MIT Attempts to Understand Tertiary Education of the Future

Source: MIT “Office of the President”, Feb 2013

MIT News

So that you may advise me and MIT’s administration, I charge the Task Force to:

  • Propose an “ecosystem” for ongoing research, learning and innovation about the future of education.
  • Recommend a range of possible experiments and pilot projects that will allow us to explore the future of MIT education:
    • On our own campus, in ways that incorporate online learning tools to the fullest extent while maximizing the value of face-to-face learning for both faculty and students.
    • Beyond our campus, through which learners around the world could benefit from important aspects of MIT’s educational content, vision and values

Proposed questions to be addressed:

  1. What can we learn from the many examples of “blended models” of education, which seek to magnify the effectiveness of online instructional tools with in-person teaching?
  2. MIT has traditionally used a four-year, two-semester system. More modular models are also being tested. What other approaches could emerge by 2020?
  3. Online technologies have already proven very effective at instruction — the conveying of content. But as our graduates can attest, an MIT education clearly includes many learning experiences that can only occur in person. 

    Today, the MIT learning experience involves several modes of interaction: lectures, recitations, labs, projects, internships, study groups, individual study, and so on. It also features signature educational approaches such as UROP and MISTI (MIT International Science and Technology Internship program), and intensive project-based hands-on learning in many fields.What learning experiences will constitute an MIT education in 2020? Which elements would be enhanced by online technologies, and which truly demand interaction in person? What new experiences could courses incorporate?

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