About Us


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.


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.

Comparative Media Studies and the Teaching Systems Lab

The MIT Comparative Media Studies (CMS) program and TSL are the two programs leading the work in educational technology and media. Executive Director, Justin Reich, is an assistant professor in the program and they offer a two-year Masters degree focusing on the intersection of technology and the humanities.



About the Directors

Justin Reich


Justin is the executive director of the Teaching Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a research scientist in the MIT Office of Digital Learning, and a lecturer in the Scheller Teacher Education Program.

Rachel Slama

Associate Director

Rachel manages research activities across the Teaching Systems Lab to ensure a robust agenda of funding, research, and publication. Previously, she was a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Research, leading federal, state and district K-12 research and evaluation.




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