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HGSE Projects Awarded HILT Grants

The Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) announced the recipients of the Hauser Fund grants last week. The HGSE community is represented in 25 percent of the selected projects -- including 12 proposals submitted by HGSE faculty and students – which aim to catalyze, evaluate, and expand experimental approaches to teaching and improve student learning in higher education.

“Twenty-five percent of the HILT grants were awarded to teams that consisted of members of the HGSE community — faculty, students, and staff. This is hardly surprising given our school’s focus on teaching and learning,” said Dean Kathleen McCartney. “Like everyone else, I look forward to working with colleagues across the university to bring good ideas to scale.”

HILT is a universitywide presidential initiative launched through a $40 million gift from Rita E. and Gustave M. Hauser. During this inaugural round of grants, a total of 47 proposals from throughout the community received nearly $2 million. The goal of the grant is to promote effective teaching and learning by funding pedagogical activities that are innovative, evidence-based, and extendable across varied academic settings.

“The level of interest by the Ed School’s faculty, students, and staff for the opportunity to apply for a Hauser Grant has been remarkable,” said Matt Miller, assistant dean for academic affairs and coordinator of HGSE’s schoolwide HILT efforts. “HILT has generated grassroots enthusiasm for designing and evaluating innovative learning experiences and has really been a catalyst in our community for even greater attention to what we call often ‘the future of learning.’  HILT and the Hauser Grants have also expanded collaborative networks, as Ed School grant applicants have made powerful new connections to likeminded colleagues at other Harvard schools.”

HILT received more than 250 letters of intent from the Harvard community last November for funding in 2012–13. A nine-member, cross-school faculty selection committee evaluated all letters of intent, solicited a smaller set of finalist full proposals, and provided award recommendations to the president and provost.

Summaries of the HGSE projects awarded are listed below:

  • Ed.L.D. candidates Emma Heeschen, Katherine Casey, and Morgan Camu, “Badging Education: Individualization, Collaboration and Innovation at the Leading Edge.” Innovating the use of “badging” in higher education to help individualize learning and capitalize on professors’ depth of expertise.
  • Senior Lecturer Joe Blatt, “Focus on Teaching: A Collaborative Venture to Develop Pedagogic Insights, Ambitions, and Techniques.” Using video documentation of classroom work, interviews, and lesson plans as the basis for analyzing and sharing effective teaching strategies.
  • Ed.D. candidate Vanessa Rodriguez and Professor Kurt Fisher, “Understanding the 'Teaching Brain.’” Using a series of model-building exercises, structured interviews, and classroom observations to unlock the mysteries of the “teaching brain” and apply the resulting insights.
  • Professor Robert Kegan, “The Lecture in 21st Century Learning: Reconstructing and Revaluing Our Oldest Teaching Asset.” Recreating the lecture to combine the benefits of digitally delivered course material with opportunities for teachers and students to coconstruct and extend their understanding.
  • Associate Professor Nonie Lesaux, “Cultivating Communities of Practice in Graduate Student Teaching.” Creating a new model of ongoing, peer-facilitated, and case-based professional development for doctoral students serving as teaching fellows.
  • Associate Professor Meira Levinson and  doctoral candidate Sherry Deckman, Ed.M.’07, “Online Analytic Reading and Writing Tutorial Dissemination and Evaluation.” Embedding high-quality formative and summative assessments within an award-winning online analytic reading and writing tutorial.
  • Senior Lecturer Katherine Merseth, M.A.T.’69, Ed.D.’82, “Learning Bundles: A Tool to Enhance Student Learning in Higher Education.” Piloting a classroom-based tool called “Bundles” to enable the representation of multiple viewpoints of faculty from across the university about challenging and complicated topics.
  • Project Zero Principal Investigator Veronica Boix Mansilla, Ed.M.’92, Ed.D.’01, Professor Howard Gardner, and Professor David Perkins, “The Future of Learning: Preparing Professionals in Education for a Changing World.” Designing and documenting a novel learning environment that capitalizes on digital/social media learning principles to prepare leaders in education for their changing role in the 21st century.
  • Professor Chris Dede, Suzanne Preston Blier (FAS), Robert Bates (FAS), Joseph Koerner (FAS), Ingrid Monson (FAS), Nathan Nunn (FAS), Kelly O'Neill (FAS), Jason Ur (FAS), Bonnie Burns (FAS), Jacob Olupona (FAS/HDS), Hashim Sarkis (GSD), Lucie White (HLS), Jennifer Leaning, (HMS), and Felton Earls (HMS), “Enhancing Learning through Hands-on Exploration in a Dynamic Cross-disciplinary Geospatial Web Platform.”  Developing WorldMap’s functionalities (e.g., add discussion features) using existing staff at the Center of Geographic Analysis.
  • Professor Richard Light, Suzanne J. Cooper (HKS), John D. Donahue (HKS), “Making Classroom Minutes Count.” Using active learning strategies, peer instruction, and “flipped classrooms” to transform the core curriculum of their school’s flagship degree program.
  • Lecturer Elizabeth City, Ed.M.’04, Ed.D.’07, John E. McDonough (SPH), and Loren Gary (HKS), “Leadership and Authority in Groups: An Innovative and Experiential Leadership Development Collaboration.” Designing multidisciplinary workshops that use experiential learning to teach participants about group dynamics and leadership.
  • Ed.M. student Margie Zohn and Elise Morrison (FAS), “Developing an Assessment Model for Speaking-based Assignments Across the Curriculum.” Developing methods to aid faculty and instructors in developing and assessing speaking-based assignments in courses across the college curriculum.

Stay tuned to the HGSE website to learn more details about specific projects in the coming months.