Bok Publications

Hit the Ground Running: A Handbook for New Teaching Fellows

Our handbook is a great place to start for all of the fundamentals about teaching, whether you have questions about students’ expectations of their Teaching Fellows, how to create an inclusive classroom or how to structure a lesson plan or lead a discussion or lab section. Read it online, or stop by the Bok Center to pick up a hard copy. Copies are distributed at the Fall Teaching Conference and Winter Teaching Week.

Hit the Ground Running

A Glossary of Harvard's Teaching-Related Terms

All universities have their distinctive cultures and bureaucracies related to teaching—their own, sometimes quirky, procedures for everything from allocating teaching assistants to determining the start and end time of class periods. Harvard may be even more unique than other universities, however, in the number and diversity of procedures and acronyms which have sedimented into its “teaching glossary” over the four centuries of its existence. This document is an attempt, necessarily incomplete, to render legible some of these insider terms and, when possible, to explain some of the assumptions behind them.

If you surface an example of "Harvard-ese" not included in this document, please email with a suggestion that we include it!

Harvard Glossary

David Gooblar, "Taking Pedagogy Seriously"

In May 2022 The Bok Center hosted David Gooblar, author of The Missing Course: Everything They Never Taught You About College Teaching (Harvard, 2019), for an interactive lecture on “Taking Pedagogy Seriously.” Visit this page to view a series of seven videos recorded at the event.


Guidance on Non-Traditional Forms of Assessment

Composed originally as the request of the Program in General Education, the Bok Center's Guidance on Non-Traditional Forms of Assessment offers comprehensive advice about designing, implementing, and grading innovative kinds of activities and assignments (like podcasts, gallery exhibitions, multimedia narratives, and other digital tools) that may be less commonly found in college classrooms. You may wish to engage with our full-length advice, our abbreviated FAQ, and/or our gallery of examples drawn from the Gen Ed curriculum.

Book Chapter on Student-Centered Learning

Partners in Creating Student-Centered Learning: Case Study of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University,” written by Tamara Brenner, Adam Beaver, Marlon Kuzmick, Pamela Pollock, and Robert Lue, examines the challenges that instructors may encounter when attempting to infuse their teaching with a student-centered approach, and describe strategies that the Bok Center uses to help faculty and graduate student instructors overcome these challenges.  This chapter is included in the The Routledge International Handbook of Student-Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.


Two students are looking at papers they are holding, while in mid-conversation. They are sitting in a classroom.

Higher Education Teaching Certificate

The Bok Center offers an online course in Higher Ed Pedagogy through HarvardX's partnership with GetSmarter. Designed by the Bok Center staff for university instructors of various career stages, the course is administered by GetSmarter, and prospective or current students with questions about enrollment, policies, etc. should contact GetSmarter directly. This course is not credit-bearing.