Summer Institute

The Olin Collaboratory Summer Institute has provided participants from around the country and around the world with the opportunity to conceive and catalyze change in engineering education.  In 2018, Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences was held June 4-8 on our Needham campus.  Dates for our 2019 Summer Institute will be announced this fall.

Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences is a weeklong interactive workshop for faculty teams engaged in a curricular change effort at their own institution. Through participatory workshops, immersive design exercises, and presentations from experts, teams of faculty learn about, experience, and practice effective, engaging teaching approaches for new and meaningful STEM curricula. Through the Summer Institute experience, we aim to create a learning environment for participants that 

  • Embraces creativity, prototyping, iterating, and dreaming big,
  • Introduces a set of tools, concepts, and language about student-centered experience design,
  • Promotes exploration of your context in a new way and provides insight into what we do here,
  • Builds community among educators, change agents, designers, and learners.

Together with others from comparable institutions, you and your team develop concrete action plans for curricular change. Sessions are highly participatory and you are challenged to continually consider new ideas and put novel approaches into practice. Institute attendees acquire a new lens through which to view their projects, an expanded repertoire of techniques and solutions, and concrete steps to take their plans forward.

Past attendees have ranged from Deans to new faculty members as well as everyone in between. All participants should be prepared to spend the full week deeply engaged in this demanding program. Applicants must apply in teams of at least three and describe a project (in the contemplation, planning, or execution stage) at their home institution. Teams are also required to do preliminary homework, such as interviewing students from their own institution; this work provides a background to the week's activities.

The fee for the 2018 program was $10,000 for a team of up to three people, and $3000 per person for each additional team member. Applicants typically come to Summer Institute with some amount of institutional support for the project (whether financial or otherwise). While many teams secure funding through their university, teams might consider incorporating funding for Summer Institute into their grant proposals. For example, Summer Institute could serve as a kick-off event for an educational-focused grant or a professional development opportunity for the principal investigators during the term of the grant. Click here for more logistics. 

Here are some highlights from this year's Summer Institute:

Summer Institute 2018 by Olin College of Engineering on Exposure