MIT digital learning lab

Mary Ellen Wiltrout

Director of Online and Blended Learning Initiatives, Lecturer, Digital Learning Scientist, Biology
Digital Learning Lab

Mary Ellen Wiltrout oversees the development and execution of the department's digital learning strategy with a team of instructors and a postdoctoral scholar as well as graduate and undergraduate student contributors. Mary Ellen applies her teaching experience, PhD in biology, and knowledge of the learning sciences to transform the biology curriculum at MIT in collaboration with the faculty and instructional team. The projects include blended learning experiences for MIT students (especially the Introductory Biology and core undergraduate courses) and open online courses (MOOCs) that are available to learners around the world. She takes a learning engineering approach to the design process to focus on the learners and make data-informed decisions. She manages the development and execution of the projects and promotes the implementation of evidence-based teaching. The group also studies learner engagement and course design. Mary Ellen enjoys training and mentoring other teaching staff and postdocs as well as graduate, undergraduate, and high school students in this discipline. She is also a founding member and senior co-leader of the cross-departmental Digital Learning Lab of MIT Open Learning. The biology group created and managed three of ClassCentral's best online courses of all time. Prior to returning to MIT, Mary Ellen taught at Harvard University and earned her PhD in Biology from MIT.