research assignments

Applying the science of behavior change to lesson planning


Todd Rogers_Into PracticeTodd Rogers, Professor of Public Policy, teaches students in MLD304 The Science of Behavior Change to leverage insights about human decision making and develop interventions through carefully constructed class activities and facilitated discussion, such as randomized experiments and think-pair-share brainstorms, respectively. One activity, developed and refined in collaboration with Professors Brigitte Madrian and Jennifer Lerner, requires that students work in groups to write an appeal asking online workers to donate their compensation to charity.

The benefits: "It's a nice culmination of what they learn about behavior change," says Rogers. Using... Read more about Applying the science of behavior change to lesson planning

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Harvard Library provides research support including appointments with research librarians who can provide subject-specific sources.

TELLab

TELLab, funded by a Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) grant, is a platform for online experiments that students can participate in and modify for their own use. Faculty interested in developing an experiment module for their course can contact the team. ...

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Research: Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching

There is a controversy about how much students should do on their own and how much their work should be structured and guided by instructors. As two Educational Psychologist articles suggest, some scaffolding is critical. However, they disagree about how much students can learn when...

Read more about Research: Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching

Research: Scaffolding and Achievement in Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning: A Response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006)

There is a controversy about how much students should do on their own and how much their work should be structured and guided by instructors. As two Educational Psychologist articles suggest, some scaffolding is critical. However, they disagree about how much students can learn when...

Read more about Research: Scaffolding and Achievement in Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning: A Response to Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark (2006)

Research assignments: Teaching the production of knowledge

Enos

Ryan Enos, Associate Professor of Government, assigns an original research project—students define a question, design a study, collect data, and present their results—in his undergraduate and graduate political science courses. “It’s an opportunity to gain first hand experience conducting behavioral experiments, and to navigate all the necessary steps, questions, and challenges.”

The benefits: Engaging in research facilitates the study of the production of knowledge—how it is created, replicated, and validated. According to Enos, “part of being a democratic citizen is being able to evaluate knowledge and understand what goes into it.”... Read more about Research assignments: Teaching the production of knowledge