Meet Your Classmates: Harvard Bok Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education

5 minutes   |  CAREER ADVICE, EDUCATION

The Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course from Harvard University’s Bok Center, in association with HarvardX, is an 8-week online short course designed to help educators reflect on their existing teaching practices while engaging deeply with effective pedagogical methods in higher education.

Here’s what you can expect to cover on this education course:

  • The construction and communication of knowledge – identify how students construct knowledge and transition through levels of expertise
  • How learning works – explore key theories around communication, comprehension, metacognition, and memory retention to better understand how students learn
  • Creating an inclusive learning environment – discover rapport-building techniques to establish a supportive, inclusive learning environment
  • Lesson planning and delivery – explore the backward design framework for curriculum planning, and how non-traditional teaching strategies can be used to improve student engagement
  • Engaging students – learn how to incorporate active learning methods to improve student engagement
  • Course and assignment design – discover the principles and tools required for effective, relevant, and comprehensive curriculum and syllabus design
  • Using feedback to improve your teaching – demonstrate an understanding of the different types of feedback and their value to your teaching practice
  • Teaching portfolio preparation – assemble a comprehensive teaching portfolio to demonstrate your experience, goals, and personal teaching style

Here’s what your classmates are looking forward to about the course.

Sellie Maria Makhraz Usha Rao Nashwa Lylah El-Sayed LaShonda Jackson-Dean jemiscoe-Chambers-Black Serena Brown


Sellie Maria Makhraz

Sellie Maria Makhraz [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

Executive Assistant, American University of Science and Technology

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

Opening my business.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

Teaching is the perfect career for me. I love teaching. My dream is to open an English Center in Lebanon, to help students master the English language.

What excites you most about the course?

The fact that it offers all the skills necessary to be a great teacher and master the art of teaching. Through this course, I will be able to maximize the value of learning experiences for students and make a positive impact.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To be a great teacher.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

It will help me attain my goal.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Education can help change and improve the world.


Usha RaoUsha Rao [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

Founding Director, Office of Teaching and Learning, St. Joseph’s University

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

I am an established academic with expertise in STEM education, the advancement of women in science, and geochemistry.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

I expect to receive a high-quality, targeted refresher on innovative teaching and learning techniques.

What excites you most about the course?

I’m looking forward to interacting with the others on the group.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To provide guidance and leadership to faculty members to improve the student experience.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

I expect it will provide me with an excellent review of research-backed pedagogical techniques and approaches.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

I look forward to working collaboratively with all of you!


Nashwa Lylah El-SayedNashwa Lylah El-Sayed

Special Education Teacher

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

I was able to get an internship with my dream organization and 3 years after that was promoted to operations manager, turning the organization from just an educational one associate with a university to an 501(c)(3) status organization that is now operating in 6 counties.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

I currently am working as a special education teacher in Kuwait. I have found it to be fulfilling profession and I would like to advance my self and my expertise to widen my horizon to be able to work in many schools and down the line universities as well. I was a TA at Queens College, CUNY when I first graduated and I would like to use that experience and the course to further my opportunities.

What excites you most about the course?

I am most excited about the institution, Harvard. I am very confident in the quality education that I will receive from this course.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

Find a career that is fulfilling mentally and also financially. Also, I would like to spend a year in Tibet or Nepal volunteering and serving at a Buddhist temple.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

I will first be able to get approval from the Kuwaiti government to work in any school I want with a higher paying scale than the one I am on now. It will help me become a better instructor to my students and it will advance my opportunities to be able to work in universities in the future.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

I would say that one should never let an opportunity like this go, especially as convenient as this one. Getting a certificate that is associated with such an esteemed institution is something very valuable and shouldn’t be passed up.


LaShonda Jackson-Dean

LaShonda Jackson-Dean

Life Coach, Jackson-Dean Professional Solutions

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

Achieving my Doctorate. Becoming a well-known published author. Inspiring others to push forward to pursuing their dreams and reaching their goals. Operating a successful Non-Profit Organization to assist disenfranchised Women Veterans. Mother of two handsome sons and wife to my handsome husband.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

To gain knowledge of recent educational techniques, to increase my skill level used in my professorship.

What excites you most about the course?

Having the ability to glean from the knowledge of others in my profession as well as share knowledge.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To be a tenured professor at a major university.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

I believe this course will provide the skills and credentials needed to reach my career goals.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Believe and invest in yourself. Work to achieve your own goals. Dream big, build bigger, never stop learning.


jemiscoe-Chambers-Black

Jemiscoe Chambers-Black [GS-general]_square_linkedin_How Private Education Is Meeting The Demand For Lifelong Learning_

Writing Tutor, Smarthinking

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

As I am halfway through my MFA, I have noticed that I also need a more focused knowledge of applying what I have mastered in English and Literature into teaching skills and strategies.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

I am hoping this course will give me an edge with changing careers and industries by helping me create a strong portfolio and teaching philosophy.


Serena Brown

Serena Brown

Educator, EDU Staffing Services

What would you say are your most interesting or noteworthy professional achievements?

One of my professional achievements is making it on the preferred substitute teaching list for a school district that I substitute taught at.

Why did you choose to take this online short course?

I am interested in advancing in my career by teaching adults in an adult education setting.

What excites you most about the course?

To learn effective strategies and techniques in teaching adults in an adult education setting.

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

To complete the short-term course with an excellent mark or grade so that I can look for a teaching career in either a university, college or an adult education online setting.

In what ways do you believe this course will aid in your career objectives?

This course would look good on my resume when I am in the job market looking for a position as a full-time professor.

What message would you like to give to your future classmates and support network?

Just have confidence in yourself that you will do good in this class and I am looking forward to meeting you in the future.