Curriculum Innovation News - All Years

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  • NEET pilot initiative centers around interdisciplinary projects to prepare students for the practice of engineering.

    Rose Wang loves to work on projects — especially ones that exceed the bounds of her declared majors, economics and computer science. She thrives on do-it-yourself design solutions. Her latest involves making an aerodynamic drone. “We’ll see how that goes,” she says.

  • The MIT Prison Initiative provides an academic framework for undergraduates and local inmates to explore the human condition.

    In 1987, while teaching a class at MIT on nonviolence, philosophy lecturer Lee Perlman had a novel idea: Why not take the students to a prison, to talk with men who had committed extreme forms of violence?

  • On February 1-2, The Teaching and Learning Lab (T+LL) partnered with ODL, DUE, and ODGE to host a campus-wide Festival of Learning. This 2-day event celebrated the creative contributions that MIT faculty, staff, and students have made to continuously improving student learning experiences at the Institute. In her opening remarks, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart set the stage for the Festival and introduced the first keynote speaker, Satya Nitta of IBM Watson Education.

    In Nitta’s keynote address, titled “Watson and the Future of Learning Science and Technology,” he began with an historical overview of computing systems. He shared his perspective on the evolution of the field of artificial intelligence (AI), from its Minskian foundations in logic and reasoning to its current focus on intelligent tutoring systems through the implementation of statistical calculations and probabilistic answers. Nitta also quoted Daniel Denton, and stressed the fact that although AI systems can, in fact, learn, adapt, reason, analyze, and interpret, they are not intelligent. However, he did point out that by understanding how machines learn, we can gain insight into human learning.

    During the “Lighting Round,” MIT faculty and instructors presented short pedagogy talks that highlighted interesting and unique ways they engage students in active learning through the use of technology, project work, and interactive demonstrations. Materials Science professor Lorna Gibson discussed the evolution of her flipped 3.032x (Mechanical Behavior of Materials) class using MITx materials. Professor Michael Cuthbert demonstrated how he uses Artusi, an environment he developed for learning the rote, repetitive, but important skills of music fundamentals and music theory in his 21M.051 (Computer Tools for Music Fundamentals) class. Dean Dennis Freeman explained his use of task-centered instruction in 6.01 (Intro to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and described how he uses hands-on, lab-based activities to provide context for the introduction of relevant theory in subsequent lectures. Peter Dourmashkin described his use of the The Lightboard in 8.01 (Physics I), which allows the instructor to face front while writing. Professor Ely Sachs discussed the importance of teaching engineering students to be experts in both analysis and synthesis and his use of guided discovery to support the development of those capabilities...

  • For many years, Experimental Study Group (ESG) philosophy instructor Lee Perlman has taught his signature course, ES.112 (The Philosophy of Love), to a wide range of MIT students. Using classic works of literature and philosophy, Perlman leads his students on a personal exploration of the nature of love. Offering intellectual rigor outside of the hard sciences and technology, the class is much beloved at MIT.

  • A new advising seminar incorporates making and other types of hands-on learning to enhance first-year required courses.

  • No equations allowed. This basic rule drives the thinking behind "Science Out Loud," an original web series hosted and co-written by MIT students. The fun, engaging videos are geared towards middle and high school students and designed to bring scientific concepts to life through research, experiments, and demos performed by real scientists and engineers. No chalkboards. No textbooks. Lots of learning.

  • Awards honor faculty and instructors who have effectively leveraged digital technology to improve teaching and learning at MIT.

    This year marks the launch of the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Awards. Co-sponsored by the Office of Digital Learning (ODL), the Dean of Undergraduate Education (DUE) and the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), the student-nominated awards recognize faculty and instructors who have effectively leveraged digital technology to improve teaching and learning at MIT. The winners are:

  • Editor's Note: This spring, as part of a new course offered by Concourse and the history department, students built a handset printing press. The following article about this hands-on class appeared in the SHASS news.

    A group of MIT students briefly put away their cell phones this spring to concentrate on a much older information storage and retrieval device: the book. 

  • Updated degree requirements emphasize flexibility, earlier engagement with core material, and smoother introduction to software.

    New degree requirements have been approved for undergraduates in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS). The new curriculum will take effect in fall 2016 for the Class of 2020 (students entering MIT as freshmen this fall).

  • Driven by student demand and the blending of fields, new opportunities include management tracks and minors in computer science, data science, and innovation.

    This coming fall, MIT undergraduates will see some major (and minor) enhancements to their education. Four new majors and seven new minors, many that cross disciplines and schools, have been created.

    New major bachelor of science programs include Management, Business Analytics, Finance, and Mathematical Economics (pending approval at the April MIT faculty meeting).

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