About the Center
The C. Roland Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning was established in 2004 to promote and support teaching excellence and innovation within Harvard Business School. It also provides leadership and expertise about case method teaching and participant-centered learning for instructors at other institutions in the United States and abroad.
Named in honor of the late C. Roland Christensen, longtime HBS faculty member and legendary case method teacher, the Center's special focus is helping faculty develop as teachers. It augments the School's traditional system of faculty-to-faculty mentoring by providing additional resources and programs to strengthen teaching capabilities across all levels of the faculty and throughout instructors' careers. The Center's offerings and initiatives fall into four main areas:
Coaching Faculty: Services include class observations and videotaping, supplemented by pre-class planning and debrief feedback sessions. The Center also offers video coaching, course evaluation analysis, and advice and counsel in the areas of pre-term planning, within-term troubleshooting, post-term reflection, classroom presence coaching, and case and course development. (See Services for HBS Faculty for more details). In addition, the Center participates in the design and delivery of the START orientation program for new HBS faculty as well as various case method teaching programs offered by HBS to faculty from business schools outside the United States.
Communicating Best Practices: Drawing from its research and the knowledge and skills of the School's most experienced faculty, the Center develops materials and video products that showcase strategies, best practices, and innovations in the area of case method teaching and participant-centered learning. The Center also identifies and collects externally published material relevant to teaching by the case method.
Convening Colloquia and Workshops: The Center facilitates the School's annual Faculty Colloquium on Teaching and Learning, attended by a large proportion of the HBS faculty, as well as smaller, more focused faculty workshops and seminars dedicated to the practice of case method teaching.
Conducting Research: The Center conducts applied research on various subjects pertinent to management teaching and education. Ongoing projects include research on case method teaching, teaching effectiveness and evaluation, pedagogical innovations, gender and diversity issues, and teaching styles and techniques.
Planning for the Center began in earnest under former HBS Dean Kim Clark and received generous support from HBS alumni. It continues to develop under the guidance of Professor Joshua Margolis (Faculty Chair of the Center) and Willis Emmons (the Center's Director), along with valuable input from its Steering Committee of senior faculty.