About the MIT Teaching Systems Lab

All around the world, educational leaders are working to support more ambitious teaching and learning in classrooms–with less recitation and passive listening, and more active engagement and student-centered learning. Having more ambitious teaching and learning in K-12 classrooms will require dramatically increasing the quality and quantity of learning opportunities for teachers and school leaders throughout their careers. Better student learning depends upon better teacher learning.

At the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, we design, implement, and research the future of teacher learning.

Online and Blended Learning: Given the incredibly busy lives and schedules of educators, we believe that online and blended learning will play a central role in the future of teacher preparation and professional development. We develop online learning resources that can support independent online learning, such as massive open online courses, as well as blended learning models situated in schools and communities. We study how teachers participate in online learning, how they translate online learning into onland action, and how systems can use online resources to support diverse forms of blended learning.

Teacher Practice Spaces: One of the key shortcomings of contemporary teacher learning is an underemphasis on practice. Teacher professional learning includes a great deal of lecture and discussion, but too few opportunities for practice and feedback. We develop teacher practice spaces, inspired by games and simulations, that allow teachers to rehearse for and reflect on important decisions in teaching.

Explorations: Our research expands beyond teacher learning, examining new assessment practices in Maker education spaces, innovations in blended credentials through MicroMasters, the global impact of massive open online courses, and other topics that relate to the future of learning in a networked world.


We are grateful to all of the organizations that support our work.

Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation: Support for design work related to the Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning, the INSPIRE (Innovative Spaces for Practice and Rehearsal in Teacher Education) fellowship, and research into Equity Teaching Practices in computer science education.

Microsoft: Support for the development of Launching Innovation in Schools and Design Thinking for Leading and Learning

Google: Support for our work in Equity Teaching Practices.

The Jameel World Education Lab: Support for our work in Equity Teaching Practices

Spencer Foundation: Support for our work in Computational Measures of Engagement Across Difference in Massive Open Online Courses

Hewlett Foundation: Support for our work in Computational Measures of Engagement Across Difference in Massive Open Online Courses

The National Science Foundation provided support for the following research projects

Beyond Rubrics: Moving Toward Embedded Assessment in Maker Education. #1723459

Framing Learning for MOOC Student Success: Using Pre-Course Survey Interventions to Support Student Persistence and Performance in MOOCs. #1646978

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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