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June 23, 2020 - Results of Surveys on Spring Remote Teaching and Learning

Dear Instructors, Academic Administrators, Undergraduate/Graduate Officers, and Faculty Committee Staff,

The sudden development of the Covid-19 emergency during the second part of the spring semester required extraordinary adjustments by our students, instructors, and all at MIT who support teaching and learning.  The continuing crisis makes it imperative that we learn all we can from our experiences this spring as we plan for the coming academic year when many if not most of our subjects will include remote components.

As discussed in my emails to the community on May 3 and May 20, three surveys to gather feedback on the spring semester were developed by the Academic Policy and Regulations Team (“APART”) working in close collaboration with MIT Institutional Research and members of the Office of the Registrar and the Teaching and Learning Laboratory.

(1) A Qualtrics-based Institute-wide Student Remote Learning Experience Survey was conducted in the second part of May and the results were made available to students on June 5.  This survey does not provide information on a subject-by-subject basis but rather aims to evaluate students’ overall experience with remote learning and to understand the challenges they faced this spring. The results are available on the Institutional Research website.

(2) To enable students to provide specific and useful feedback on how subjects might be improved in remote offerings in the future, a Subject Specific Survey was also conducted in late May.  For reasons discussed previously, this survey did not include any questions calling for numerical ratings but consisted mainly of “open-ended questions”.  Among other things, the open-ended questions provided an opportunity for students to recognize the performance of particular individuals such as teaching assistants.  Access to the subject-specific survey results is strictly limited to the respective subject instructors (who are free to share their own results) and department leadership, and to a tightly restricted number of key individuals involved in supporting remote learning at the Institute.  The links to results have been provided to each department’s “Subject Evaluation Coordinators”.

(3) An Instructor Remote Teaching Survey closed on June 15 and the compiled results have just become available with a total of 765 instructors responding.  The results may now be accessed on the Institutional Research website.

The members of APART hope that the community will find the data from these surveys helpful as we plot the course of the coming academic year.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Rick Danheiser
A. C. Cope Professor and
Chair of the MIT Faculty
 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Chemistry
Room 18-298
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel 617 253 1842
Cell 617 480 3948