Using Educational Technology to Enhance Student Learning

Published in MIT News on August 5, 2016, by Marilyn Siderwicz, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Improving educational delivery is a core focus of MIT, and also a priority for training new generations of teachers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). On July 19, about 30 postdocs and graduate students attended a Workshop on Digital Education hosted by CEE to learn about digital education tools available to them as they prepare to teach undergraduate and graduate students, both at MIT and elsewhere.

The instructor, Dipa Shah of the MIT Teaching and Learning Lab (TLL), was invited by the CEE Postdoctoral Committee to provide an overview about the latest online technologies and their use for delivering content to students and providing students with practice and feedback.

Shah opened the workshop with a review of the changing landscape of university education in the United States and a snapshot of ways MIT is using digital learning. She noted the Institute’s residential MITx online learning platform — which allows faculty to author interactive text, post videos, create virtual "labs," and assess student learning — has been used by over 90 MIT faculty and 80 percent of undergraduates. “Some MIT professors are moving content to the MITx platform so they can flip the classroom — asking students to review material prior to class and then using in-class time for practice,” said Shah. “This allows students to assess where they are, engage with their peers, and engage with the faculty...”

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