Mary Ellen currently oversees the execution and evolution of MIT Department of Biology’s digital learning strategy with a group of two postdoctoral scholars and several graduate and undergraduate student contributors. The group develops digital learning content for MIT students and advises evidence-based teaching practices. They also create MITx courses — available on edX to anyone — and research the design of digital learning content.
In 2016, Mary Ellen earned the Infinite Mile Award from the MIT Department of Biology. In 2017, she was included on the Reimagine Education shortlist for Hybrid Learning.
Peer-Reviewed PublicationsThe Effect of Course Content Position on Student Attempts of Practice Problems in Introductory Biology. 2018 Learning With MOOCS (LWMOOCS). IEEE, 2018.
Criteria for Video Engagement in a Biology MOOC. Thornton, S, Riley, C, Wiltrout, ME. Proceedings of the Fourth (2017) ACM Conference on Learning@Scale. ACM, 2017. doi: 10.1145/3051457.3054007
Teaching MIT Students to Think Like Cell Biologists: A Visual Approach. Thornton, S, Wiltrout, ME. EducationXpress, 2015.