Online Learning Innovations and Interventions

Eva Ponce, Pawan Sinha, Kyle Keane
April 30, 2019 4:00pm
MIT Campus
MIT Community

In this panel discussion, three project leaders from MIT’s Integrated Learning Initiative will discuss their work with online learning innovations and applying interventions. This year, nearly $1M in funding was provided to six research projects tasked with finding ways to make learning more effective and make online learning more engaging.

Eva Ponce, Kyle Keane, and Pawan Sinha each have different approaches for making online learning more engaging. This high-level discussion will focus not only on the interventions but the learners themselves and how, as Dr. Ponce describes, ‘zombie learners’ often lack motivation to complete online courses. Dr. Keane and Dr. Sinha are testing two different strategies for making learning more effective. Keane’s research focuses on the potential benefits of utilizing computer programming and visualization to solve and understand undergraduate physics problems. Sinha’s research uses various course modules from the MITx library, specifically introductory biology, to insert short novel clips derived from a variety of sources such as NASA, PBS, and National Geographic.

The panel will discuss research successes and challenges and how newly discovered best practices in online learning can be used to produce new MITx materials that not only keep the attention of the online learners but also prove more educationally effective.

Dr. Keane is winner of the MIT’s James N. Murphy Award and the School of Engineering Infinite Mile Award. He has been a lecturer in DMSE since 2013, where he teaches computational methods for materials science and engineering, and has been the departmental lead on integrating computation throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

Prof. Sinha is a professor of vision and computational neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. He received his undergraduate degree in computer science from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and his Masters and doctoral degrees from the Department of Computer Science at MIT.

Dr. Ponce is the Executive Director of the Supply Chain Management MITx MicroMasters Program as well as a Research Associate at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics. She oversees the five online MITx courses in Supply Chain Management (CTL.SCx courses) that make up the MicroMasters Program.

Watch the video of this xTalk.

Read MIT student Zoya Fan's reflections on this xTalk.

Slides from Eva Ponce's presentation
Slides from Pawan Sinha & Matt Groth's presentation
Slides from Kyle Keane's presentation