Who We Are: The Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) shapes the future of education by pursuing new ways to build the competence, curiosity, and confidence of learners around the world. We create engaging and scalable learning experiences, cultivate inspiring ideas, and connect a global community of learners—while developing tools, technologies, platforms, and policies to reduce friction throughout the learning lifecycle.
We are seeking a Content Developer to join our team to design and write high-quality, narrative-driven multimedia learning experiences for Harvard Online.
How you'll contribute: The Instructional Content Developer collaborates closely with faculty and VPAL team members to create online learning materials based on faculty research and teaching as well as learner needs. They are responsible for planning and drafting content, including proposing and reviewing media excerpts and attending video shoots as necessary. Throughout the development cycle, the Instructional Content Developer actively proposes and develops creative learning approaches while closely listening to and integrating the perspectives and ideas of project stakeholders, including faculty, to ensure an accurate and engaging representation of concepts.
The Instructional Content Developer utilizes diplomatic and effective communication skills to collaborate with colleagues across organizations, time zones, and professional disciplines. As a creative problem solver, the Instructional Content Developer prioritizes and presents constructive options and team approaches to resolve conflicts while working within operational constraints.
At VPAL, your role will be to:
Research faculty and topics. Synthesize content for online learning in alignment with VPAL pedagogies.
Plan, outline and write content: instructional text, faculty scripts, assessments, interactive activities, interview questions, and other relevant materials.
Research and prepare for project interviewing. Work with VPAL colleagues and faculty to conduct interviews.
Work closely with faculty and VPAL team to take in feedback and prepare iterative drafts.
Prepare final content for project build including integrating text, media and other assets including rigorous editing.
Collaborate with project producers, instructional designers and additional VPAL colleagues to develop educational materials
Work closely with faculty, external stakeholders, and strategic partners to ensure a productive and collaborative creative development process.
Facilitate the timely delivery of materials by coordinating with the project team.
Identifying and implementing best practices in using media for effective learning experiences.
Maintain regular and effective communication with assigned project faculty, team members, and stakeholders throughout the project lifecycle, while proactively addressing potential issues and mitigating risks.
Collaborate with Project Managers from VPAL to document and improve development processes.
Represent VPAL across Harvard and with external stakeholders.
Fulfill additional duties as assigned.
Bachelor's Degree plus a minimum of 3 years of related experience such as writing, learning delivery and or multi-media experience.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
Work experience in higher education, educational media, publishing, television/documentary film, and/or journalism.
Proven success in designing and developing educational media.
Experience with interview-driven content.
Familiarity with instructional design and/or online learning.
Demonstrated diplomatic and problem-solving skills.
Experience collaborating on cross-functional teams across organizations, time zones, and professional disciplines.
Comfortable working in a deadline-driven environment with competing priorities.
Knowledgeable about best practices and innovations in educational media.
Strong project management abilities.
Understanding of copyright and intellectual property issues.
Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in cross-functional teams.
Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written.
Collaborative mindset and innovative approach to strategy, content creation, and problem-solving.
Flexible and adaptable to working with multiple stakeholders and projects.
Strong analytical skills and a passion for sharing knowledge with others.
In-person work is performed in an open office setting
VPAL is a hybrid office, as our team places a high value on the in-person experience, cross-team collaboration, and strong community building. Individual flexible work options for this role, including hybrid, will be discussed during the interview process. Specific in-office and schedule will be determined between you and your manager. All work must be performed in a state where Harvard is registered to do business (CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, WA).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Cover letters are requested for this role. Your cover letter and resume should be submitted as a combined SINGLE DOCUMENT under the resume tab.
Selected candidates may be asked to provide additional materials.
VPAL is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.
PLEASE NOTE: The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.
Why Harvard? We offer a wide range of exciting and challenging job opportunities that support our world-class academic environment. We invite you to explore the many reasons to work for Harvard at https://hr.harvard.edu/why-harvard. Harvard University is committed to offering a competitive total compensation package including:
A creative, high-energy, collaborative environment
Generous Vacation, Sick, Personal, and Holiday pay
Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits starting on your first day
University-funded retirement plans
Tuition Assistance Program
Transportation benefits to help with your daily commute
Health and wellness discounts, memberships, and programs
About the Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning (VPAL) The Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning seeks to shape the future of education by discovering new ways to build the competence, curiosity, and confidence of learners on our campuses and around the world. We create engaging and scalable learning experiences, cultivate inspiring ideas, and connect a global community of learners—while developing tools, technologies, platforms, and policies to reduce friction throughout the learning lifecycle. To learn more, visit http://vpal.harvard.edu.
VPAL is committed to convening and nurturing a diverse community dedicated to promoting inclusive excellence and leadership in teaching and learning. We celebrate, welcome, and honor all backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values. We strive to ensure that all feel included in our mission, our work, and our learning inside and outside our organization. We affirm that inclusivity and belonging are the foundations of excellence.
Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.
EEO Statement We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.