Click here to Download this video

To download video: Right click on the following button and select "Save Link As"

To download mp3 (audio): Click "Download mp3" button

Download mp3

S3:E2: Re-engineering Education with VP for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma

MIT OpenCourseWare

Subscribers 3.64M subscribers


Share with Link:
Published on Dec 01, 2021
Sanjay Sarma is not only a professor of mechanical engineering; he’s also Vice President for Open Learning at MIT, where he oversees innovative efforts to reimagine education, and he is coauthor (with Luke Yoquinto) of the recent book Grasp, which explores the nature of learning. In this episode, Professor Sarma discusses the differences between nominal learning, in which you memorize a fact or procedure but soon forget it, and real learning, in which you can effectively apply the skills and concepts you’ve previously mastered. When the format of education is consistent with what science tells us about how our brains store and retrieve information, Sarma says, real learning can be optimized. He argues that well-designed platforms for online learning are a vital resource for people worldwide who lack access to in-person education—like a glass of water to someone in a desert. But he also sees online learning as an indispensable tool for in-person education, allowing innovations that help to maximize the value of students’ and instructors’ time together, and he is optimistic about the potential value of online learning credentials as a pathway toward in-person degrees.

Relevant Resources:

MIT OpenCourseWare

The OCW Educator Portal

Professor Sarma’s course on OCW

Sanjay Sarma & Luke Yoquinto’s xTalk on Grasp

Professor Sarma’s faculty page

Professor Sarma at MIT Open Learning

Professor Sarma’s book Grasp

MicroMasters programs from MITx

Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions

Connect with Us

If you have a suggestion for a new episode or have used OCW to change your life or those of others, tell us your story. We’d love to hear from you!

Call us @ 617-715-2517

On our site

On Facebook

On Twitter

On Instagram

Stay Current

Subscribe to the free monthly "MIT OpenCourseWare Update" e-newsletter.

Support OCW

If you like Chalk Radio and OpenCourseware, donate to help keep those programs going!


Sarah Hansen, host and producer (
Brett Paci, producer (
Dave Lishansky, producer (
Script writing assistance by Nidhi Shastri
Show notes by Peter Chipman
Up next