Reflection on Course Learning Goals

Overview: This activity is designed to assess students’ understanding of the course learning goals by engaging the students in an active, individualistic question and answer session. It provides the instructor with valuable insights about his/her students’ learning and if the course learning objectives are being met.

Course: HGSE T139 Investigating Teaching and Learning Through Close-Collaborative Examination of Student and Teacher Work


Sounding China

This was a semester long project. Throughout the semester, graduate students (many of whom had little previous exposure to the course material) studied the history of Chinese music theory, the Jesuit missionaries who transmitted it back to western Europe, and the reception of Chinese culture there in the 18th century. The website commemorating the exhibit and giving more information can be found at

HMS/BWH Case Study

For her sixth section, Kirstin Woody Scott prepared this activity based off of the HMS/BWH case study on Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and tuberculosis. This activity allowed students to discuss and present the knowledge of the case they had reviewed in lecture and tackle policy realities in global health. Students prepared oral arguments to take on the role of different stakeholders and defend their positions when faced with cuts to global health funding.

Open Review Discussion

Students used a platform called Open Review (, developed by the members of the Harvard physics department, which is a PDF annotation tool that is tailored to discuss scientific publications openly. Every week, students read two publications related to research in the Harvard Physics Department and used Open Review to discuss them online and learn about the academic research.

Daily ER18 Immersion

Guanchang Qian made every section and every day an active learning experience for her ER18 students to enhance not only students’ learning experiences, but also the students’ relations with their instructor. She exposed students to ER18 material every day through daily emails and supplementary readings.

Public Opinion Polling Challenge

This activity created was by Benjamin Schneer, a graduate teaching fellow for GOV30, to help students understand methods in public opinion polling. Schneer provided a dilemma for students to resolve using information about public opinion polling found in their textbook or online resources. Students enthusiastically participated in this active learning exercise to incorporate classroom knowledge in a practical setting.

Philosophy Debates

Professor Güven Güzeldere uses debates extensively in several of his courses, including Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence, and Philosophy of Religion. The debates consist of two teams of two or three students each, presenting and defending two opposing positions on a particular philosophical question (e.g., Can we attribute genuine emotions to robots or computational systems on the basis of affect-appropriate behaviors?).