In March 2020, all teaching and learning at Harvard moved online, creating unique and unexpected challenges along with significant struggles and stress. Now that we have restarted in-person teaching and learning across the university, are there aspects of remote teaching—things that not only shifted classroom teaching but also built on university-wide investments in the previous decade—that we might preserve or expand? What investments are appropriate going forward, and where should we plant deeper roots? How can we maintain the culture of innovation that characterized teaching and learning during that period? Ultimately, how can we make learning more engaging, impactful, and equitable for our students everywhere?
The Harvard Future of Teaching and Learning (FTL) task force was convened to examine these questions. In this report we draw together many lessons and solutions adopted during the height of the pandemic. We begin by identifying the infrastructure and expertise that made it possible for Harvard to swiftly and effectively pivot to online instruction. We then describe key innovations and the considerations of student needs that helped teaching and learning continue, and in some cases flourish, across schools and divisions. We conclude with concrete recommendations and a strategic roadmap for Harvard’s teaching and learning future and outline key enablers of that vision.
Reimagining the Classroom, Enriching Content, and Expanding the Harvard Community
For centuries Harvard has been deeply committed to excellence and to the opportunities it creates. We now redouble that commitment, and with it the determination—the responsibility—to enrich education on our campus and throughout the world. Anchored in our campus experience, strengthened by our talents and resources, and bolstered by our best innovations, we aspire in this pivotal moment to create new transformative opportunities for teaching and learning at Harvard and beyond.