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:

RESEARCH SCIENTIST

JOB ID: 15270

The MIT Teaching Systems Lab has an open position for a research scientist to lead initiatives across our ambitious research agenda to improve teacher learning.

All across the world, educational systems are pushing for more ambitious teaching in PK-12 classrooms, and the only way this will happen is if we dramatically increase the quantity and quality of learning experiences for teachers and educators across their careers. We believe that online and blended learning experiences can play an important role in creating and improving these professional learning experiences. In particular, we focus on the role of open online courseware–both MOOCs and different blended implementations, and on practice spaces— inspired by games and simulations that let teachers rehearse for and reflect on important decisions in teaching.

Research in the Teaching Systems Lab is interdisciplinary: we use design-based methods from lab tests to field experiments, qualitative research including interviews and observations, and quantitative analysis of MOOC data and other software trace data. We’re committed to making all of our ideas and products available to the world through open licensing, and we have a bias towards applied research co-designed with teachers and teacher educators and tested in the complexities of the real world.

We are seeking a research scientist who can help us advance this ambitious agenda, through supporting team members on current projects and leading new ones. The ideal candidate will have deep methodological experience in one domain, and experience and comfort with research spanning multiple methods. The research scientist should have a strong track record of publication, and the ideal candidate will have experience with grant writing and maintaining relationships with funders. Given the applied nature of our research, engaging existing partners and developing new partnerships is central to the work.

The position comes with MIT’s excellent benefit package and salary will be commensurate with experience. The position is for one year, renewable annually.

Candidates can read the official job description and apply here, and please direct questions to jreich@mit.edu. We’d particularly welcome recommendations for excellent candidates.

 

LEAD PRODUCT ENGINEER FOR ONLINE PRACTICE SPACES

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

REQUIRED:

  • 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.

 

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or disability.