New MIT STEM Video Series

New MIT STEM Video Series
Summary: MIT shares that it has 'gone into the movie making business'. The university's Teaching and Learning Laboratory recently produced and released 47 "STEM Concept Videos" with a Creative Commons license that allows educators to view and share the recently created and released videos in the classroom. They are also part of the school's website through its OpenCourseWare website. Any educator is able to use the videos to teach complex engineering concepts and written authorization is not necessary in this context.

MIT STEM Video Series

The STEM Concept Videos cover themes that are geared toward first and second year engineering students but many high school students could benefit from the catalog of videos. The video topics include engineering curricula such as, "...problem solving, communications, probability and statistics, equilibrium and nine other broad categories." If your classroom practices the ‘flipped classroom strategy’ and uses videos as ‘homework’ and works on class assignment and projects during instructional time or is covered in an online classroom, the videos will be useful in explaining complex engineering content and breaking down complex ideas into chunks that students can easily grasp and better understand.

The content for each short video was thoroughly vetted with talented faculty and authors for the video scripts. Each video is less than 15 minutes and features animations, visualizations, demonstrations and a variety of other kinds of examples to help student viewers understand the concepts presented in the videos. You can be assured the quality and content presented are top notch as a result of their detailed concept approval method.

The Teaching and Learning Laboratory worked with MIT faculty to develop the instructional practices featured in the video. The video series was initiated by the ‘Singapore University of Technology and Design’ which collaborated with MIT to produce the video series.

The Teaching and Learning Laboratory (Lab) used the backwards design process and developed the video with the end in mind. The Lab worked with course instructors from the foundational courses of the engineering curriculum. It identified selected learning outcomes and what was deemed as "pivotal concepts"; critical skills that supported the learning objectives and outcomes for each video.  The pivotal concepts that served as the foundation for the videos met two essential criteria: the concepts were multidisciplinary and could also serve as prerequisites for several concepts that would be taught in upper level undergraduate engineering courses. If the concepts did not meet the criteria, the concepts were not made into a video.

Once the pivotal concept was determined, the Lab assigned a primary author responsible for reviewing the videos created. A design team consisting of the designated Lab primary author, in conjunction with practicing engineers, brainstormed and developed ideas to help students visualize the concepts presented in the video. Each video was thoroughly reviewed and the narration recording and supporting visuals were heavily scrutinized for content and quality.

Professor John Lienhard shared, "The resulting videos are a concise overview of challenging material." If you have a flipped classroom or teach the advanced concepts presented in the videos, these resources would be excellent to explain and demonstrate concepts so students can conceptualize the complexities of engineering curricula.

This video series offers students studying engineering concepts in a variety of courses a visual way to conceptualize content and exhibit mastery of first and second year higher education content. That, coupled with the freedom to use and share the videos with students of all ages makes these videos a highly valued resource to explore and use in the classroom.


Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) . RES.TLL-004 STEM Concept Videos, Fall 2013. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), (Accessed 13 Dec, 2014). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA