Learning Tools

Many Harvard faculty are interested in experimenting with new online technologies as they rethink the learning process. VPAL works with faculty and staff across the University to develop tools and technologies that complement the educational experience.

For more information about any of these tools, e-mail the Office of the VPAL.

Featured Tools


Logo of Link dashboard tool


This online, personalized dashboard provides certain members of the Harvard community with personalized recommendations on Harvard events, news, colleagues, and courses, all automatically tailored to the user’s interests. Areas of Link are also open to the public to explore happenings from across Harvard. Visit Link to learn more.


Logo of Syllabus Explorer tool

Syllabus Explorer

This tool allows members from participating Schools to easily search, filter, and explore the syllabi for Harvard courses. Visit Syllabus Explorer. To learn more about the Syllabus Explorer project, please see the overview site.

Ongoing Tools

Enrollment View

The dashboard displays data and visualizations of a department’s course enrollment counts across semesters, which enables faculty members and administrators to track enrollment trends over time and identify common sequences of courses taken by students.

Enrollment View is currently in use by FAS departments and is being expanded to support other Harvard Schools.

Harvard Public Service Portal

The Portal allows the Harvard community - students, faculty, and staff - to easily search and explore opportunities from across the entire University for students seeking to engage in service opportunities. The Portal includes student groups, volunteer opportunities, events, clinics and direct services, internships, engaged scholarship courses, funding, and many other opportunities.


Itero provides writing analytics on an individual’s writing process, allowing full playback of a document’s creation, and on contributions from group writing. Visit Itero.


DART -- Digital Assets for Reuse in Teaching -- is a strategic initiative aimed at improving discoverability of digital learning resources at Harvard. DART acts as an LTI bridge between content providers (such as edX, YouTube, SoundCloud) and learning management systems like Canvas. Visit DART.

Adaptive Learning Open Source Initiative (ALOSI)

ALOSI provides open source adaptive learning technology and a common framework to measure learning gains and learner engagement with content.

The ALOSI engine is used in edX courses and in the How People Learn project.

Polls Tool

Polls is a Canvas tool for instructors and students to visualize students’ knowledge or attitudes in a collective way. Data is presented at the aggregate level, allowing for rapid understanding of response distribution across classes or sections.

Canvas Platform Feature Usage Dashboards (for Academic Technology)

The Canvas Usage application displays the Canvas data for Harvard courses, allowing the user to aggregate the information for any combination of schools, divisions, and departments, as well as for any time-interval of semesters.

The Canvas Usage dashboard is used by academic technology units to evaluate how Canvas is being used.

Department View

The DepartmentView application is an interactive web-based visualization for departmental course scheduling and planning.

DepartmentView is used by FAS departments for course planning and curriculum reporting purposes.

HarvardX Course Rollover

The dashboard presents data visualizations allowing users to compare registration, engagement, and completion related data for any two groups of HarvardX courses side-by-side.

The HarvardX Course Rollover app is used as part of the HarvardX course development and evaluation process.

Completed Projects

Canvas Student Data Dashboards (for Faculty)

This dashboard allows faculty to explore Canvas data for their courses both at the resource level (e.g., a specific video or discussion thread) and at the student level.

Course Search & Trends Analytics

This application allows the user to search course descriptions, course titles, and instructor names for any combination of keywords.

Course Schedule Balance Checker for FAS

This dashboard enables administrators to upload a course schedule, which is then analyzed to show which of the FAS scheduling rules, if any, the schedule is not in compliance with and to what extent.

HMS Learning Objectives

The HMS Learning Objectives app allows users to explore HMS learning objectives by phase, course, and program objective.


QUIP enables authoring of alternative versions of explanations on quiz answers, and then deploys these to students in a randomized A/B comparison, in order to see which explanations are rated highly by students.


ClassroomsX, developed in partnership between Harvard and MIT, enables the functionality of DART to be accessible by high school teachers via integration with Google Classrooms.