Finding Complementarity: Using the Capabilities of MOOCs on Campus

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 07:00 to 08:00

4123 McKeldin Library

All MIT undergraduates take two semesters of physics—mechanics (Physics I) and electricity and magnetism (Physics II).  Those two courses had undergone substantial transformation in the early 2000s from lecture/recitation to active learning, so that they were being taught in a blended or hybrid learning model.  Then, in 2012, an instructional team, including physics faculty, instructors, graduate students and developers, created two MOOCs from Physics I and Physics II.  But besides producing those courses for the world, from the beginning, the team’s goal was to use their experience in MOOC development to improve on-campus teaching.  

Two years later, after substantial effort, a number of features of the MITx platform, the local instantiation of the edX platform, were incorporated for use both inside and outside the classroom.  This talk will describe those innovations, the rigorous research that was undertaken on their impact, and what the data collected tells us about how students learn physics.

Lori Breslow was the founding Director of the Teaching & Learning Laboratory (TLL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   She conducts research on the development and impact of pedagogical, curricular, and technological innovation in higher education.  She was the co-director of the Teaching for Learning Network, a collaboration between MIT and Cambridge, and she consulted on MIT’s partnerships to create new universities in Abu Dhabi and Singapore.  Her curriculum design approach called “strategic teaching” is the foundation of a current national initiative in South Africa to improve STEM education.  She has spoken at the New York Times’ Schools for Tomorrow symposium, the President’s Task Force on Science and Technology (PCAST), and a number of U.S. and international universities.   Her research has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Education.  Dr. Breslow is on the advisory boards of the McKinsey Academy, the MIT Museum of Science, and Olin College.  She is a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.