Rudolph (Rudy) Mitchell, Ed.D.

Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation
rudy@mit.edu (View C.V.)

After holding research and faculty appointments at Northeastern University, Harvard Medical School, and Brown University, Dr. Rudolph Mitchell joined the MIT Teaching and Learning Laboratory as an Associate Director for Assessment and Evaluation in January 2004. An educational researcher with expertise in learning behavior, survey research, curriculum development, and program evaluation, Dr. Mitchell is the author of the Cognitive Behavior Survey Series, a collection of surveys that examine learning and related cognitive behaviors of medical students and residents. The surveys have been used as research and/or evaluation tools by more than 40 medical schools and are currently undergoing additional testing on a national level. Their development began in the late 1980s when Dr. Mitchell was responsible for evaluating the New Pathway curriculum, Harvard Medical School's new, problem-based learning curriculum. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Mitchell was one of three educational researchers with doctorates in education who were the first to receive faculty rank in the history of Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Mitchell's survey work is based on a learning model he developed which describes learning as consisting of three cognitive operations: memorization, conceptualization, and reflection.

In addition to his work in medical and science education, Dr. Mitchell has worked with Rhode Island school systems and the Rhode Island Department of Education in test and curriculum development, advised the Minister of Education of the Republic of Georgia on educational reform, and conducted a program evaluation study for the president of Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

At MIT Dr. Mitchell has conducted more than 50 studies of curriculum revisions, educational innovations, or new academic programs designed and implemented by faculty members on the undergraduate, graduate, and post doctoral levels.  He has authored or co-authored articles that have appeared in Academic Medicine, Journal of Chemistry Education, Journal of Science Education and Technology, and Physical Review Special Topics-physics education research.  Dr. Mitchell's research includes applying the cognitive behavior survey and its underlying learning model to disciplines beyond medicine, exploring the role of reflection on critical thinking and problem-solving in ambiguous situations, and using quantitative and interview methodologies to demonstrate the impact of innovations in educational settings that are limited in size, e.g., small classes or graduate programs with less than 20 students per year.

Dr. Mitchell has a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and an Ed.D. from Boston University.