PLEASE NOTE: This course is offered through GetSmarter, which provides cohort-based learning, personal coaching services, and access to a premier certificate from HarvardX

The Harvard Bok Teaching Certificate online short course aims to give you the opportunity to engage deeply with effective teaching methods and reflect on your practices, portfolio and teaching journey in the higher education (HE) field. Inspired by the in-person seminar program currently offered by Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, you now have the opportunity to explore the focus areas of Pedagogy, Course and Assessment Design, Professional Communication, Language and Culture of the Classroom, and Reflections on Teaching - entirely online, from anywhere in the world.

You’ll study various approaches to pedagogy, based on the most relevant research on how students learn in the HE context, that will broaden your range of teaching skills, and help you to create inclusive teaching strategies for your unique context. At the end of the course you’ll also produce a written statement encapsulating your teaching philosophy as well as a teaching portfolio which details your experience and critical reflections on teaching and learning. 

This course is relevant to existing educators in higher education, from all disciplines, who want to expand their teaching skills and gain recognition for their commitment to continuous development. The Bok Teaching Certificate is also invaluable for aspiring educators who are starting a new career. There are no official entrance requirements for this certificate, but ideally you should have disciplinary knowledge of material and content you can teach, or a year or more of work experience in teaching or training. 

What you'll accomplish:

  • Learn to create a positive learning environment, tailored to your specific teaching context through your ability to execute effective rapport-building techniques

  • Complete an effective lesson plan and get practice as well as feedback on delivering a unit of instruction in your chosen discipline

  • Address identified learning objectives by deploying comprehensive formative and summative assessment techniques

  • Design or refine a syllabus featuring assignments that align with learning goals authentic to your chosen discipline

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of your role as a practitioner and the importance of participating in a community of practice

  • Develop and refine a teaching philosophy and teaching portfolio which speaks to your personality, discipline, and context 

Meet The Faculty

Robert A. Lue

Robert A. Lue

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University

Robert A. Lue is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Director of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University, where he is responsible for fostering innovative teaching in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and elevating its profile on campus. Rob earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard and has taught undergraduate courses since 1988, garnering recognition as one of Harvard’s foremost leaders in undergraduate education.

Rob has a longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and research. From 2004 to 2015, he served as the director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard, where he led a complete redesign of the introductory curriculum that created some of the largest and most popular science courses on campus. In 2012, Rob’s extensive work on using technology to enhance learning took a new direction when he became the faculty director of HarvardX. At HarvardX, Harvard’s university-wide initiative that includes the edX partnership in online education with MIT, Rob helps to shape the university’s engagement in online learning in a way that reinforces its commitment to teaching excellence and works to expand its reach and impact globally. In addition, as the faculty director of the Harvard Ed Portal, Rob oversees the integration of undergraduate education with community outreach on Harvard’s Allston campus.

Adam Beaver

Adam Beaver

Associate Director for Teaching and Learning, The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University

As Associate Director for Teaching and Learning, Adam Beaver works primarily with faculty and graduate students in the humanities, social sciences, and Gen Ed. Trained as a Renaissance historian, Adam is especially attuned to what we can learn from the deep history of universities, including the different kinds of intellectual practices and communities which have inhabited them. Rather than see recent trends in higher education, from the digital revolution to the shift towards active learning techniques, as moments of rupture which render established practices (like lectures) obsolete, Adam is interested in thinking with teachers about the best way to blend different kinds of techniques and exercises into a bespoke style that works for each individual instructor and course.

Before coming to the Bok Center, Adam was an assistant professor of History at Princeton. He received his AB, AM, and PhD from Harvard, as well as his MSt from the University of Oxford. 

Pamela Pollock

Pamela Pollock

Associate Director for Professional and Scholarly Development, The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University

As Associate Director for Professional and Scholarly Development, Pamela Pollock provides leadership for many of the Bok Center’s professional and scholarly development offerings for graduate students, including the Bok Seminars, the Bok Center Teaching Certificate, the Professional Communication Program for International Teachers and Scholars and the Harvard Horizons mentoring program. She has over a decade of experience in graduate student program development and is passionate about scholarly communication, teaching and learning. Pamela holds a PhD in Learning, Teaching and Social Policy from Cornell University, a MA in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Spanish from Bryn Mawr College. 

David Levari

David Levari

Departmental Teaching Fellow in Psychology, Harvard University

Departmental Teaching Fellow in Psychology at Harvard University, and PhD student. 

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