HILT awarded six Spark Grants of $5,000 – $15,000 this fall. Awardees will:

Develop new methods for hands-on teaching. Matthew Hersch (FAS) will develop experiential learning opportunities for students in history of technology courses including in-class demonstration and simulation.

Expand a pilot “writing oasis” program for graduate students. Nancy Khalil (FAS) will expand “Graduate Writing Oasis,” a successful pilot to provide dedicated time and collaboration in dissertation writing.

Evaluate the teaching and assessing of critical thinking. Margaret Hayes (HMS-BIDMC), Suzanne Cooper (HKS), Richard Schwartzstein (HMS), Amy Sullivan (HMS), and William Wisser (HGSE) will conduct a mixed methods study analyzing the teaching and learning of critical thinking skills at Harvard—the differences in approaches across Schools, and faculty and student perceptions of critical thinking instruction and assessment.

Form a free statistical help service for all Harvard students. Emily Slade (SPH) aims to bridge the gap between statistics courses and student’s ability to implement concepts in their own work with a student-run consulting service.

Increase student pathways in STEM. Katherine Penner (FAS) will implement a large-scale version of a successful pilot “book club” aimed at lower level math students to create an environment to practice and experiment with advanced concepts.

Study the writing process through revision history. Daniel Seaton, Selen Turkay, and Andrew Ang (VPAL Research) will analyze revision patterns in student writing, how those relate to activities within specific passages of a written text, and how revision-history analytics can play a role in supporting writing.

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