J-WEL Workshop, "Blended Learning by Example" Dec. 10 and 17, 2019 | MIT J-WEL

J-WEL Workshop, "Blended Learning by Example" Dec. 10 and 17, 2019


J-WEL Workshop: "Blended Learning by Example"

Dates and Times

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, AND
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

9:30-11:00 a.m. Eastern US Time

We ask that participants commit to attending both workshop sessions.


Drs. Saif Rayyan, Jennifer French, Kristin Kurianski

How to join the workshop

This workshop is exclusive to J-WEL members. If you are a J-WEL member but haven't received an email with information on how to join two weeks prior to the workshop, please contact us at jwel AT mit dot edu.


Digital technology is transforming many aspects of teaching and learning. Universities and educators face challenges in transforming teaching and learning, and in shifting to blended and hybrid models designed to capture potential gains and avoid pitfalls. In this workshop, we will discuss both good and bad practices for using digital content in a blended and hybrid context and how to use these examples to design an engaging blended learning experience or program. During the sessions, participants will engage in group discussions to analyze and evaluate some of the examples and align with the principles of learning design. Participants will submit a short description of an experience of their own involving blended learning (individually or in groups) and will get feedback from peers and workshop leaders.

About the facilitators

Jen French is a digital learning scientist and lecturer in the math department. She received her BS from the University of Washington in Mathematics with a minor in Physics. She earned her Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT in 2010, with specialization in Algebraic Topology. As a Postdoctoral Associate in the Teaching and Learning Laboratory, she co-created a series of 50 videos and instructor guides connecting engineering themes to foundational concepts in math, physics, chemistry, and biology. This work won best conference paper in 2013 at the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, and is available for free through MIT OCW. As a digital learning scientist, she creates interactive digital content to help teach and support student learning of mathematics, providing immediate feedback through automatically computer-graded assessments.

To date, she has created a series of three Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on single variable calculus, a series of five MOOCs on differential equations, and is developing a series of three MOOCs on multivariable calculus. All are available through edX and are used on campus at MIT in a variety of blended/hybrid formats. She was a co-creator and instructor of a 2017 top 10 finalist for the edX Prize for Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning-- Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems and Infinite Series, and is a co-creator and instructor of a 2017 MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs series: Calculus 1A: Differentiation, Calculus 1B: Integration, and Calculus 1C: Coordinate Systems and Infinite Series.

Kristin Kurianski is a Digital Learning Postdoctoral Associate in the MIT Mathematics Department. She received her B.S. in Mathematics from California State Polytechnic University Pomona in 2014 and her Ph.D. in Mathematics from MIT in 2019. Her dissertation focused on analyzing wave-like phenomena in fluid systems. As a graduate student, Kristin served as a Teaching Assistant for single variable calculus (18.01) twice before being invited to serve as the instructor for the course in Spring 2019. As an instructor, Kristin implemented a flipped classroom model using MITx content form Calculus 1A: Differentiation. She also served as a mentor and differential equations instructor for the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science program through the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs. In 2019, she was recognized as one of MIT's Graduate Women of Excellence. Throughout her graduate career, Kristin assisted in creating courses on MITx in calculus and differential equations by designing problems and appearing as an instructor in several video lectures. As a postdoc, she creates content for a series of three MOOCs in multivariable calculus and facilitates discussion forums for MOOCs in calculus and differential equations.

Saif Rayyan is J-WEL's Assistant Director of Academic Programs. Saif was born in Amman, Jordan. He holds a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Jordan and a PhD in Physics from Virginia Tech. He first joined MIT in 2009 as a postdoctoral associate in physics education research, with a focus on implementing and researching pedagogical innovations using digital tools and platforms. Following his postdoctoral work, Saif transitioned into the role of a Digital Learning Scientist in the physics department and MIT Open Learning. Saif was among the first at MIT to lead digital learning initiatives for creating MOOCs, leveraging their content and technology to enable blended learning solutions and supporting scaling up of digital learning experiments across MIT. Read more.