Winners of the 2017-18 ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Prize Announced

September 6, 2018
teaching innovators

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017-18 ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Prize!

ABLConnect is an online database of active learning exercises developed by Harvard instructors and used in Harvard classrooms. The competitive Teaching Innovator Prize recognizes instructors from across Harvard institutions for their use of active learning. This year’s winners are:

Alexandra Schultz, Graduate Student (GSAS): Paper Outline Workshop
Students learn to construct a persuasive argument by brainstorming multiple ways to structure their final research paper using post-its, large pieces of paper, or whatever other materials students like. They organize and re-arrange primary sources in a low-pressure environment to generate multiple logical flows for their papers. Video

Howell Jackson, J.D., M.B.A. (HLS): Case Study for the Regulation of Financial Institutions
Law students prepare and present a case study to their peers, simulating real-world cases young lawyers might face. This provides students an opportunity to get practical exposure to a variety of types of law, while also developing their analysis and presentation skills.

Dr. Nicole Mills, Ph.D. (FAS) and teaching team: Parisian Narratives in Virtual Reality
Students engage in cultural and linguistic immersion through virtual reality (VR) film narratives in a beginner’s French class. The teaching team provides students the opportunity to have a diverse set of perceptual and emotional experiences that would enhance their nuanced understanding of Parisian culture and encourage enthusiasm for language learning.

Dr. Katherine Pukinskis, Ph.D. (FAS): Lord of the Rings – Music Analysis
Students analyze musical themes from "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," first as a partnered homework assignment, then during a class discussion, and finally on their own as they passed by in the film. The activity reinforces critical listening skills, while also demonstrating that music theory is applicable to music outside of the classroom.

Rosi Greenberg, Graduate Student (HKS): Empathetic Bridge Role Play
Students use role-playing during a case study to demonstrate narrative leadership and improvise how they would handle a difficult situation if it arose in the workplace. Through this activity, students have a chance to practice leading a group through a moment of disruption.

For more information about each prize-winning activity and for other great activities, visit us at

We'd also like to announce the opening of the 2018-2019 competition. Faculty and graduate students from all schools are encouraged to submit teaching activities that they are developing and using in their classes. To submit, fill out this online survey or visit us at by May 2019.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at