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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Gallery of Educational Innovation

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Justin Riley & STAR BioChem

Active Learning

The process of learning should engage the imagination—both of students and of faculty. Active Learning Environments provide physical and virtual infrastructures to support the transformation of MIT courses into intense, personalized and highly collaborative activities. The key to transformative learning: more flexible modes in order to better stimulate discovery and improve understanding of core concepts.

Support for this takes the form of redesigning physical spaces to better enable project-based, studio-based, or other forms of active learning pedagogy.  It extends to the augmentation of learning spaces by making physical experiments accessible via the web (iLabs) and through to the creation of entirely virtual 3D spaces unconstrained by lived reality (virtual worlds like Second Life and Wonderland).


Some of the projects in this program area include:

The Extraordinary Learning video provides a window into several current exciting innovations in the undergraduate curriculum at MIT. In the video, students and professors talk about innovation and creativity in teaching and learning at MIT.

William Kettyle

When faculty members experiment with technology enhancements, there is often a ripple effect where thoughts about technology lead to thoughts about pedagogy, which then lead back to new ideas about technology.

Vincent Lepinay

A course in the STS department uses a dynamic webdirectory to harness the collective intelligence of its students and related researchers.

Haynes Miller

A suite of Java applets was created for use as lecture demonstrations and homework assignments. The applets can be used directly or in modified form in downstream courses, enhancing transfer.

Richard Larson

Blended Learning Open Source Science or Math Studies (BLOSSOMS) is an international, collaborative open education project that provides a series of freely available interactive lessons presented in a widely accessible video format.

David Karger
Sasha Zyto

NB (nota bene) is a web-based collaborative annotation tool that facilitates communication among students and their instructors, and is centered around better understanding of course reading material.

Alexander Aranyosi
Dennis Freeman

Project-based learning introduces students to a discipline through the process of conceiving, designing, and implementing activities which integrate theory with practice.

Eric Lander

StarBiogene provides a set of software tools for analyzing genomics data via the web. It enables the user to take part in the analysis of microarray gene expression data by making usable genomics research software readily available.

The StarMolsim tool allows students to learn the concepts of good design and safe structural engineering through hands-on simulations.

Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
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