By Peter Chipman, OCW Digital Publication Specialist and OCW Educator Assistant
It was a great pleasure to learn that MIT’s Math Department has named Paige Dote as one of five winners of this year’s Teaching and Learning Award.
Dote, who has just finished her second year as an undergraduate math student, has a demonstrated passion for open education. She first formed a connection with MIT OpenCourseWare in the spring of 2021; after realizing how much valuable content is created for academic courses but never made available online, she began working with instructor Dr. Casey Rodriguez to share lecture videos and other materials from Dr. Rodriguez’s course 18.100A Real Analysis on OCW.
MIT students have long been valued contributors of OCW materials, ranging from course notes that complement faculty materials to sample coursework such as essays and group projects that help bring a course to life for OCW users. We’re experimenting now with programs to encourage even more student contributions and create new ways for students to support OCW’s mission. In October 2021, Dote joined MIT graduate student Ashay Athalye and OCW staffers Curt Newton and Sarah Hansen to discuss these efforts in a panel discussion on “When Students Create OER: What We’ve Learned and What’s Next at MIT OpenCourseWare” at the OpenEd ’21 conference.
During the Independent Activities Period in January 2022, Dote taught her first course at MIT, the three-week 18.S097 Introduction to Metric Spaces. (As you might guess, it’s unusual for for-credit courses at MIT to be taught by undergraduates, and it’s extremely unusual for such a course to be taught by a student in their second year.) In keeping with her commitment to open education, she generously shared the materials from the course, including the lecture notes and problem sets, on OCW. Above and beyond that, she agreed to answer a set of interview questions on her approach to teaching 18.S097; in that interview, which you can read in its entirety on the course’s Instructor Insights page, she describes her vision of the ideal role of students in the educational ecosystem: “I wish students took more of a part in the classroom,” she comments, “and I believe this can be better encouraged by professors.”
We couldn’t agree more! Here’s hoping that Paige’s efforts will inspire a new generation of educational innovators among her fellow students, and that she herself will continue her work on behalf of open education in coming years, both as a student and as a teacher.