The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) awarded seven Spark Grants for fall 2013 (about 10% of applicants):

  • Repository of section plans. Kris-Stella Trump (FAS) will develop and pilot an open database of section plans for Teaching Fellows in the government department;
  • Teaching genomics across Harvard schools. Winston Hide (SPH), William Gelbart (FAS), and Maxwell Heiman (HMS) will establish the “Harvard Genomics Teaching Group,” share pedagogical approaches, a dedicated platform for analysis, and document best practices;
  • Study of collaborative writing. Charles Lang and Suchitra Saxena (GSE) will conduct a feasibility study on the collection and analysis of  behavioral data from students’ writing collaborations;
  • New gateway to STEM. Alyssa Goodman, Edo Berger, Alicia Soderberg, John Johnson, Robert Kirshner, and Dimitar Sasselov (FAS) will install an interactive, touch-screen kiosk running interactive WorldWide Telescope Tours in the Science Center and analyze usage;
  • Faculty scholarly working papers on teaching and learning. Dan Levy (HKS) will incentivize and support the publishing of faculty studies of curricula and host related events;
  • Behavioral economics of cooperative classrooms. Alexander Peysakhovich (FAS) will use classroom simulations to study helpful behavioral economic interventions toward increased learning and cooperation in classrooms;
  • Integrating consequential simulations in coursework. Stephen Blyth (FAS) will integrate a trading simulation with “real” consequences into a statistics course and develop training materials for others.

Spark Grant awards range from $5-$15K and are designed to help “spark” promising teaching and learning projects from idea to reality.