Final Report, MIT Committee on EVAT
These recommendations can be started during the next twelve months. Other pages contain short-range and long-range recommendations.
- Pedagogic Initiatives. Advanced technologies should enable new ways of teaching what we teach.
- The Provost should establish a visible and prestigious Institute-wide competition among faculty for support of curriculum development projects that make effective pedagogical use of advanced technologies. The emphasis should be on projects with readily identified deliverables, actual classroom deployment, and a relatively short time required for completion and adoption. Between five and ten projects should be supported annually, at a total cost of $1M per year. The program should continue for at least three years. Project leaders should report to Academic Council and to the Faculty on their progress.
- MIT should study the concept of collaboratively teaching our regular subjects with other universities, where there would be both students and teaching staff from each institution. Teaching staff could also come from industry and private practice. A few specific subjects should be taught that way in order to gain experience.
- Distance Learning. The advanced technologies studied by the committee enable and improve communications, and can thereby enhance the effectiveness of distance learning.
- In order to investigate the opportunities and risks associated with remote delivery of our regular subjects, the EECS department should offer one regular subject to VI-A students at the plant, either during a summer or fall term. This offering should use all the advanced technologies available, not just the Web. As an alternative, a subject could be offered to students in the Engineering Internship Program or at the Chemical Engineering Practice School.
- In a similar way, the proposed Systems Design and Management program, to be run jointly by the School of Engineering and the Sloan School, is encouraged to offer one regular MIT subject remotely to its students while at their companies. The degree of success of this experiment should be communicated to the faculty of the Institute.
- MIT should investigate cross-registration of students at remote campuses. This could include both students of other universities taking our subjects using advanced technologies, and our students doing the same with their courses.
- Alumni/ae Relations. Our alumni/ae should be able to benefit from continuing MIT education. One long-range recommendation deals with this opportunity. Improved alumni/ae relations can benefit MIT and the alumni/ae in many ways even before extensive educational programs can be mounted.
- The appropriate MIT units, probably Academic Computing and the Alumni/Alumnae Association, should explore mechanisms to give alumni/ae network access to materials, discussions, communications, and other online resources at MIT. These mechanisms may include MIT-provided services such as Athena access, commercial access, or some combination of the two. The analysis should include financial and business aspects.
- Academic Support. Our normal teaching program can benefit from the infusion of advanced technologies into the management of the effort.
- All MIT subjects should have Web home pages, or at least Web-accessible descriptions linked to MIT's official Web pages. This might be done rather easily by converting what is now in TechInfo into a different format. Instructors of individual subjects could develop their own, more extensive, home pages, which could be linked to a centrally maintained set of pages.
- Bibles (e.g., handouts, notes, problem sets, problem solutions, quizzes, final exams, and solutions) should be made available, on line, for all major subjects. The required templates, standards, and procedures should be developed by the Undergraduate Academic Affairs Office and the Libraries.
- Administrative Support. Advanced technologies should be used routinely in administrative procedures at MIT.
- Web-based forms should be developed for use by the MIT community. Examples include student registration forms, applications for parking permits, add/drop cards, and student petitions. (One major problem with the use of such forms at this time is the lack of adequate authentication and security mechanisms.)
- Newly admitted students, both high-school seniors and those accepted to graduate school, should be directed toward information on the Web specifically designed to help them decide whether to accept our admission offer. After acceptance, they should be provided electronic connectivity, such as Athena accounts, to make them feel part of the MIT community. These efforts should be organized by the Admissions Office for undergraduate admissions, and the departments for graduate admissions.
- Student e-mail addresses are useful, unique identifiers. They should be routinely included in class lists and other lists of students, probably in place of the MIT IDs which are not generally as useful.
This page revised June 12, 1995. Your comments about this report are welcome.
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