Videos for classroom discussion

Since joining the Harvard Kennedy School in 2008, Garcia-Rios has been developing increasingly sophisticated video and multimedia curriculum materials for use as case studies. These documentary-style materials are a particularly immediate and effective way to immerse students in recent stories that illustrate a concept being discussed in class.

From short videos to elaborate multimedia websites, Garcia-Rios works closely with faculty members as an instructional designer, developing the best format to suit their needs.

Interviewing Carmen Yulín, Mayor of San Juan.

The videos, all interview-based with no narration, are meant to allow students to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists of each story by hearing it told in their voices. They often involve a challenge or dilemma the interviewees are grappling with, and lay out the information and points of view needed to discuss the issue in class.

Among the topics Garcia-Rios has covered are:

Human Rights: Female genital cutting in Senegal; Child labor in Ecuador; The International Criminal Court and crimes against humanity.

Racial and economic inequity: The history of race and politics in Detroit; The Caño Martín Peña’s community land trust in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The challenges of leadership: New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell; Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar.

Negotiations: Bipartisanship in the U.S. Congress; Negotiating the Colombia Peace Agreement; Tribal land negotiations in New Mexico.

Education: Michelle Rhee’s controversial school reform in Washington, D.C.; Converting schooling to learning in India.

Climate change: Early approaches to climate change adaptation in King County, Washington.

Video case about Detroit (preview)

Videos about Best Practices in Teaching

In addition to developing curriculum materials, Garcia-Rios has also produced a series of videos on best practices in teaching and learning at the Harvard Kennedy School, showcasing new pedagogical approaches like flipped classrooms, peer learning, and other active learning techniques.

Video about Active Learning

I’ve taught using Patricia’s cases for a number of years. She works hard to craft videos that are not only compelling story-wise, but also impart meaningful lessons to students. Her multimedia cases are a wonderful and deeply immersive way to bring real-life scenarios to the classroom. My students are always thrilled when we are able to use one of Patricia’s cases, and comment on how much they learn from seeing different viewpoints brought to life.

Prof. Kessely Hong, Harvard Kennedy School of Government