Each month we will profile a member of the Bok staff in order for our friends and colleagues to learn more about us, the full range of work that we do, how we approach our work, and what is happening in the world of teaching and learning from different perspectives.
Jordan Koffman, Assistant Director of the Learning Lab
Q: How did you decide that you were interested in working at a teaching and learning center?
A: In some ways, I suppose I’ve been thinking critically about teaching and learning for most of my life. Both of my parents are professors, so while I was growing up many dinner table conversations involved brainstorming syllabus design, discussing potential readings, or planning class activities and assignments. Fast forward 20 or so years, and I’m teaching for the Honolulu Museum of Art and managing a Cognitive Psychology Lab at the University of Hawai’i. It was through this work at the intersection of arts instruction and cognitive science that I found myself applying to a Master’s in Education here at Harvard. While pursuing that degree, I was advised to seek out the Learning Lab to help me document a final project for T550, a course on learning design taught by Karen Brennan. The rest, as they say, is history.
Q: What do you like best about working at the Bok Center?
A: Overseeing the Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellow (LLUF) Program and working with Harvard undergraduates will always be the most fulfilling and valuable part of my work. It's amazing to work and collaborate with LLUFs, and to harness their truly generative energy, ideas, and intuitions about teaching and learning at Harvard. However, this week the students are away for Spring Break, so I have been excited to devote more time to designing graphics and building more advanced assets for the upcoming Harvard Horizons symposium. I have also been enjoying spending more time collaborating with the LL team to level up our tools and workflows that will ultimately serve our graduate student and faculty partners and enhance our workshops and assignment prototypes for the undergraduate courses we support.
Q: What do you love to do when you’re not doing teaching and learning work?
A: Every Sunday morning, I wake up early to volunteer at Lovelane horse barn in Lincoln. The barn houses twelve horses and offers therapeutic riding lessons to children with special needs. I am trained to lead and assist in lessons, but I prefer to spend my time caring for the horses. Taking time each week to be outside, work with animals, and do manual labor offers a great balance to my work week in the high tech creative studio that is the LL.