The Department of Mathematics offers twelve communication-intensive courses, many of which are offered by a different instructor each semester. To engage and support this community of instructors and to facilitate the archiving of course materials and the gleaning of "good practices" for these courses, a collaboration developed between Prof. Haynes Miller, Dr. Mia Minnes and Dr. Sami Assaf from the Department of Mathematics; Susan Ruff, Lecturer in the Writing Across the Curriculum program and teaching advisor to all instructors of communication-intensive subjects in mathematics; and Dr. Violeta Ivanova, an educational technology advisor from OEIT. Together, they designed an online community where instructors can share materials and actively discuss teaching ideas: the MIT Math CI Space.
The site contains information about ways to structure communication-intensive math courses, advice on teaching mathematical writing, advice on developing students' presentation skills, advice for addressing common issues that arise in communication-intensive math courses, and an archive of past years' course materials. In addition, the site offers a venue for discussion: the long-term vision is that discussion will be used to refine the content so that over the years a collection of best practices will develop.
The MIT Math CI Space was developed using Wordpress, an open-source blogging and publishing platform, and is extremely flexible and extensible. The site has been live and actively used by instructors since the beginning of the 2009 fall term, while the Math CI team continues to develop its capabilities by adding new pedagogical content and extending the underlying web publishing platform.