'Design thinking' refers to the collection of practices and mindsets that enables creative, collaborative problem-solving across domains. The term was popularized within design consultancy and has since demonstrated value across a variety of organizations and contexts, including the classroom. Design thinking differs from previous problem-solving approaches in its prioritization of the user experience and its reliance on continuous feedback and iteration. Read more about Exploring Design Thinking in the Classroom
Committing to the use of student feedback is one thing; creating effective methods for doing so is another. To help you in this work, this article highlights the diverse and impactful practices of three HGSE instructors on gathering student feedback. We asked each of these instructors to give us a sense of what the technique is, why they use it, and how they do so.
The HGSE Dean’s Office launched the Act for Equity project in early 2016 as part of the School’s commitment to the Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity (FPD) community conversation. The inspiration behind the project was to leverage the power of theater-based learning to broaden and deepen the ways in which we as a community interact around critical topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion. According to Margie Zohn, the troupe’s director (Ed.M. AIE ‘12 and faculty member in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences): “Theater allows us to inhabit stories with not just our minds but also our hearts, and to be affected in deep and nuanced ways.” Act for Equity events combine prepared theatrical vignettes with improvisation driven by audience participation and facilitated discussions. Read more about Act for Equity at HGSE: Theater for Social Change
The United States is in the midst of racial turmoil—and the impact of that context affects students and faculty members in higher education just as it does all teachers and learners in the nation’s schools. Ongoing police killings of unarmed Black adults and children have garnered significant national attention and community protest. Simultaneously, discourse in our election process is laced with racial tension. Whether or not we are prepared for it, these events are likely to be on students’ minds. This is especially true immediately after these tragedies occur. Even for students who are not members of targeted groups, acts of racial violence can produce high levels of stress, anxiety and fear or vicarious trauma (Honos-Webb, Sunwolf, Hart & Scalise, 2006) and interfere with a person’s ability to engage in class (Liverant, Hoffman & Litz, 2004). Read more about Teaching in Times of National Racial Trauma: What Can Faculty Do?
Over the past 12 months, the TLL has been exploring the potential benefits of ePortfolios within various programs at HGSE. For our purposes, we have defined an ePortfolio as a digital repository for the collection, organization, and sharing of student artifacts to facilitate personal reflection, assessment of learning outcomes, multimodal and peer learning, and academic and career development. We have directly engaged faculty and staff in the CAEL, HTF, and Data Wise programs in technology pilots that have enabled us to surface multiple teaching and learning needs and technical requirements. These pilots have also allowed us to develop best practices, identify and solve technical and pedagogical challenges, and begin measuring impacts on learner outcomes. Read more about Exploring ePortfolios at HGSE
Back in September, as new students in the HGSE master’s programs, we found ourselves face-to-face with a huge array of courses and activities to consider. Should we spend most of our time at the Ed. School or doing off-campus internships? How many courses could we take, really? Four? Five? Six? In the midst of all that wonderful chaos, the T127 Teaching and Learning Lab Practicum course stood out for me. I was looking to get hands-on experience with media and learning design in higher education; the class looked like a great way to step into that world. So I enrolled in a semester of experiential learning with the TLL — and I enjoyed it so much I decided to stay there through the spring semester! Read more about T-127 Student Experience
In a recently published article Analise Shrout, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Davidson College, describes her experiment in letting students design and run a new course called Death in the Digital Age. The idea for the course, which was interdisciplinary in nature, was prompted by her own research questions about what it means to die in the Internet Age given that so much of what is created has a digital footprint living beyond one’s physical existence. To achieve her learning outcomes Shrout chose a pedagogical design that gave students a more equal role in shaping the course content, collaboratively defining best practices for digital scholarship, and deciding on the metrics for success through a co-created personalized rubric. Read more about T-127 Practicum: From Theory to Action
An ongoing discussion at the Teaching and Learning Lab revolves around education innovation - what does it look like and how does it manifest? This past March I embarked on a week long trip with a group of 30 Harvard graduate students visiting 25 schools, education non-profits, think-tanks and companies. For many, it was the first time soaking in the California sun and buzzing through the hub of tech-giants. For me, I was home again with a fresh set of eyes. The trek gave me a peek into what types of education innovation were happening in the area. Read more about A Glimpse of Innovations in Education: The Silicon Valley Edition
One of the questions we ask prospective learning designers is, “If you get this job, how will you describe your new role to your friends and family?” The way a candidate answers this question can reveal much about their understanding of and approach to the work of learning design.
What does a learning designer do, exactly? What makes this role distinct from that of an instructor, program developer, learning technologist, or media producer? How does a person become a dedicated learning designer .and why might they want to do so? In this series of posts, I will explore these questions with the aim of helping both prospective designers and those who collaborate with designers to understand the work, approach, and skills of those in this role. Specifically, I will look at the most common roles and responsibilities of learning designers (also known as instructional designers), the attributes and competencies of effective learning designers, the art and science of learning design as a collaborative process, and developmental paths toward becoming a learning designer. Read more about The Making of a Learning Designer: Part 1