Education (Innovative Pedagogy, Living, and Learning)

Rensselaer has been a pioneer in pedagogical innovation for nearly 200 years, with other universities regularly modeling our pedagogical practices to assure students have the experience and knowledge they need to be successful. In the late 20th century, Rensselaer pioneered student driven interactive learning which led to the studio and the flipped classroom.  And in the 21st century, endeavors such as HASS Inquiry have advanced inquiry-based pedagogy for first-year students coupled with intergroup dialogue as pedagogical practice. “The Mandarin Project” experimented with interactive, context-dependent narrative in an immersive virtual environment to place students in an array of complex learning environments. 


Embrace Rensselaer’s rich history of pedagogical innovation and pursue new ventures in areas such as personalized learning that adapts the delivery of information to the preferred learning style of each individual.

  • Immersion
  • Gameful learning
  • Inquiry-based learning
  • Project-based learning
  • Use of artificial intelligence in language learning

Chair: Mary Simoni, Acting Provost, Office of the Provost   
Vice Chair: Shayla Sawyer, Professor, ECSE

  • Kevin Beattie, Associate Director, Athletics
  • Cait Bennett, Graduate Student
  • Erika Cary, Associate Director, Center for Career and Professional Development
  • Sam Chiappone, Director, Manufacturing Innovation, Core Engineering
  • Barb Cutler, Associate Professor, Computer Science
  • Jade Felder, Director, Arch Experience and Transitions, Student Life
  • Maureen Fodera, Instructional Technology Specialist, Office of Undergraduate Education
  • James Hendler, Professor and Director, Future of Computing Institute
  • Aric Krause, Dean, Rensselaer at Work
  • Keith Moo-Young, Vice Provost and Dean, Office of Undergraduate Education
  • Dorit Nevo, Acting Vice Provost and Dean, Office of Graduate Education
  • Peter Persans, Professor, Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy
  • Rich Plotka, Professor of Practice and Head, IT and Web Science
  • Rich Radke, Professor, ECSE
  • Silvia Ruzanka, Assistant Professor, Arts
  • Susan Smith, Lecturer, Cognitive Science
  • Rajni Soharu, Registrar, Student Life
  • Jackie Stampalia, Director of Client Information Services, DotCIO
  • Tracy Sullivan, Director of the Archer Center, Student Life
  • Lisa Trahan, Assistant Vice President, Student Success, Student Life
  • Ben Viner, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2024

  • Review our history:  What are the historical landmarks in our history of pedagogical innovation?
  • Reflect on what has fostered this tradition: What prompted our tradition of pedagogical innovation and what are the motivating factors today and into the future?
  • What are the current areas of activity and pedagogical research at RPI?
  • What are the exciting opportunities?
  • What role can Rensselaer at Work (Hartford) play?
  • What would an institute-wide effort look like?
    • Scope: Higher education
    • Research on education
    • Research on human cognition and learning
    • Practice on campus 
    • Dissemination – impact beyond RPI
  • What are the needed resources? 
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