2019-20 Bok Annual Report

2019-20 Bok Annual Report

January 5, 2021

We are pleased to share our 2019-20 annual report, which showcases highlights from the year, including how we helped facilitate the transition to remote teaching, examples of courses we supported, and stories of students who have taken part in our programming. Especially given the challenges of the past year, we are proud of the strength of our community, and that we worked with more faculty and graduate students than ever before.

View our annual report.

2020 Dec 10

Hope and Resilience in a Time of Loss: A Conversation with Prof. Kathleen Coleman

4:00pm to 5:30pm



Many of us look forward to the holiday season as a time for joy, togetherness, and hope for new beginnings. This year, however, it may be harder to summon a festive spirit, as we are all living with some of the symptoms of loss—mourning the canceled celebrations with friends and family, and looking back on a pandemic year marked by extraordinary economic, social, and political stress. Now more than ever we can learn from the many artists and authors who have chronicled their own experiences of loss, and of the insights and wisdom that sustained them through trying times. In lieu of our...

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Robert Lue

Robert Lue, 1964-2020

November 13, 2020

We are heartbroken to share that our beloved faculty director, Robert Lue, passed away on Wednesday, November 11. Rob was appointed as the inaugural Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning in 2013. He had a vision for a teaching and learning center that would attract and energize faculty, graduate students and undergraduates; that would spark excitement and creativity about what could happen in the classroom; and that would build an intergenerational community around teaching. During the seven years of his tenure, Rob transformed the Bok...

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The cover image for the Voyager Golden Record resource created by the Bok Learning Lab.

Explore the Golden Record!

October 28, 2020

"In 1977 humanity sent a mixtape into outer space. The two spacecraft of NASA’s Voyager mission include a Golden Record, featuring greetings in 55 earth languages, 116 images of the planet and its inhabitants, plus examples of music from a range of cultures across the world: from Azerbaijani bagpipes to Zaire pygmy songs, from English Renaissance dances to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and from Louis Armstrong to Chuck Berry. The samplings of earthbound auditory culture are on their way into the unknown.”

So begins the course description for Alex Rehding’s...

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 Championing Equity and Inclusion at the HILT Conference

Championing Equity and Inclusion at the HILT Conference

October 23, 2020

Bok Center staff played an active role in last Friday’s annual Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching (HILT) conference on Championing Equitable Instruction and Inclusive Classrooms, a topic at the core of our work with instructors at all stages. In addition to our many staff who attended the conference as participants, two Bok staff members led breakout sessions. Pamela Pollock, Director of Professional Development, co-facilitated a breakout session on...

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Bok Helps “School Go Remote”

Bok Helps “School Go Remote”

October 21, 2020

This summer was a busy time at the Bok Center. In the November-December issue of Harvard Magazine, the Bok Center’s Director of Pedagogy Adam Beaver describes some of the ways in which the Bok Center worked with the Office of Undergraduate Education to help faculty prepare to teach remotely this fall. One of the unique challenges facing fall term faculty—one that they did not face in the spring, when they pivoted online halfway through the semester—was the absence of in person meetings where faculty and students  could build rapport and community that could be sustained...

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Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

Reimagining the Fall Teaching Conference

September 21, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic, many global challenges, and the prospect of a fully remote fall semester, the Bok Center spent the summer grappling with a multitude of questions: How should we prepare graduate student TFs to teach remotely? How could we reimagine our flagship event, the Fall Teaching Conference, usually a bustling two-day conference held in Sever Hall the week before classes start? How could we meet the needs of both new and experienced TFs facing an unprecedented semester?

Like instructors everywhere, we couldn’t take anything for granted. We...

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image of Sever Hall Harvard

TF? The ‘Berg? PAF? QRD? OEB? OMG! A Glossary of Harvard Terms

August 25, 2020

As we prepare to launch a new academic year, a lot has changed at Harvard—including the terms in which we speak about teaching. Now, in addition to asking how many pages of reading a professor assigns, we’re comparing notes on how they balance the synchronous and asynchronous components of their course, as if we’ve been forming our personal opinions about asynchronous learning for decades rather than mere months. Yet there’s an awful lot about teaching and learning at Harvard that can’t, or won’t, be renamed at the speed of Zoom. So much of what we do in...

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zoom call with Bok staff wearing matching knitted scarves

Walking the Walk: The Bok Center's Efforts to Sustain Community in a Remote Work Environment

May 15, 2020

During the initial, headlong rush toward online teaching in March, nearly every conversation we had with the faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates with whom we work focused on the twin challenges of maintaining continuity and community. Whether we were facilitating faculty workshops, organizing graduate student Zoom trainings, or compiling and writing materials for our new Teaching Remotely website, this focus on continuity and community was at the core of what our partners wanted and what we wanted to help...

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2020 Apr 14

Online Writing Assignments with Scalar

2:00pm to 3:30pm


Introducing multimedia assignments into a class for the first time can seem intimidating. In this workshop, we will help you remediate an existing assignment in Scalar, a free, open source authoring and publishing platform designed to make it easy for authors and instructors to create born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required.

In this workshop, we will help you:...

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2020 Mar 26

Online Teaching "Happy Hour"

4:00pm to 5:00pm

Join your fellow instructors and members of the Bok Center staff at a virtual happy hour where you can debrief your first week in an online classroom. Share your stories of successes, and also the epiphanies, challenges, and unresolved puzzles you've encountered. Don't miss the opportunty to connect with your peers and enjoy the support of a community that is learning with you.

Ed Portal Mentors

Harvard Ed Portal Mentoring Program: "The lessons of teaching"

December 20, 2019

Undergraduate mentors from the Harvard Ed Portal Mentoring Program were featured recently in the Harvard Gazette. Through the program, Harvard undergraduates provide one-on-one and small group after-school mentoring to students from Allston-Brighton. Susan Johnson, our Assistant Director for Socially Engaged Learning, leads the program, providing training, guidance, and mentorship to...

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2019 Aug 28

Bok Center Fall Open House

4:00pm to 6:00pm


50 Church Street, room 308, Cambridge, MA 02138

Interested in meeting other faculty and graduate student instructors? Looking for new ideas to try in your classroom? We’re here to answer your questions, make connections, and inspire you! Join us for an open house at the Bok Center on the third floor of 50 Church Street on Wednesday, August 28, at 4pm. You’ll learn more about teaching resources and ways to engage with us during the year, and see how faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at Harvard have worked with the Bok Center.


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