What is MITili?

Founded in February 2016, the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili, or “mightily”) is a multi-disciplinary center for research in teaching and learning. It drives fundamental research on learning to improve approaches to teaching and educational technologies on campus and online. MITili draws from fields as wide ranging as cognitive psychology, engineering, neuroscience, economics, health, arts, design, and architecture.

What is the purpose of MITili?

The goal of this research is to study the acquisition, retention, mastery, integration, transfer, and practice of knowledge; understand the social, political, economic, and systemic ecosystem of education; and to use these findings to build next-generation learning systems to transform education at all levels: pK12, higher education, and workplace learning.

Who leads MITili?

John Gabrieli, the Grover Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology and Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center, and a member of the McGovern Institute, serves as the director of MITili.

Parag Pathak, the Jane Berkowitz Carlton and Dennis William Carlton Professor of Microeconomics, and Director of the MIT School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, and Faculty Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research serves as the deputy director of MITili.

What is the governance structure of MITili?

MIT ili is guided by a faculty advisory committee that works closely with the deans for undergraduate education and graduate education, and collaborates with faculty, students, and staff across the five schools at MIT. MIT Open Learning helps serve the initiative’s administrative needs.

What is the impact of MITili?

MITili’s research and programs advance scholarship on learning, improve curriculum and pedagogies for faculty and students residentially at MIT, and broaden access to MIT’s educational resources for learners online and through MIT’s affiliated programs worldwide.

How is this research shared?

The research of MITili’s faculty, postdocs, students, and associated scholars will be published and made available to the community. The Integrated Learning Initiative also hosts research symposia, talks, and other events open to the community.

How does MITili affect MIT on-campus education?

In consultation with the Teaching and Learning LaboratoryScheller Teacher Education ProgramTeaching Systems Lab, and Residential MITx as well as other efforts on campus, MITili aids in advancing new teaching pedagogies and methodologies to further enhance the experience of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate students in the classroom, laboratory, and online, while providing space for faculty to test new directions in course design and pedagogy.

How does MITili address the disciplinary divides in education?

At its core, the Integrated Learning Initiative seeks to integrate approaches to teaching and learning across the disciplines, bringing together the best learning research in fields as wide-ranging as physics, neuroscience, and the humanities. To coalesce this research, MITili fosters interdisciplinary connections across the Institute through collaborative research, teaching, and outreach.

How does MIT weigh in on educational outcome measurements?

Assessment is central to our modern educational system, yet substantial research on the effectiveness of many assessment programs is lacking. By researching assessment outcomes at all levels of education, MIT helps guide future assessment policy and practice.

How is MITili financed?

We are making MITili financially sustainable by seeking funding through various sources including gifts, consortium memberships, and sponsored research. MIT sees substantial interest from foundations, companies, and individuals positioned to support the endeavor, and who are interested in benefitting from the MITili research.

How does MITili affect MIT’s existing open education initiatives, MIT OpenCourseWare and MITx?

Research out of MITili informs MIT’s digital learning and open education efforts, like OpenCourseWare, MITx, the MicroMaster’s certificate, as well as MIT xPro and seeks to further improve these online learning platforms by applying latest developments in learning scholarship and educational technology.

How can I support this initiative?

We welcome your support of MITili’s research through gift donations. Learn more.

Who should I contact if I have questions about MITili?

For more on MITili, please email