Saving a semester of learning: MIT’s emergency transition to online instruction
The purpose of this paper is to detail how over a 25-day period (March 4th-March 30th) approximately 1,250 spring term courses transitioned to being remote online offerings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout that time five groups on MIT's campus – the Office of Open Learning (OL), the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC), including in particular the Teaching + Learning Lab (TLL), Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) and Sloan Technology Services (STS) - were primarily responsible for supporting the transition of residential courses to remote online delivery.
This paper describes the organizational structure (both distributed and centralized) that allowed for such collaborations. Critical decisions made by the group are described and connected with the key goals they addressed. Finally, examples of specific tools and supports that were implemented during the transition period are highlighted.