MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XXXII No. 1
September / October 2019
September Faculty Meeting Calls for
Major Changes in Institute Policy
The Hard Road to Recovery
The MIT-Nepal Initiative: Four Years On
On the Responsibilities of Instructors
A Letter to President Rafael Reif and
Provost Marty Schmidt Regarding Epstein
A Motion to Establish an Ad Hoc Faculty Committee to Protect Academic Integrity
It Is Difficult to Know What to Do
Two Donors, Two Deaths, Two Responses
Patrick Henry Winston
Report on the Faculty Classroom Survey Spring 2019
New Atlas Process Paves Way for Supporting
Undergraduate Research Innovation
A Case for Mid-Semester Feedback
Hayden Renovation Update:
Key Dates for the Fall
Nominate a Colleague as a
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
from the Faculty Classroom Survey
Spring 2019
Printable Version

Report on the Faculty Classroom Survey Spring 2019

Mary Callahan

This past spring, the Registrar’s Office, in collaboration with Institutional Research, prepared and administered a classroom survey to 798 lecturing faculty. The survey, last given in 2008, was updated to incorporate input from the Teaching + Learning Lab, the Office of Digital Learning, and the Sloan School of Management. Two hundred and nine of these faculty members responded.

The objectives of this survey were to:

  • evaluate the current state of classrooms at MIT;
  • assess how well the inventory aligns with teaching approaches;
  • identify new strategies for overall design and development;
  • collect input to update design standards for future renovations of classrooms and lecture halls;
  • better understand technology needs to support current and future pedagogies;
  • provide data to other relevant departments.


Almost three-quarters of respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with their classroom. The majority were able to teach in the classroom they requested and spent less than five minutes traveling to it from their office.

Approximately 70 percent of those surveyed regularly use a computer in the classroom and found that their space met their technology needs, though most indicated that there were not an adequate number of electrical outlets. While almost half of respondents indicated that it is important to have lecture capture technology in their classroom, 75% indicated that they are not interested in using it.

More than half of respondents conduct small group activities in the classroom, and while most believed that there is enough space for active learning, fewer thought that it was easy to rearrange the rooms to suit their teaching style.

Next Steps

Although the gap between the current and desired state of our classrooms is relatively small, there is always room for improvement. We have been adding additional electrical outlets as part of our recent renovations, and the current renovations will include movable furniture so that instructors can more easily transform their classrooms into active learning environments. We have also been researching new types of chalk, to address noted problems erasing chalkboards.

Our classrooms support multiple modes of teaching. In order to maintain, and improve upon, this level of satisfaction, we will continue to gather input and feedback from faculty to inform the renovation process. A comprehensive effort to invest in classroom maintenance and renovation greatly improves the teaching and learning potential of the Institute.  

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me. The full results of the survey can be found at:

See M.I.T. Numbers for some survey results.

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