Educational Research

scholarly work

Two research projects have been completed and two new are currently ongoing through the MIT-SUTD Collaboration Office. For more information regarding research projects and publications please contact Dr. Bagiati.

Project Overview

Teaching Using concept vignettes

Within the MIT-SUTD collaboration, MIT is responsible for the development of the SUTD undergraduate curriculum, as well as the professional development of new SUTD faculty. To support these efforts, MIT's Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) is currently producing short videos (concept vignettes) that present pivotal scientific concepts foundational to engineering. These are accompanied by guides with proposed lesson plans and activities. TLL is also conducting workshops to familiarize new SUTD faculty members with these resources, as well as innovative active learning techniques.

In order to examine possible contributions to the field of engineering education, this study seeks to

  • identify facilitators and barriers within the training the faculty members received related to the use of the concept vignettes in their classes
  • identify to what extent and in what way they incorporate the concept vignettes and proposed activities within their classes in SUTD
  • investigate the new faculty members' and SUTD students' perceptions of the usability of the concept vignettes and guides after the classes are taught

Mixed methods will be used, and data will be collected by the research group’s key personnel. Subjects are SUTD faculty members, SUTD students and the TLL personnel that developed the content of the concept vignettes and conducted the training.


evaluating the faculty development program

To address the professional development of SUTD faculty, MIT has developed the Faculty Development Program (FDP). Through this program, newly hired SUTD faculty members spend one year at MIT attending specially designed workshops and activities, in preparation for teaching in Singapore.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the FDP, to understand the SUTD faculty members' perceptions about the workshops they attended, and to identify factors that have worked as facilitators or barriers to their engineering professional development. Results of the study can be used as feedback to the team, and will assist us in improving the FDP.

Mixed methods will be used, and data will be collected by the research group’s key personnel. The subjects are SUTD faculty members and the MIT personnel who developed and conducted the FDP.


k-12 stem learning workshops

The worldwide movement toward reforming STEM education increasingly requires changes in the traditional model of education, calling for the development of new content and new instructional methods. To address that need, MIT has been assisting students, faculty and staff at SUTD to design a series of small-scale workshops to enhance K-12 STEM and design-based learning in Singapore. Starting in January 2014, teachers and students from K-12 schools in Singapore will be invited to participate in a series of these workshops that will take place at SUTD.

A large volume of research focusing on STEM education has recently been published, focusing on understanding how students best learn in STEM  disciplines, how teachers can improve their teaching, and how new pedagogical methods increase retention in these disciplines. The purpose of this study is to identify the positive factors and barriers involved in setting up K-12 STEM learning workshops in a new university within the context of this new body of research. Workshop instructors' facilitators and barriers will be investigated, as will participants' perceptions of the usefulness and success of the workshops.

Mixed methods will be used, and data will be collected by the research group's key personnel. Subjects will be MIT and SUTD staff and faculty members, MIT and SUTD students setting up and running the workshops, and teachers and adult students from K-12 schools in Singapore participating in the workshops.


design-based wilderness education

The MIT-SUTD Collaboration Office has established exchanges to foster student development and encourage academic cultural transference from MIT to SUTD. One such exchange, the Global Leadership Program (GLP), brings 30 SUTD students and 6 MIT students to the MIT campus for a 10-week academic program during the summer term. One component of this program is a prototype design-based wilderness education curriculum. The curriculum will teach engineering and design concepts through experiential activities that connect classroom learning with outdoor activities. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the manner in which students transfer design processes to novel environments, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the design-based wilderness education curriculum in developing engineering leadership and science competencies. The results of this study will be included in Chris Saulnier's masters thesis.      

Presentations & Publications

SUTD Winter Abroad Program at MIT: Collaborative Learning as a Pathway Towards Intitutional Transplantation
A. Bagiati, J. DeLaughter, J. Brisson (2015). Accepted to be presented at 2015 WEEF Conference, held in Florence, Italy Sept. 21-24.
Using On-line Video Lessons to Teach Concepts in Chemistry
P. Christie, M.C. Tan, G. Y. Pee, L.L.A. Koh, A. Bagiati, J. Brisson (2015). Proceedings of The 3rd International Scientific Conference on Engineering and Applied Sciences, held July 29-31 in Okinawa, Japan.
Changes in Design Thinking Through Participation in Design-Based Wilderness Education
C. Saulnier, A. Bagiati, B. Ahn, J. Brisson (2015). Proceedings of the REES 2015 Symposium, held July 13-15 in Dublin, Ireland.
Supporting K-12 STEM reform through K-12 STEM Learning Workshops at Singapore University of Technology and Design
A. Bagiati, P. Christie, P. Dourmashkin, J. Brisson (2015). Proceedings of the SEFI 2015 Annual Conference , held June 19 - July 2 in Orleans, France. (Available here).
Institutional Transplantation in Education: Cultural Transfusion to a New Institution
Sakhrani, V., Bagiati, A., Sarma, S., De Neufville, R., (2012). Presented at the WEEF International Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 15-18.
Using Student Internship Programs as a Vehicle to International Campus Culture Transfusion
Bagiati, A., Fisher, D., Sarma, S., (2012). Presented at the WEEF International Forum, Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 15-18.
Approaching Institutional Transplantation Through Faculty Development
Bagiati, A., Sakhrani, V., Sarma, S., De Neufville, R. (2012). Presented at the SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 23-26.
Student Ambassadors: Developing an Older Students Cohort
Fisher, D., Bagiati, A., Sarma, S. (2012). Presented at the SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 23-26.
Identifying and Mapping Pivotal Concepts and Critical Skills: Concept Mapping a “Freshmore” Year Engineering Curriculum
French, J., Shah, D.,Rankin, J., Bagiati, A., Breslow, L. (2012). Proceedings of SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, September 23-26.
Institutional Transplantation and Cultural Formation Through Faculty Development: A Year-long Experience
Bagiati, A., Sarma, S., De Neufville, R (2013). Proceedings of the REES 2013 Symposium, held July 4-6 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The SUTD-MIT Global Leadership Programme: Attempting Institutional Transplantation Through Cross-cultural Student Leadership Development
D. Fisher, A. Bagiati, J. Brisson (2014). Proceedings of the SEFI 2014 Annual Conference, held Sept. 15-18 in Birmingham, UK. (Available here).
Fostering 21st Century Skills in Engineering Undergraduates Through Co-Curricular Involvement
D. Fisher, A. Bagiati, S. Sarma (2014). Proceedings of the ASEE 2014 Conference, held June 15-19 in Indianapolis, IN. (Available here).