MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXIII No. 2
November / December 2010
MIT's Foreign Policy?; S3 & Institute Committees; Landscaping
MIT Promotion and Tenure Processes
Student Support Services:
Reorganized, Reviewed, and Redefined
Support the New START Treaty
MIT150: MIT Open House
Follows a Long Tradition
A Missed Opportunity: Saving Oil and Foreign Exchange with a Great Reducation in Emissions
Looking at the Numbers
Affordable Course Materials
Maintaining our Resolutions: Implementing the MIT Faculty Open Access Policy
Finding Appropriate Support for
Students with Disabilities
From a Whistle to a Hum: Facilities Upgrades Enhance the Resilience of the Campus Steam Distribution System
ICIS: International Center for
Integrative Systems
MIT EMS: A Student-Run Jewel
Stellar Next Generation
Work-Life Resources Now Available 24/7
Cost of Nuclear Energy is Misrepresented
No Mention of Geothermal Energy
Connect with MIT's Global Community
National Research Council (NRC) Finally Releases Doctoral Program Rankings
NRC 2010 Doctoral Program Rankings: Percent Ranked 1 in R or S Rankings
NRC 2010 Doctoral Program Rankings: Percent Ranked in Top 3 in R or S Rankings
Printable Version

Stellar Next Generation

incremental cost over budget




Faculty Advisory Committee on LMS

During the 2009-10 academic year, the Faculty Advisory Committee on Learning Management Systems (LMS) evaluated several options for meeting the Institute’s requirements for a robust but flexible LMS.  The Committee focused on solutions that could effectively improve on Stellar’s aging architecture.  The Committee’s final recommendation was to implement a limited “Stellar Next Generation” evaluation using a representative sample of MIT departments and courses.

Spring Experiment

IS&T will be implementing this limited evaluation of Stellar Next Generation in the upcoming spring 2011 term.  During this program, selected DLCs will be testing the core functionality of Stellar NG, as well as features that satisfy specific pedagogical needs not yet met by the current course management system.  Specific features include streaming video, video conferencing, image handling, and Google Docs integration.  During this evaluation, IS&T will continue to fully support the existing Stellar application.

Success Criteria

IS&T will collect data from the participating DLCs in the experiment in order to determine Stellar NG’s ability to provide the following:

  1. User-friendly, familiar workflow.
  2. User-facing functionality that the current Stellar architecture cannot provide.
  3. Easy integration of popular third-party services, such as Google Docs.
  4. User-managed customizations and enhancements for those who require them.
  5. Low barrier to adoption for instructors and students.

How do I provide input?

IS&T continues to encourage input from community members on MIT’s next LMS. Please send your comments on this or the Stellar NG experiment to:


For more background information on the Stellar NG project, please see the FNL article published earlier this year.

To learn more about the project, visit the LMS Evaluation wiki.

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