Graduate students and post-docs from many disciplines serve as Teaching Fellows (TFs) and Teaching Assistants (TAs) for undergraduate global health courses at Harvard College. For simplicity, we will use the term “TFs.” Successful TFs of global health courses have come from a wide range of graduate programs. Since 2012, the Harvard Global Health Institute has collaborated closely with the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning on a number of initiatives to support TFs in building their own knowledge and teaching skills while contributing to undergraduate learning. Read more on the fall 2013 workshop for global health TFs.
We highly recommend that all first-time global health TFs take advantage of the training opportunities outlined below. Several of these training experiences are also highly valuable to more seasoned TFs, and some offer a means of sharing their wisdom with newer TFs.
Before a semester during which you teach:
- Read Teaching Essentials for Global Health Teaching Fellows and refer to this guide as needed during your teaching.
- Attend the Bok Center Fall or Winter Teaching Conference, typically held the week before the semester begins. The conferences are open to anyone who teaches undergraduates at Harvard and feature both fundamentals for new TFs as well as enrichment sessions for veteran instructors. Starting in January 2014, HGHI will be piloting a new session during the conference exclusively for global health TFs as an alternative to the global health teaching fellow workshops we have held in the past. Please consult the Bok Center Teaching Conference schedule for additional information.
- If you’re a Head TF, attend the Head TF training run by the Program in General Education (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-495-2563) and join the Head TF Network. The Head TF training is open to both Head TFs for Gen Ed and non-Gen Ed courses.
Early in the semester:
- Practice teaching during a microteaching session. This may also be done before the semester begins and works well with multiple TFs from the same course. As an added bonus, you can keep the recording of your teaching for your teaching portfolio.
- Collect early feedback from your students and discuss with a Bok Center consultant what’s working, what’s not working, and strategies for further developing your teaching skills.
- Request to have your section recorded by filling out the following form. List the Global Health Departmental Teaching Fellow as your teaching consultant. Watching your teaching on video may feel a little strange, but it's a great learning experience. If possible, it’s helpful to pair this with your review of mid-semester student feedback.
Later in the semester:
- Hold a writing assignment-grading workshop led by Dr. Jim Herron of the Harvard Writing Project to calibrate grading expectations within your TF team for any major writing assignment in your course.
- Teaching Essentials for Global Health Teaching Fellows. Recognizing the rich diversity of disciplines and stages of training represented by global health TFs, we have gathered a collection of information and resources that addresses knowledge and skills that global health TFs may be asked to draw upon during the course of their teaching.
- HGHI Teaching Resources. This site features a selection of general resources that may be useful to teachers (and students) preparing for health-related courses, including teaching slides, reading suggestions, global health organizations, and other data sources.
- HGHI Informal Conversation Series. This series offers faculty and students the opportunity to engage in dialogue on cutting-edge cross-disciplinary issues, exploring new ideas, challenges, and opportunities that impact global health. In addition to welcoming interested teachers to attend these events, HGHI has piloted producing “Conversation Starters” which can be adapted for use in classroom settings.
- Global Health Policy Brief Writing Guide. This guide was prepared by HGHI Director, Professor Sue J. Goldie, and colleagues for the undergraduate course, “Societies of the World 24: Complexities of Evidence Based Policy,” in collaboration with the Harvard College Writing Program.
These resources are organized from most generally useful and accessible to most specialized. Also, the intended audience has been indicated as needed for resources primarily intended for a particular community.
Online Tools Relevant to Global Health Teaching Pedagogy
- Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning (Intended Audience: Instructors who work with Harvard undergraduates.) The Derek Bok Center on Teaching and Learning provides a range of general resources for TFs including participatory programs and online materials such as literature, videos, and tip-sheets.
- The Torch or the Firehose: A Guide to Section Teaching A delightful collection of advice for new college teachers at Harvard.
- ABLConnect A teaching resource database for active learning strategies from innovative teachers.
- Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Resources for Teaching Fellows. A list of practical information on teaching appointments and Harvard resources for TFs.
- Writing for the General Education Curriculum: A Practical Guide for Teaching Fellows. This general writing guide is provided by the Harvard College Program on General Education.
- Grant Proposal and Oral Presentation Guide Science of Living Systems 19: Nutrition and Global Health. This guide was prepared for the undergraduate course, “Science of Living Systems 19: Nutrition and Global Health” and features helpful advice for students preparing grant proposals and oral presentations.
- HSPH eLearning Tools. (Intended Audience: Instructors across Harvard University. Harvard-PIN is required.) While meant primarily as a repository for faculty participating in distance learning, the eLearning Portal @HSPH contains information on a variety of technological approaches and tools that can be useful for teaching students including Harvard Wiki , Qualtrics Surveys, Using Social Media to Enhance Learning, and Distance Learning Tools.
Workshops & Courses to Improve Teaching Skills
- Derek Bok Center Teaching Conferences and Teaching Certificate Courses (Intended Audience: Teaching staff working with Harvard undergraduates). Those interested can also complete the full Teaching Certificate Program.
- Harvard Medical School Nanocourses (Intended Audience: Open to the public unless taken for credit). This is a novel mini-course format, traditionally consisting of one three-hour session that is open to the public and a second three-hour session soon thereafter for graduate students registered to earn credit through the Division of Medical Sciences. Public Health 101 is an example of a recent nanocourse of potential interest to global health teachers.
- Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) Case-Based Teaching in Public Health (Intended Audience: Instructors across Harvard University. Harvard PIN is required.) In the fall of 2011, Dr. Nancy Kane, Professor of Management at HSPH, taught a workshop on Teaching with the Case-based Method. These three videos (Preparing to Teach a Case, The Case Discussion, and Workshop Wrap-Up) integrate footage from that workshop with participant interviews to demonstrate and explain case-based teaching. For information about upcoming case-based teaching workshops open to graduate students, post-docs, and faculty, please contact Nancy Perna (email@example.com) of the Office for Education at the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Harvard Medical School Curriculum Fellows Program Series on Education (Intended Audience: Instructors across Harvard University). Education Lunch Series and Seminars in Education sessions allow participants to explore a variety of topics related to teaching improvement, curriculum development, and mentorship within the sciences.
- Division of Medical Sciences Pedagogy Courses (Intended Audience: Harvard graduate students.) The Division of Medical Sciences offers recurrent courses related to teaching theory and teaching in the sciences. Those interested can also complete the full Science Education and Lecture (SEAL) Certificate.
- HSPH Public Health Writing Courses (Intended Audience: HSPH graduate students and teaching assistants. Application is required.) Non-credit writing courses can help teachers improve their own writing so that it is clearer, more concise, and more coherent in its evidence-based critical arguments.
- Harvard Medical School Academy (Intended Audience: HMS-affiliated instructors. Videos of selected events are available to the public.) The works to advance the education of physicians and scientists throughout the HMS community by offering programming to improve teaching skills, supporting innovative approaches to learning and assessment, and supporting educational research and scholarship in medical and graduate education.
Curriculum Development Opportunities Relevant to Global Health
- Education Outreach and Volunteer Opportunities. This list includes community outreach and volunteer opportunities in line with the Education Path of the Division of Medical Sciences.
- Graduate Seminars in General Education. (Intended Audience: Harvard graduate students.) These seminars for graduate students will be committed to the discussion, development, and design of undergraduate courses that will be appropriate for the new Program in General Education.
- Harvard Medical School Curriculum Fellows Program. (Intended Audience: PhD-level scientists interesting in careers focused on teaching. Application required.) The Curriculum Fellows Program serves as an “educational laboratory” for researching and improving the learning experience—including curricular redesign and course improvement—for students in the Harvard Medical School community.
- Presidential Instructional Technology Fellows. (Intended Audience: Harvard students.) This program offers competitive grants for Harvard students to develop digital course materials with immediate educational benefits in collaboration with faculty.
- Harvard Initiative for Teaching and Learning (HILT) Fellows. (Intended Audience: PhD-level researchers. Application required.) HILT Research Fellows conduct original research, synthesize and apply relevant extant research, and develop and implement assessments aligned with Harvard's core teaching and learning mission.
If you are interested in being a TF for a particular global health course, we recommend that you contact the course leadership directly. If you would like to be considered for TF positions for courses as they arise, please sign up for the Global Health Student Registry, indicating your interest by early May for fall term courses or early October for spring term courses. Because Harvard undergraduates do not finalize their course enrollment until courses have started, unexpected opportunities may arise in mid-September (for fall term courses) or early February (for spring term courses).
- Sign up for the Global Health Student Registry to find out about teaching positions as they become available and also find out about enrichment events during the semester relevant to global health TFs including workshops, lectures, and social events.
- Check the list of undergraduate Gen Ed courses in global health.
- Explore other global health courses across Harvard College.