Winners of the 2018-2019 ABLConnect Teaching Innovator Prize Announced

November 6, 2019
ablconnect 2018-19 icon

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018-19 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:

Shai Dromi, Andrew Keefe, and Kwan Woo

Dr. Dromi and his teaching fellows helped students master the art of synthesizing and visualizing a complex array of historical information to shed light on precipitating forces behind humanitarian crises in “Visualizing Humanitarian Crises and Interventions.” See how they leveraged a novel and creative platform to help students build illuminating timelines.

Graham Allison, Derek Reveron, and David Sanger

This trio of trailblazing faculty has brought their diverse experiences and expertise on topics ranging from national security to foreign policy to bear on classroom instruction through an exciting, immersive medium: a realistic simulation, aptly called “Being in the White House Situation Room.” See how they used this activity to make classroom material come to life.

Dana Mirsalis

Dana Mirsalis’s activity “Let's try to stop the Tokugawa shogunate from collapsing!” puts students in the shoes of an advisor to the Tokugawa shogunate in the 19th century to get them to think about how they would respond to pressing issues given the limited information they had at the time. See how this activity brings students to appreciate the motivations for historical decisions through research and role play.

Jennifer Rivers Cole

In her broadly applicable activity “A Before and After Close Paper Reading,” Dr. Cole addresses a concern students so often have when they first enter the world of reading research papers: They don’t know what all the key terms mean. By helping students identify and build up to understanding these terms, Dr. Cole teaches students a strategy that will serve them throughout their time in college and beyond. See how she guides them through the process.

Lucy Ballard

Through her activity “Learning through Case Construction,” Dr. Ballard flips the script on the familiar case study by having students grapple with an ethical issue concerning sex, gender, and sexuality and then construct their own case studies to capture the issue. See how she tailored a familiar activity to help students discuss and debate new ethical questions in a civil and focused way.

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 2019-2020 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 application or visit us at by May 2020.