feedback

Teach, embody, and model deep listening and reflection


Cheryl GilesCheryl Giles, Francis Greenwood Peabody Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Care and Counseling, shares her own experiences, missteps, and successes to demonstrate self-awareness for students in her course Counseling for Wellness and Resilience: Fostering Relational Wisdom. She encourages students to listen deeply to themselves and others without judgment by practicing mindfulness throughout the course.

The benefits: “Students learn how to hold multiple perspectives to be true,” explains Giles. A major goal of this course... Read more about Teach, embody, and model deep listening and reflection

Motivating students to transition from learning-for-testing to learning-for-learning


Matthew SchwartzIn his Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics course (a core class for physics concentrators) Matthew Schwartz, Professor of Physics, tries to move his students away from a binge-learning exam-based model, common in science classes, to one of sustained learning throughout the semester. To do this, he persuades students to read the course materials before class through comprehensive pre-class quizzes, replaces the midterm with a non-collaborative problem set, and assigns a take-home final weighted the same as two problem sets. 

The benefits: This model... Read more about Motivating students to transition from learning-for-testing to learning-for-learning

Flipping the classroom for deeper student engagement and feedback on learning


L MahadevanL Mahadevan, Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics in SEAS, and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics in FAS used a 2017-2018 SEAS Learning Incubator LInc Faculty Fellowship to emphasize active learning in his Mathematical Modeling course. He implemented a flipped classroom approach to enable students to come to class with problems and questions to collaborate on, time to develop their own problems from scratch, and work on modeling with peers. The foundational arc supporting this process has students move from observations through abstraction, analysis and communication, and iteration.... Read more about Flipping the classroom for deeper student engagement and feedback on learning

Incorporating social support and love into the classroom


Gretchen Brion-MeiselsGretchen Brion-Meisels, Lecturer on Education, focuses on ensuring that holistic support is apparent and felt deeply in her classroom. From listing mental health resources on all her syllabi to convening opening circles to build relationships at the start of class, Brion-Meisels incorporates ways of “checking in.” In her course Establishing Loving Spaces for Learning, students are asked to keep reflective journals and share them with a peer to engage in a conversation around their experiences. “Fundamentally, my biggest goal is to normalize the idea that everyone needs support. We’re all works-in-progress, learning and growing,... Read more about Incorporating social support and love into the classroom

Engaging real-world stakeholders to provide feedback to students


Jal Mehta, HGSEJal David Mehta, Associate Professor of Education, directs students to use design thinking and interact with real-world stakeholders when making proposals to improve educational systems in his course Deeper Learning for All: Designing a 21st-Century School System. At the end of the semester, students present final projects to panels of educational experts ranging from superintendents to K-12 teachers to Harvard Graduate School of Education faculty. 

The benefits: This combination of approaches “really focuses people’s attention,” says Mehta.... Read more about Engaging real-world stakeholders to provide feedback to students

Getting Feedback (Bok Center)

The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning encourages all instructors to solicit and respond to student feedback.

Qualtrics: Data & Analysis Basic Overview

Qualtrics may be used to acquire real-time feedback from students, including by way of course evaluations. Its reporting and data analysis is robust and is covered in depth within the support portal.

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... Read more about Using a student cohort to test and innovate new training materials

Applying human-centered design processes to build successful teams


Beth AltringerBethanne Altringer, Senior Preceptor in Innovation and Design and Director of the Desirability Lab, uses personalized approaches to students’ learning in courses like The Innovator's Practice: Finding, Building and Leading Good Ideas with Others and Design Survivor: Experiential Lessons in Designing for Desirability, focusing on individual-level growth that leads to team effectiveness by grading both process and product.   

The benefits: Altringer’s research shows that “an important differentiator of success and failure is interpersonal relationships on teams.” Her targeted approach to building relational effectiveness creates longer-lasting impact than giving feedback to teams... Read more about Applying human-centered design processes to build successful teams

Pushing students to confront limits by transforming the abstract to physical form


Megan Panzano, Into Practice HeadshotIn her Transformations course, Assistant Professor of Architecture Megan Panzano uses architectural design methods and concepts, and a workshop approach for giving feedback, to engage undergraduates from a wide range of concentrations. When students translate abstract ideas into physical form through a variety of materials and fabrication techniques (see photos below), they confront limits, question assumptions, and expand their problem-solving capacity.

The benefits: “Creating a visual or physical manifestation of an idea” helps students’ thought patterns become less rigid.... Read more about Pushing students to confront limits by transforming the abstract to physical form

Giving students practice with constructive criticism


Mark Mulligan, Associate Professor in Practice of Architecture, requires students in Tectonics Lab to work collaboratively on design-build projects of increasing complexity over the course of the semester that are subject to critique by peers, guest experts, and Mulligan himself. For example, with an assignment such as construction of a simple joint between two pieces of wood, “I tell them that we’re actually going to test the joint to its breaking point, so they know that they have to build something that can withstand real force;and to make it fun, I get everyone to predict where it is going to break”—a metaphor for gaining practice with receiving constructive criticism.... Read more about Giving students practice with constructive criticism

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