EXPLORING NEW FRONTIERS IN ASSESSMENT AND LEARNING

Our Learning Engineering Journey


January 7, 2020

The Playful Journey Lab, together with the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), has a project which has been ramping up over the past semester, and which will make connections with many other research groups at MIT and beyond. It is called Project Blueprint, and it is meant to explore the practice of learning engineering and […]

Executive Fun(ctions)

Over the last decade, the fields of psychological and cognitive science have experienced a growing interest in executive functions, a collection of higher-order cognitive functions proven critical for adaptive, goal-directed behavior that contribute to one’s well-being. More specifically, executive functions (EF) refer to attention shifting, working memory, and inhibitory control (Miyake, Friedman, Emerson, Witzki, & […]

Beyond Dashboards

Game-based assessments (GBAs) have been shown to be a powerful context to measure students’ 21st century skills. By eliciting evidence of skills in an embedded, authentic and playful environment, they present the potential for assessments to go beyond measuring outcomes of content knowledge to shed light on thought processes. At the Playful Journey Lab, we […]

Work with us!


October 22, 2019

We have positions open for playful people who are passionate about creative learning and assessment! Join our team to help shape our research directions, do impactful work, and have fun! Opportunities are for an Assessment Scientist, Learning Sciences Researcher, Project Manager, and Research Consultant.

Playful India: Maker to Changemaker

India is home to 1/6th of the world’s population. It is a growing technology powerhouse and the largest democracy ever. At the cusp of a technological revolution, India brings with it unique problems of scale and inequity. To address the beautiful complexity that this country is, there is a growing movement to bring maker education […]

Prototyping a Fellowship Program


October 17, 2019

This summer we welcomed our first cohort of Summer Journeyers! From graduate students to experienced teachers, the group brought a diverse set of backgrounds and interests to the lab. They worked collaboratively on projects directly connected to the lab’s work, and on their own independent projects.

Reimagining Teachers’ Assessment Literacy


What does teachers’ assessment literacy mean in the era of big data and AI? How can we create data tools that help educators become fluent and informed users of data and AI-driven suggestions? In the Playful Journey Lab, we’ll tackle those questions and much more — thanks to a new grant award from the NSF Cyberlearning program.

Game Re-re-redesign


September 23, 2019

With almost no experience in designing complex games, Prasanth set out on the journey of building a game that would simulate a water conflict and allow many students in a classroom to take on various roles, negotiate and understand the nuances of governance and policy making.

Designing Story-based Camps


September 20, 2019

Over this summer at the MIT Playful Journey Lab, Plub spent her time researching the topic of “girls in STEM” and designing a camp to be implemented in Bangkok, Thailand.

Microphones and Gum Drops


September 13, 2019

As a Summer Journeyer, Kate experimented with different methods of capturing audio data during collaborative problem solving activities among middle school students. Her goal was to figure out a way to capture what each student said while they worked with a small group of their peers to think through a complex problem.

Plub Limpiti


September 12, 2019

Intro to Play &
Story-based maker adventures

Prasanth Nori


September 11, 2019

Beyond Rubrics in India & Smoke on the Water

Kate Moore


Shadowspect curriculum & Recording collaboration

Beyond Rubrics Journeys to Hong Kong


August 28, 2019

A group of students cranes their necks, watching a giant red balloon float up through the courtyard of a 10-story building. The balloon’s precious cargo: CubeSats—mini satellites designed and built by students to collect data from high up in the air through motion, temperature, and light sensors. This scene, part of a 2-week STEAM Camp [...]

Summer Open House


August 15, 2019

All are invited to the Summer Open House at the MIT Playful Journey Lab! Come get to know us and see what our Summer Journeyer fellows have been working on. Bring friends and have fun! RSVP at bit.ly/playfuljourneyopenhouse2019

Puzzle Game Playtest


August 12, 2019

Does your  middle schooler love solving puzzles? Does your kid leap at the chance to play games with other kids? Is your child excited about creative problem-solving games? Then, come to the Playful Journey Lab at MIT for a play test session of three collaborative puzzle solving games! What are the games? Three 15 minute [...]

Pyramids are Strange


August 6, 2019

Shout out to Somerville math students who playtested Shadowspect this summer! A class of brave geometry students, getting ready for their first year of high school, got a chance to experiment with Shadowspect as a playful tool for reviewing geometric thinking. After a brief 5 minute introduction to the game, students were let loose to [...]

Playful Journey Launch!


March 1, 2019

It has been quite a journey getting to the point of launching this new lab. We all worked on a variety of projects out of other labs before finding the ways that those assessment, play, and technology projects could come together to impact the learning of future-ready skills. Because of this, we have a great […]

Playful Assessment

When we look at today’s schools as a system, it is easy to see that one important component of that system is assessment, and that in order to improve the whole system, we must have assessments that work well with all other components. In recent years there has been a push for instruction to become […]

Woodrow Wilson Academy Partnership

The Playful Journey Lab is co-designing curriculum and assessment for the Woodrow Wilson Academy (WWA), a new school in Cambridge, MA, that offers a competency-based master’s degree for middle and secondary teacher education. The WWA aspires to develop a model for next generation teacher education, and the Playful Journey Lab contributes to this mission through […]

Thrifty Makerspaces

This project conducts a design-based research to build a systematic approach for developing sustainable makerspaces in resource-constrained schools. These makerspaces aim to instill a maker mindset among the students, whereby they become productive risk-takers and develop a sense of agency over their own learning. The project produces a model for such contextually-relevant makerspaces that sustain [...]

Learning Engineering Project Blueprint

With support from Schmidt Futures, Playful Journey Lab collaborates with the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili) on Project Blueprint to synthesize what Learning Engineering means within the MIT community and facilitate and guide working groups to produce work plans. The project will investigate the following questions regarding MIT’s perspectives about Learning Engineering: What are existing […]

MetaRubric

Why learn about rubrics? Most people recognize the limitations of standardized testing, but may continue to rely on it because they’re not sure what to do instead. Personalized learning and project based learning allow for more creativity and can lead to deeper learning experiences, but diverse deliverables can be confusing to evaluate. Rubrics to the rescue! […]