Improving Teaching

MIT's efforts to improve teaching are informed by the strong demand for improvements in STEM education and the pressure regarding accountability for learning outcomes. Above all, the Institute is focused on advances in teaching and learning that provide students with the highest quality education possible.


OUE's Role in Improving Teaching and Learning at MIT

Through the research, programs, and services of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (T+LL) OUE is fostering excellence and innovation in teaching and learning, and supporting MIT’s standing as a leader in science and engineering education.

Fostering the development of strong teaching skills in teaching assistants (TAs) and doctoral students

  • offering the Graduate Student Teaching Certificate Program for doctoral students and post-docs;

  • organizing orientations for teaching assistants; in 2009-2010, 80% of all MIT’s TAs participated in workshops on teaching and learning; and
  • collaborating with departments to advance departmental goals for TA training.

Disseminating best practices in teaching and learning

  • organizing orientations for new faculty to help them think strategically about teaching and introduce them to new pedagogical methods;
  • distributing Learning Guidelines that Inform Teaching at MIT, a survey of the best research on teaching and learning in higher education;
  • providing workshops to the MIT community such as Better Teaching @ MIT to promote strong teaching skills;
  • engaging more faculty and departments to work with TLL on learning-centered projects by:
    • providing expertise to electrical engineering and computer science department as faculty brought active learning into introductory subjects;
    • partnering with faculty in mechanical engineering to introduce curricular and pedagogical innovations in foundational subjects that promote retention and transfer of core concepts; and
    • collaborating with math faculty to understand how students apply concepts they have learned in the math GIRs to their downstream science and engineering courses;
  • supporting institutionalization of educational innovation through assessment of experimental subjects;
  • conducting research on how improvements in pedagogy support students' learning; and
  • participating in national and international activities to improve STEM teaching and learning, such as:
    • Network for Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Research Intensive Environments, an international consortium of the leading research universities;
    • Center for the Advancement of the Scholarship of Engineering Education (CASEE) of the National Academy of Engineering; and
    • Creating a Culture for Scholarly and Systematic Innovation in Engineering Education, a project of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) and the National Science Foundation.