Implementing Harkness Remotely

Preserving the essence of Harkness in a remote format poses some unique - though definitely not insurmountable - challenges.  It is important to carefully consider and select strategies, activities, and tools that lead to the active, student-centered environment at the core of Harkness. Below are some ideas. 

Facilitating Harkness Discussions with Zoom

Harkness discussions are balanced, focused, and student driven and, as we facilitate them virtually, we need to carefully choose and set up technologies, so as to preserve these qualities.  Again, there are many software options, but I’ll focus on Zoom here, since it is particularly well suited to Harkness discussion, integrates well with Blackboard, and is easy to use. 

Basic Setup

Visit UMIT Learning Platform’s YouTube Channel, to get your environment set up and learn about some of Zoom’s basic features.  If you prefer text, check out this guide.

Key Features for Harkness Classes

A guide to some of the Zoom features most relevant to designing active, discussion-based learning environments online.

Harkness Activities in Zoom

A few concrete ideas about how Harkness-type activities can be implemented in Zoom.

Relevant Reads

'As Human As Possible'

This article touches on some of the important considerations when trying to adapt a course to a remote environment. There are a lot of implications for Harkness, as the article centers on humanties courses, in particular, and the unique challenges that come with trying to redesign classes heavily based on interaction and dialogue.