Open Review Discussion

Students used a platform called Open Review (www.openrev.org), 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.

Costa Rican Specimen Scavenger Hunt

Students embarked on this lab-based activity to help understand the species of Costa Rica. Graduate Student Teaching Fellow Alexis Harrison created this activity for her OEB 167 class to allow students to see and interact with preserved specimens from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, so they can further understand the types of animals they will see on their spring break trip to Costa Rica.

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.

Paper Presentations and Discussions

In OEB 119: Deep Sea Biology, groups of students have to present and lead discussions on scientific papers throughout the semester. Before class each week, all students have to read an assigned scientific paper and post a summary paragraph and two questions to an online forum. A group of students has to prepare a short presentation about one part of the paper, so that each paper is presented by a different group of three to four students each week. 

Presenting Primary Papers

In OEB 191: Physiological and Biochemical Adaptation, students present one or two papers in primary literature to the class and lead the discussion. After retrieving the papers from online sources or the library and reading them, the presenters prepare a PowerPoint show to explain and summarize the findings.

Visual Essays and Makeover Parodies

Students in Caroline Light's general education course, Sex and the Citizen, create five-minute visual essays in response to Brenda Weber's, Makeover Nation. In order to do this assignment, students must complete the assigned reading and gain familiarity with iMovie, Prezi, or PowerPoint. These visual essays or makeover parodies are meant to address issues of identity and citizenship central to the course.

Globalization Character Simulation

In Caroline Light's course, WGS1238: Consuming Passions, students participate in a simulation where each student acts out the persona of either an invented/fictional character or a real public figure. They then debate a question regarding globalization in order to develop critical thinking and contextual skills around the course's topic on agency in the global marketplace.