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Chris Caplice honored for creating first MicroMasters recognized by MIT

Center for Transportation and Logistics executive director honored with three notable awards for creating the MITx MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management.
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MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics
Krishna Rajagopal (left) presents the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education to Chris Caplice (left) and Eva Ponce.
Krishna Rajagopal (left) presents the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education to Chris Caplice (left) and Eva Ponce.
Image courtesy of the Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Chris Caplice, director of the MITx MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management and executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, has been recognized with several key awards for spearheading the first-ever MicroMasters online credential program.

Caplice and his team were honored with the Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education at the 2018 MIT Awards Convocation on May 10. The Sizer award is presented to any member or group in the MIT community to honor significant innovations and improvements to education across the institute. The award memorializes Irwin Whiting Sizer, a champion of the recruitment of women and minority students, who taught at MIT for over 60 years. 

Caplice accepted the award with Eva Ponce, the executive director of the MITx MicroMasters Program in Supply Chain Management and a research scientist at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

“The team has truly succeeded in transforming Supply Chain education and set a standard for the other EdX MicroMasters programs,” said Krishna Rajagopal, a professor of physics and Dean for Digital Learning at MIT who presented the award. “Dr. Caplice, Dr. Ponce, and the entire SCM MicroMasters/Blended Master's Program are reinventing how MIT educates leaders of tomorrow around the world.”

In accepting, Caplice remarked that it “truly takes a large team to make this happen.”

“Creating the MOOC is one thing, but running the MOOC, especially a series of MOOCs with 20,000 to 30,000 students per course, takes significant effort and work. It couldn’t be done without the course leaders who create these courses and bring their experience and the energy to them,” he said. “Learners may recognize me from the course videos, but the entire team has invested in running these courses and keeping them alive — the real work is being done by them.”

Ponce said that the team “is dedicating a tremendous effort to provide a high-touch experience to our learners across the world.”

“This has only been possible because every member of the team has a passion to educate the world in supply chain management,” she said. “They also share the curiosity to learn every single day from our community of online learners.”

In addition to the Sizer Award, Caplice has also been the recipient of two other recent honors. At the quarterly Significant Interest Event on May 11, he received the MITx Prize for Teaching and Learning in MOOCs (massive open online courses), which recognizes educators who have devoted themselves to better engaging learners around the world through digital classrooms.

He has also been honored with the MIT Teaching with Digital Technology Award. This accolade is a student-nominated award to recognize instructors who effectively use digital technology to improve teaching and learning at MIT. Announced on June 5, the Teaching with Technology award is co-sponsored by the Office of Open Learning and the Office of the Vice Chancellor, with the intent to recognize instructors for their innovations and give the MIT community the opportunity to learn from their practices.

The MITx MicroMasters credential is a stand-alone credential in supply chain management that is also recognized by MIT as carrying the equivalent of one semester’s worth of credit that can be applied toward a master’s degree in supply chain management on campus for a credential holder that applies to and is accepted into the program.

Since 2014 when the program was launched, 245,524 learners have enrolled in at least one of the five MicroMasters in supply chain management courses. More than 10,000 learners have earned over 20,000 individual course certificates, and 1,062 learners have completed the MicroMasters credential. Forty of these learners were students at MIT this spring as part of the Blended Master’s Program and received master’s degrees in supply chain management upon completion of the program.

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