MIT: Independent Activities Period: IAP

IAP 2015 Activities by Category - Teaching Skills

= Add activity session to your calendar (exports in iCalendar format)
Expand All | Collapse All

Developing your Teaching Philosophy Statement

Dr. Janet Rankin, Senior Associate Director, Teaching & Learning Lab

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/27
Limited to 20 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions

Virtually all job-postings for faculty positions in the US require applicants to submit a Teaching Philosophy Statement. While the format, length and emphasis of a teaching philosophy may vary considerably across institutions, disciplines and positions, many elements of a TPS are invariant.

In this 2-day, hands-on workshop, lead by Amanda Sobel from the Writing & Communications Center (WCC)  and Janet Rankin from the Teaching and Learning Lab (TLL), participants  will:

Sponsor(s): Teaching and Learning Lab, Writing and Communication Center, Global Education and Career Development
Contact: Leann Dobranski, E39-207, 617 253-3371, LEANN@MIT.EDU

Add to Calendar Jan/28 Wed 01:00PM-03:00PM E39-040

Dr. Janet Rankin - Senior Associate Director, Teaching & Learning Lab, Dr. Amanda Sobel - Lecturer CMS/Writing Program

Add to Calendar Jan/30 Fri 01:00PM-03:00PM E39-040

Dr. Amanda Sobel - Lecturer CMS/Writing Program, Dr. Janet Rankin - Senior Associate Director, Teaching & Learning Lab

Engaging Our Future Scientists

W. Craig Carter, Professor

Add to Calendar Jan/28 Wed 04:00PM-05:00PM 4-163

Enrollment: Unlimited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/27
Prereq: None

How would Harry Potter teach evaporation? Can Minecraft make multiplication fun?  Explore these questions in this one-hour workshop about using general story structure and pop culture to engage children in STEM education. Develop ways to discover students’ interests, and foster techniques to utilize these interests to engage students. In small groups, participants will practice personalizing a generic lesson plan using some common student interests.

Anna Musser is a Massachusetts certified elementary school teacher with seven years of teaching experience. She has also worked as a research assistant for Harvard University’s Psychology Department where she facilitated social experiments with children at the Boston Museum of Science. Anna currently works as a technology teacher at Empow Studios in Lexington, MA. She presently teaches video game design, robotics, stop motion animation, and computer animation to elementary and middle school children.

Enrollment Conditions: No enrollment limit

Sponsor(s): Materials Science and Engineering
Contact: W. Craig Carter, 13-4053, 617-715-4295

How to Run a Meeting

Ruth Levitsky, Coordinator for Speaking Clubs

Add to Calendar Jan/05 Mon 12:00PM-01:00PM E51-145

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up


Join members of PowerTalk International Training in Communications to learn how to run a meeting.

The group will cover the before (planning your meeting effectively), the during (the nuts and bolts of getting business accomplished) and the after (preparing minutes that document what is to come)

This workshop is for all who have suffered through a badly organized meeting and/or are preparing to “be in the know” for the time when it’s their turn to plan and preside at a meeting.







Contact: Ruth Levitsky, E18-201C, 617 253-3399, LEVITSKY@MIT.EDU

How to Speak

Patrick Henry Winston, Ford Professor of Engineering/MacVicar Fellow

Add to Calendar Jan/30 Fri 11:00AM-12:00PM 10-250

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Professor Winston offers heuristic rules that enable you to do better oral exams, job talks, lectures,
and conferences presentations, and make your listeners consider your performances to be inspiring.

Sponsor(s): Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Contact: Patrick Henry Winston,

HyperStudio Workshop: Collaborative Insights Through Digital Annotation

Kurt Fendt, Executive Director, MIT HyperStudio

Add to Calendar Jan/23 Fri 08:30AM-05:30PM Room 66-110

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/15
Limited to 50 participants
Prereq: None

Instructors and students in the humanities and the liberal arts increasingly work in an electronically supported and extended world of multimedia texts. Digital archives, online media repositories, and new tools for creating digital content have not only changed the way students interact with cultural content, they have also radically changed the landscape within which learning can take place. Instructors are faced with the challenge of how to respond to this shift, how to innovate and redesign their roles and curricula.

In this workshop, we investigate one possible solution to this challenge: digital annotation. Digital annotation brings the long humanistic tradition of annotation, one of John Unsworth's "scholarly primitives," into contemporary electronic media. Participants in this workshop will discuss the opportunities digital annotation tools create for new forms of social engagement with the text, for students to share ideas, interpretations, references, sources, adaptations, or other related media with peers and other readers that significantly change the way students acquire and produce knowledge.

Keynote Address: John Bryant, Hofstra University

Presentations and Sessions:

Jody Gordon & Chris Gleason, Wentworth Institute of Technology

Mary Isbell, University of New Haven

Alex Mueller, University of Massachusetts, Boston

MIT: Suzanne Lane, Wyn Kelley, Ina Lipkowitz, Roberto Rey Agudo

For more information and registration, visit

Sponsor(s): Comparative Media Studies/Writing
Contact: Gabriella Horvath, 617 715-4480, HYPERSTUDIO@MIT.EDU

Inspiring change: strategic narrative for startup success

David Shrier, Managing Director, MIT Connection Science

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/21
Limited to 14 participants
Attendance: Participants must attend all sessions
Prereq: none

Do you want to be able to raise money faster?  Do you want to enlist people to your team or try your product?

Great ideas are necessary but not sufficient for successful new ventures.  You also need to be able to inspire people to action.  Failed, inauthentic attempts to do this get labeled "spin" or "sales".  When done well and authentically, it's "strategic narrative" that transforms idea to action.

Inspiring change: strategic narrative for startup success will provide a hands-on lab for students to craft stories, obtain feedback, and improve them.  


What is "strategic narrative"?

It's "strategic" because it articulates a vision.  It's "narrative" because it takes someone on a journey, with you, that involves change of some kind (we solve a problem, we take over a market, we invent the future). 

Why should I care? 

The most successful entrepreneurs in the world - Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Thomas Edison, Mark Zuckerberg - all told compelling stories that inspired people to change.

Ready to gain inspiration skills to make your idea a winner?  Then sign up!

Contact: David Shrier, E15-385, 617 715-5206, SHRIER@MIT.EDU

Part I: introduction

Add to Calendar Jan/29 Thu 09:00AM-05:00PM E15-383, bring your laptop

Part I: introduction will help students create compelling stories that cause people to take action - invest in their startup, join their team, try their product.  Examples will be explored of successful narratives in a multi-media format.  Hands-on exercises will be conducted to apply learning directly to action.

David Shrier - Managing Director, MIT Connection Science

Part II: advanced module

Add to Calendar Jan/30 Fri 09:00AM-05:00PM E15-383, bring your laptop

prerequisite: Part I (introduction)

Part II will step the game up: advanced narrative techniques that surprise and delight will be revealed and explored.  How do you stand out when everyone else is also telling great stories?  Students must have participated in part I to gain the benefit of this second module.

David Shrier - Managing Director, MIT Connection Science

Splash for Us

Sophie Mori, Taylor Sutton

Add to Calendar Jan/20 Tue 08:00PM-11:59PM 56, 1st floor

Enrollment: Unlimited: No advance sign-up

Splash for Us is a one-evening IAP event where MIT students present classes about anything they want. Come to teach or learn or both, and explore a variety of unusual, entertaining, and edifying topics!

Where: First floor, Building 56
What: Teach anything, learn anything! By MIT students, for MIT students!
January 20, 2014. 8:00pm-11:59pm.
How: If you want to learn, just show up whenever you want! We plan to serve pizza and other snacks while supplies last.

What classes will be taught? As classes are scheduled, you'll be able to see them here to see an up-to-date schedule of the classes that will be taught at Splash for Us.

Interested in teaching? Visit here to sign up to teach a you want to teach a class for Splash for Us. Classes will be scheduled on a first-come first-serve basis until classroom space is filled up.

If you don't want to teach a long class, you can also sign up to teach a 5-minute lecture during "Firestorm", our series of short lightning lectures. You can decide to teach during Splash for Us, but if you know in advance you want to do a Firestorm class, you can sign up here.

Sponsor(s): Educational Studies Program
Contact: Taylor Sutton & Sophie Mori,

Using Shakespeare to Reach At-Risk High School Students

Jo Ivester, Author

Add to Calendar Jan/19 Mon 10:00AM-02:30PM W20- Basement Mtg Rm, Bring a laptop to access the script

Enrollment: Limited: Advance sign-up required
Sign-up by 01/09
Limited to 15 participants
Prereq: none

Did you have a great time reading Shakespeare’s plays when you were in high school? If so, you were lucky. If not, you’re not alone. Generations of students have learned about Shakespeare not because they were intrigued with his plays, but because they were required to do so. In this seminar, students will explore the assumption that Shakespeare’s themes are highly relevant to today’s teenagers. Through reading and discussing The Merchant of Venice, students will identify specific techniques for encouraging high schoolers to open up about prejudice, gender roles, and parental control. In learning how to help others to appreciate the play, seminar students will themselves develop a deeper understanding.

About the Instructor: Jo Ivester is an MIT alum (class of ’77) who returns every January to serve as a mentor with MIT’s popular UPOP program. One of the early members of The Shakespeare Ensemble at MIT, Jo has co-taught classes on Shakespeare with her mother, who spent twenty years as a high school English teacher in rural Mississippi and in the inner cities of Miami and Los Angeles. Recently, Jo has authored a memoir about her mother’s early teaching career, The Outskirts of Hope, due to be released this April.


Sponsor(s): Shakespeare Ensemble
Contact: Shakespeare Ensemble Officers,