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Enhancing the First Year at MIT

FYE Design Subjects

As part of the Office of the Vice Chancellor’s priority on exploring the first year undergraduate experience, MIT offered a spring 2018 course, Designing the First Year at MIT, to surface and leverage students’ own insights and recommendations.

The Spring ’18 Course

  • DesignFY_Syllabus_20180206
  • 2.S991 (U), 2.S990 (G), CMS.S63 (U), CMS.S99 (G)
  • 12 unit Subject. 3-0-9
  • HASS-E credit for undergraduates
  • Eligible for design minor credit
  • Instructors: Bryan Moser (lead), Bruce Cameron (lead), Glen Urban, Maria Yang, and Justin Reich
  • Faculty Advisors: Peko Hosoi, Ian Waitz, Dan Frey, Justin Steil, Susan Silbey, Dennis Kim
  • Teaching Assistants: Ben Linville-Engler, Fahad Punjwani, and Grace Kim
  • Lab Assistants: Edward Fan, Kat Jiang, and Alexa Martin
  • Final projects

Subject Description

This subject offers instruction in the process of design while working on a specific design challenge: the potential to significantly improve and innovate on the MIT undergraduate first year.

Using design methods from across MIT Schools, students will learn about the design process, from identifying needs and goals to developing concepts and modes of validation.

Beginning with stakeholder needs identification that will involve reaching out directly to the MIT community, students will be responsible for project deliverables including a customer needs document and a tradespace of options.

Subject work will be team-based and project-focused, offering students an opportunity to present the audacious and incremental options developed to senior MIT stakeholders in a workshop format.

Students will also be exposed to principles of curriculum design and pedagogy, as they develop a holistic perspective to the design of the MIT First Year.

IAP ’19 Fun-Sized Course

  • Course Number: 2.s974 / 2.s790
  • 3 units
  • Faculty: Professor Maria Yang & Vice Chancellor Ian A. Waitz
  • Watch 3-minute video presentations of the final projects.

Subject Description

DFY: Fun-Sized (2.s974/2.s790) was a 3-unit follow-up to the original Designing the First-Year Experience at MIT class offered in Spring 2018.

The course was a two-week design challenge that asked students to imagine a first year at MIT that is characterized by a widespread love of learning.

Students were asked to think blue-sky and then design an action plan that would effectively test key features of their ideas through a class-wide experiment or smaller pilot program. Along the way, they learned about design, education, and the complex system that is MIT.