Master’s Degree in Comparative Media Studies

The MIT Comparative Media Studies (CMS) program offers a two-year Masters degree focusing on the intersection of technology and the humanities.  The program spans many media domains from film to virtual reality and civic media.  There is a longstanding tradition and leadership in the field of game studies and game design.  This year there are expanded offerings in educational technology and media, through the direction of two new faculty members in these domains, Eric Klopfer and Justin Reich.  A growing research portfolio includes projects on media-rich teacher practice spaces, mobile and virtual reality game-based learning environments, massive open online courses, and technology-supported project-based learning among others.  These projects combine insights from fields including game design, learning sciences, interactive video, and machine learning.  

MIT’s CMS master’s students build on an MIT tradition of media and technology leadership to focus historical and theoretical attention on the world’s changing media environment. Students observe first-hand, and then contribute to, the experimentation and research leading to the next wave of media breakthroughs. We provide a bridge between the technological and humanistic sides of MIT, by examining the social and cultural impact of the changing media landscape.

CMS is not the study of interactive technologies themselves; it focuses on social and cultural interactions with technology. As media become increasingly integrated into all aspects of modern experience, it is impossible to fully understand our central institutions and practices without understanding media. The most urgent questions confronting us are social and cultural, not purely technological.

Our courses are thus designed to teach students to make and reflect upon media and in the process, to acquire important skills in teamwork, leadership, problem solving, collaboration, brainstorming, communications, and project completion, which will prepare them for a wide range of academic and professional careers.

The program is seeking highly talented and motivated graduate students to study and work in these areas.  You can find out more about the program on the CMS masters program on its website, as well as the websites of the two programs leading the work in educational technology and media, The Teaching Systems Lab and The Education Arcade.


Current Job Opportunities at the Office of Open Learning:


JOB ID: 15384

The Woodrow Wilson Academy of Teaching and Learning in partnership with The Teaching Systems Lab is creating a new blended teacher training program. The Tech Lead will be a hands-on leader directly collaborating with WWA faculty and students to create new kinds of technology-enhanced learning experiences for the program.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating closely with education faculty, researchers and game designers to understand user needs, define products aligned with the program’s pedagogical vision, create mockups and ship prototypes
  • Full stack web or mobile application development with a variety of languages including but not limited to Ruby, Python, JavaScript, CSS
  • Leverage frameworks, libraries and existing software services
  • Support and maintain software products across the lifecycle, including provisioning, operations, monitoring and maintenance
  • Manage budget for infrastructure, service and license costs
  • Defining team culture and norms for open-source development
  • Recruit, manage and mentor a small team of engineers, possibly including graduate and undergraduate students as well
  • Identity and recommend or implement components supporting teachers and teacher educators in communicating, collaborating and working together remotely
  • As part of a small team, attending to whatever else is necessary to bring the project to successful fruition


  • Experience as a software developer, with experience with object oriented programming and scripting languages (Python, Ruby, JavaScript) and experience developing in and delivering applications with web frameworks (i.e. Rails, Django), the use of RESTful APIs, and automated testing (either server-side or client-side).
  • Able to articulate technical and non-technical issues associated with emerging learning technologies and collaboration tools.
  • Demonstrable evidence of ability take projects from start to completion.

The position is 100% time. The position is one-year renewable, and the project is anticipated to last through June of 2021.


JOB ID: 15516

Teaching Systems Lab (TSL) in collaboration with The Education Arcade is launching a 5-year research project to make assessment more fun for all involved by designing, developing, & implementing game-based assessment systems, beginning with 9th grade math. The goal of the project is to create a game-based math assessment system that will be used as frequent and continuous formative assessments throughout the school year. This project brings together groups that have demonstrated expertise in learning game design and rigorous assessment design, to create an impactful tool for teachers. We expect the process of designing, researching, and implementing the game-based assessments to be equally rigorous and fun.

The role includes creating a design and development process that incorporates the best practices of evidence-centered design, learning analytics, and educational data mining. In this work, the researcher will have the opportunity to analyze learning data including log files, assessment data, and observations. We will look to the learning analytics expert for leadership in identifying what techniques to apply to problems that don’t have known solutions, and will expect the ability to apply the techniques in new ways and think outside the box.


  • Lead the effort for analysis and assessment machinery building by planning and executing analysis and research studies
  • Rapidly process data using various analytics techniques to inform design decisions
  • Design and conduct studies using various methods, to research the effectiveness of the assessment tool as a whole, individual design elements of the tool, and its implementation in classrooms
  • Publish journal articles and present at national conferences to share our work to the broader education research community


  • PhD degree in a relevant academic subject area, such as learning analytics, computer science, educational data mining, artificial intelligence, measurement and statistics, learning sciences, psychology or related area
  • Research experience in educational data mining, learning analytics, machine learning, or related areas
  • Strong analytical and statistical skills, ability and willingness to learn new techniques rapidly
  • Experience in data management and analytics is essential (e.g. R, Python, JavaScript)
  • Some familiarity with computer programming and visualization tools are a plus
  • Strong academic writing and presentation skills
  • Previous experience of working with students and teachers, in both formal and informal learning settings is preferred

One year temporary position renewable on an annual basis.

Review of applications will begin on February 1, 2018; however, the position will remain open until filled. For additional information about the position, please contact YJ Kim at


JOB ID:15649

Job Description:

LEARNING DESIGNER, Office of Digital Learning (ODL), to help create a competency-based curriculum at a new graduate school of education.  The Woodrow Wilson Academy–in partnership with the MIT Teaching Systems Lab (TSL)–is launching a unique competency-based teacher education program in September of 2018 that will grant the master of education and prepare students for teaching licensure in chemistry, biology, and math.  In preparation for the launch year, a team made of learning designers, assessment specialists, STEM faculty, and design fellows (recent college grads studying to become teachers) has been building a curriculum based on “challenges,” or complex problems of teaching practice. Using simulations, games, and other practice spaces, the team is designing a teacher preparation program that aims to get teachers ready to tackle the real problems they’ll face in the classrooms of today and tomorrow.  Responsibilities include designing blended learning curriculum for STEM preservice teachers; prototyping games, simulations, and other learning experiences for preservice teachers; and leading and supporting the capacity building of a design team consisting of design fellows.  Will report to the director of the TSL.

Job Requirements:


  • Master’s degree in related fields (e.g., STEM education, educational technology, learning sciences)
  • Experience teaching and mentoring K-12 students in formal and/or informal learning spaces
  • Experience creating diverse learning experiences that go beyond online courses (e.g., educational games, hands-on activities, interactive media, etc.)
  • Experience with design thinking methods and iterative design processes
  • A minimum of five years of work experience in learning design

This is a one-year position with potential to renew over the length of the five-year grant period.

Visit MIT jobs page to apply



JOB ID: 15761

Job Description:

RESEARCH SCIENTIST, Office of Digital Learning-Teaching Systems Lab (TSL), to play a critical role in managing activities across the lab to ensure a robust agenda of funding, research, and publication.  Responsibilities will include leading the design and execution of research projects; producing scientific reports and papers for presentation and publication; forging and managing relationships with partners, including schools, systems, professional development providers, funders, and related research groups; participating in planning concerning the strategic goals of the lab; managing staff, students, and projects including providing feedback and ensuring opportunities for professional growth; securing ongoing funding for existing and new initiatives; and engaging stakeholders to improve teacher education by moving ideas to action.

TSL investigates future of teacher learning. Areas of inquiry include online and blended teacher professional learning and teacher practice spaces, e.g., games and simulations that allow teachers to rehearse for and reflect on important decisions in teaching.

Job Requirements

  • Doctorate in education, social science, or related field
  • Broad expertise in qualitative, quantitative, and design-based research methods and deep expertise in at least one methodological approach (e.g., digital ethnography, learning analytics, game development, etc.)
  • Experience executing sophisticated research designs
  • A track record of impactful publications
  • Strong interest in advancing excellence and equity in education through improving professional learning for educators
  • Excellent communication and technical skills
  • Ability to work independently, mentor students and junior staff, and contribute to an interdisciplinary team.  At least five years of research experience that includes grant writing, mentoring, and project management is preferred.   Job #15761

This is a temporary, one-year appointment, renewable on an annual basis.

Visit the MIT jobs page to apply.