Making inspiration look effortless—teaching the art of case method instruction.

Teaching at HBS is a lifelong learning experience. The new C. Roland Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning focuses and extends the School's long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching. In its first 18 months, the Center worked with more than 125 new and experienced members of the faculty, including 80 percent of those teaching in the required curriculum of the MBA Program, to develop and refine their effectiveness in guiding a class through case discussion. In the process, Center staff have videotaped and analyzed nearly 200 class sessions. In addition to identifying best practice in case-method teaching, the Center plans to address innovations in other approaches to learning.

"As a faculty member, you see yourself in action. You see how close you get to your students. You see how much time you spend at the blackboard with your back turned to the class. You see whether you smile when students are speaking. The first step in enhancing case-method teaching is recognition. You can't change or improve what you can't see."

Professor David Garvin,
Chair, C. Roland Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Advisory Group

"Anyone who has ever tried to lead a discussion among 80 students will quickly realize that teaching by the case method is an art. But there are tools that can be taught, including approaches for opening a class, processes for helping structure the discussion, and ways of handling challenging situations. By sitting in on class sessions, using video, and through one-on-one follow-up sessions, we provide concrete feedback and help faculty develop their skills at every stage of their careers."

Willis Emmons,
Senior Lecturer, Director, C. Roland Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning