November/December 2023Vol. XXXVI No. 2

The Academic Well-Being Initiative

John Gabrieli, Pawan Sinha

Dear Faculty Community,

We invite you to be a part of our mission to cultivate engaged undergraduate students who emphasize their well-being. The Academic Well-Being Initiative (AWI), led by John Gabrieli and Pawan Sinha, seeks faculty and instructors to dedicate a small amount of time during the spring or fall semester for a pivotal research endeavor.

This presents a unique chance to apply and evaluate evidence-based research within real classroom contexts. MIT’s leadership, including the Office of the Vice Chancellor, the Division of Student Life, and the Teaching + Learning Lab genuinely hopes for your involvement in this initiative.

As a participant, faculty, or instructor, you will be grouped into one of three categories based on varying pedagogical support levels, following a randomized controlled trial (RCT) approach. We will ensure a balanced distribution of course attributes like content type, class size, and course level. Please be aware that the only change needed in your teaching practices is a revision to your syllabus and our research team will walk you through the process. 

Through this endeavor, our aims are:

  • To ascertain if certain evidence-driven teaching techniques boost student learning, engagement, motivation, and well-being.
  • To determine the extent of support instructors require to adopt these proven practices.

If you would like to participate, please email Rita Sahu (

We think there is something special about the MIT culture that can make such a study happen. Thank you for your consideration.