Darshita (Dipa) Shah
Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning
Darshita (Dipa) Shah, Ph.D. joined the Teaching + Learning Lab in May 2011.
Dipa’s primary role at TLL is to support educational efforts on campus by partnering with MIT educators (teaching assistants, instructors, and faculty) who wish to enhance their classroom practice, design new curricular materials, redesign existing material, and/or implement evidence-informed pedagogies in their classroom. Dipa is an instructor in the Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program, co-lead for the Flipping Failure initiative and is collaborating with Course 18 (Mathematics) to create a series of recitation videos to train teaching assistants.
Most recently, Dipa was part of the instructional team for 2.S974 Designing the First Year Experience: Fun-Sized, a design subject that challenged students to reimagine the first-year at MIT. From 2017-2019, Dipa was the Project Lead for Fly-by-Wire, a U. S. Department of Education funded multi-institutional project that led to the development of a personalized learning tool for students that provided targeted, curriculum-aligned feedback. In 2017, Dipa, along with Janet Rankin and Professor Denny Freeman, received a small grant from the Association of American Universities Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative to form the Dean’s Action Group for the Cross-disciplinary Dissemination of Evidence-based Teaching Practices. Over two years, Dipa convened monthly meetings of a group of 17 faculty from STEM departments across the Institute to discuss case studies of their specific approaches to teaching resulting in positive peer influence, formal collaborations, and renewed enthusiasm for teaching.
Dipa began her work at TLL as part of the MIT-Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) collaboration. She was a key member of the team that mapped out the SUTD curriculum to identify pivotal concepts and themes in the first two years of the undergraduate curriculum, and then developed a suite of 46 educational videos—the STEM concept videos—targeting these ideas. A paper outlining the design process for the videos received Best Conference Paper at the 2013 American Association for Engineering Education Annual Conference.
Before joining TLL, Dipa played an integral role in developing the Engineering is Elementary® curriculum at the Museum of Science in Boston, a research-based program that reinforces elementary science topics, creativity, problem solving, and teamwork skills through hands-on engineering design challenges. The curriculum is now used nationally and internationally by tens of thousands of teachers. Dipa previously served as a member of the education staff at The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Dipa received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and her Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her doctoral research focused on the development of polymeric biomaterials for heart valve tissue engineering.