The Challenge of Teacher Development

by: Steven Sofronas

Here at HGSE and at educational institutions around the world, there is a lot of talk about providing adequate structure in order to promote student agency. It is an issue that educators at all levels and contexts grapple with when designing learning experiences for their students, and it is as important to professors at graduate schools of education as it is to elementary school teachers across the country.

As the field of education continues to move away from memorization-based pedagogy in favor of strategies that promote personalized learning and increased metacognition, educators are facing challenges in implementing strategies that encourage their students to think critically, collaborate with others, and solve real world problems. Many educators have little experience in moving beyond traditional instructional strategies. This lack of experience and training poses a formidable barrier to significant change.... Read more about The Challenge of Teacher Development

Challenging Assumptions (with Vertical Video)

by: Elias Polcheira

Let’s talk about audience. It is important to recognize the trend that vertical video is becoming more popular because of social media apps such as SnapChat and Periscope. If we look at the demographics of SnapChat, for example, we know that it has been quite popular among Millennials aged 18 to 34. It’s still behind Facebook on the number of hours spent in-app, but it’s already ahead of Twitter. Keeping that in mind, I would like to ask: can we leverage mobile vertical videos in education?... Read more about Challenging Assumptions (with Vertical Video)

Designing Teacher Education

by: Arti Sharma

Mobile Application WireframeThe expectation to set aside three full days for a design workshop was enough to arouse the cynic in me. It was a frigid January morning and I arrived at MIT’s W20 wearing my skepticism on my sleeve. What could possibly be learned by having a group of educators, engineers, design thinkers, and administrators congregate around and deliberate on the challenges of preparing teachers to be 21st century educators? It did not take long to realize that I had landed in a room full of people who in spite of their disparate professional backgrounds had one important thing in common — they had the audacity to believe that a long established system as complex as education could be reimagined and reinvented.... Read more about Designing Teacher Education

Learning from Experiments in Outcome Linking

by: Brandon Pousley

As the TLL portfolio grows, so too does the diversity of digital learning experiences we produce. Some experiences exist at the course level. Many more, however, are intentionally modular — comprised of unique multimedia, web, document, curriculum, and assessment objects. This modularity enables reusability, which supports flexibility in implementation and ample return on investment. However, as the MIT Office of Digital Learning is discovering, it can also support learner agency, informed instructional decision-making, and effective business development.

Last week, I had the opportunity to hear Karen Wilcox, MIT Professor and co-Chair of the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative, present on MIT’s efforts to develop systems to map undergraduate learning outcomes and link curricular topics and resources. Through a real-time, guided exploration of these existing and emerging systems, I caught a glimpse of the impact that such well-connected, open, and adaptable tools can have.... Read more about Learning from Experiments in Outcome Linking

Principle-Driven Design: The Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership

by: Bonnie Anderson

CAEL Project Poster

As described in an earlier post, the TLL’s work on the Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership (CAEL) has yielded fruitful lessons for all involved. In particular, we are seeing the importance of infusing evidence-based design principles and our own team’s guiding principles into every aspect of this project. In this post, I will focus on the influence of three specific design principles on the creation of the CAEL program.... Read more about Principle-Driven Design: The Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership

Walking the Walk: Reflections from the Inaugural T-127 Gallery Walk

by: Josh Bookin

Gallery Walk Student Presenters

On December 9th, 2015 the Teaching and Learning Lab Practicum (T-127) hosted a gallery walk to showcase the capstone projects that students created for the course.  Community members from around HGSE – administrators, faculty, staff, and fellow students – attended the event to join the class in exploring and celebrating this meaningful work.  As a new member of the TLL who was not significantly involved in this first iteration of the course, I came to the event excited to learn more about the students who engaged in this endeavor, the projects in which they took part, and the skills and knowledge they are taking away from the experience.  In this post, I would like to share some of what I discovered from this inspiring event.... Read more about Walking the Walk: Reflections from the Inaugural T-127 Gallery Walk

Online Learning: Accessibility and Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity

by: Andrea Flores

Online Accessibility LogoConversations about Diversity In 2014, HGSE launched the Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity (FPD) initiative to foster and sustain community-wide conversations and learning experiences around the topics of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Most often the conversation centers around face-to-face learning environments through the lens of race and socioeconomic status (SES).... Read more about Online Learning: Accessibility and Fulfilling the Promise of Diversity

Lessons in Course Design

By Megan Brown

How can a course be planned in a short time frame while harnessing the creative power of a team? How do you develop a consistent experience across multiple courses planned by different faculty members? And how do you keep track of the multitude of ideas and to-dos that emerge out of highly creative, learner-driven lesson planning discussions?

These were some of the challenges the TLL tackled while planning the structure of Leading Learning...

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Facing the Challenge to Design Quality Online Learning Experiences

by: Bonnie Anderson

Ask anyone who has taken an online course what they thought of the experience, and you are likely to hear words like “impersonal”, “boring”, “tedious”, “ineffective”, or “monotonous”. The modality has unfortunately earned itself a poor reputation due to a plethora of such examples.  Unfortunately, the majority of online courses available today embody a passive approach to learning in that they provide lecture-style videos followed by multiple-choice quizzes with automated grading. This “talk and test” strategy is reflective of some of the least effective face-to-face classrooms, with the only potential advantage being that learners can access material in their own space and at their own pace.... Read more about Facing the Challenge to Design Quality Online Learning Experiences

Creating and Nurturing a Culture of Innovation

by: Arti Sharma

Pursuing the best suited solution to a pedagogical need often means taking a gamble on something we have not tried before; it requires prioritizing teaching and learning needs while still being mindful of what is technically or strategically possible. In developing the latest version of Including Ourselves in the Change Equation with Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey, we had to step out of our comfort zones and ramp up on several fronts in order to best support the learning outcomes of the experience.... Read more about Creating and Nurturing a Culture of Innovation