The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) awarded eight Spark Grants with support of up to 15,000 designed to help “spark” promising teaching and learning projects. Awardees will:
- Develop hybrid activities for the classroom. Jennifer Lerner (HKS) will design in-class and online activities to improve student decision making and increase classroom engagement.
- Engage foreign language students with immersive technology. Nicole Mills (FAS), Rus Gant (FAS), and Chris Dede (HGSE) will produce and study culturally immersive virtual reality experiences for foreign language students.
- Evaluate formative active learning-inspired assessments. Madhvi Venkatesh and Ronald Jason Heustis (HMS) will evaluate whether chalk talks improve short-term and long-term student performance in experimental design.
- Implement a Team-Based Learning (TBL) course. Bernhard Nickel (FAS) will redesign a course with team-based learning principles and assess the benefits and challenges of the approach.
- Launch a Diversity Journal Club. Nia Imara (FAS) will organize discussions dedicated to understanding how diversity—or the lack thereof—in the science community impacts learning, teaching, research, and culture.
- Measure the effects of open-ended extracurricular projects. Madeline Hickman, Elaine Kristant (SEAS), Robert Hart, and Daniel Rosenberg (FAS) will expand “Project Nights” and assess their effects on student learning.
- Provide physical and conceptual space for student projects. Megan Panzano (GSD) and Lisa Haber-Thomson (FAS) will offer a series of interdisciplinary workshops that develop critical thinking through making.
- Synthesize pedagogical experiences in developing online courses. Tiffany Wong, Drew Lichtenstein, and Selen Turkay (CADM) will interview instructors and document best practices for creating MOOCs.