diverse students

In thinking about transforming teaching and learning around the world, we first look at access. Learners who use MIT OpenCourseWare materials and take MITx on edX courses write to us throughout the year to share how these free and open resources have helped them improve their own subject matter understanding, bolster their academic pursuits, and serve as an aid for their lifelong learning.

Serving more than 11 million learners this past fiscal year alone, MIT Open Learning is truly a program of scale. One of our flagships--MITx on edX--recently reached a special milestone for one of its inaugural courses, the MOOC Introduction to Computer Science using Python, with more than 1.2 million people enrolling in the course to date. We appreciate the work of the faculty and staff who have invested their time and talent to create and maintain this robust course, and are grateful for the students who have used this course to support their educational journeys. 


mother and daughter

Research and applied practice are essential in our efforts to make transformational change in education.  Through the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), we draw from fields as wide ranging as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, economics, health, design, engineering, architecture and discipline-based education research to study learning from diverse perspectives. These findings enable educators to design curriculum, pedagogy, and tools that help learners of all ages reach their fullest potential.

In this past year, MITili research examined how to increase learning effectiveness and early literacy for the youngest of learners.


students at a computer

The success of our mission to transform teaching and learning also lies in scalability. Although we are able to rapidly reach millions of learners, we face the challenge of navigating disparate educational circumstances and systems, as well as differing curriculum requirements and policies that require MIT’s educational innovations to adapt to new contexts and communities around the globe.

In one noteworthy example of MIT partnering to deliver innovative solutions at scale, the award-winning collaboration between MIT Open Learning, the Tata Trusts, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences’ Centre for Education Innovation and Action Research in Mumbai, helped create MIT’s Connected Learning Initiative (CLIx), which brings digital tools to students and teachers in underserved communities in India

Who we are

open learning team


MIT Open Learning is comprised of more than 125 passionate and dedicated staff. ​Here are just a few of our leaders, technologists, researchers, and innovators.

Krishna Tracy  Peter  

open learning employeeopen learning employee open learning employee



Highlights of the year

June 2018

May 2018

MIT residential education stats

April 2018

Dr. Mary Ellen Wiltrout, MIT

Spotlight on Mary Ellen Wiltrout, MITx Digital Learning Lab

Dr. Mary Ellen Wiltrout is an MITx Digital Learning Scientist in the Department of Biology. She received her PhD in biology studying translesion synthesis at MIT. Since 2009, she has worked in education and curriculum development, teaching her own courses, overseeing the development of innovative digital learning content and tools, and conducting education research. Read the complete article.

March 2018

February 2018

html coding

Contributing to the Open Source Ecosystem 

The term “open source” describes software—ranging from games to operating systems to educational tools—whose source code is publicly available for reuse, redistribution, and modification. Open source has also evolved into what some call a philosophy of collaboration and transparency that extends beyond technology. “These values have been part of the MIT culture for a long time,” says Peter Pinch, Associate Director of Engineering at Open Learning, “and have inspired Open Learning’s Engineering and Operations Unit since its founding.” Read the complete article.

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

    • The Inversion Factor: How to Thrive in the IoT Economy, co-authored by Sanjay Sarma, Linda Bernardi and Kenneth Traub is published.
    • MITili team conducts research on attention at Masie Learning 2017 conference. They spent two days with participants using a small EEG headband to record brain waves which can detect the amount of focus a learner has.
    • The 2nd annual Boston STEM Week (Oct 23-28) ran in 30 Boston schools. More than 6,000 6-8th grade students and 250 teachers set aside their regular classwork over the 5 days to participate in innovative, hands-on science and engineering projects.  Much of the curriculum was developed in collaboration with MIT.
    • Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab holds inaugural J-WEL Week, which gathers educators, researchers, policy makers, and technologists from 27 countries to spark a global renaissance in education for all learners.
    • Using Bitcoin's blockchain technology, the Institute has become one of the first universities to issue recipient-owned virtual credentials.

    September 2017

      meeting at MIT

      Reshaping teacher learning and supporting educators

      This past year, Open Learning hosted six playtests where educators provided feedback on prototypes coming out of the Teaching Systems Lab (TSL), while also learning about the latest developments in games and simulations in teacher education. Along with recent improvements to the OCW Educator Portaland the launching of the Woodrow Wilson Academy, a graduate school of education, these events underscore Open Learning’s commitment to transforming the education landscape for both learners and teachers, on campus and around the world. Read the complete article.

      August 2017

      July 2017

        Thank you again for supporting MIT Open Learning!