourCassandra G. Extavour, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Molecular and Cellular Biology, is one of six co-instructors for LIFESCI 50(A & B) Integrated Science, an intensive two-semester course created by Andrew Murray, Herschel Smith Professor of Molecular Genetics, covering methods and concepts from biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. They design class discussion and assignments as problems that require students to rely on one another to solve. "We let them know it's normal to not be able to answer everythingon the problem sets on their own. We've structured them that way. They learn to engage with classmates, or with us, to work it out."

Learning Lab (Bok Center)

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning’s Learning Lab routinely partners with faculty to develop assignments that foster students’ science communication and presentation skills.

Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas

Instructors can point students to resources for improving presentation skills available across the University including the Graduate School of Arts and Science’s Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas.resources. 

Baker Library Bloomberg Center Services

Instructors can point students to resources for improving presentation skills available across the University including the Harvard Business School’s Baker Library.

Speaking Resources

Instructors can point students to resources for improving presentation skills available across the University including the Harvard College Writing Program’s speaking resources. 

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