Supply chains are changing rapidly. SCM professionals are compelled to update their knowledge and skills accordingly. Online and blended learning programs have made a huge impact on education, providing a more accessible and flexible way to learn and acquire new abilities. In this innovative education landscape, more research is needed.

We are exploring how online and blended SCM content should be delivered to professionals in order to maximize the fulfillment of learning objectives, keep them engaged, and help them advance in their life-long learning career plan.

The SCM Education Research Initiative conducts innovative theoretical and applied research to improve education in Supply Chain Management. MIT CTL pioneered the first MicroMasters program in the world. The MITx MicroMasters in SCM launched in 2015 and is a MOOC-based program that opens SCM education to anyone from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Why MIT CTL is Doing Research Education?

  • Open online learning is revolutionizing the traditional educational landscape.
  • We are applying research methodologies and machine learning techniques to better inform strategies to improve the learning experience in SCM.
  • Future applications of this research can be extended to other disciplines.

Research project: Converting zombies into learners 

We aim to better understand learner engagement in massive open online education in Supply Chain Management by applying learning analytics. MOOC learners can be categorized into three distinct groups: Learners, Voyeurs, and Zombies. The learners watch lesson videos and complete work for grades, the voyeurs watch lesson videos but do not complete some work for grades, and the zombies neither watch videos nor complete any graded work. The percentages of these learners are roughly 85%, 10%, and 5% respectively. Our data shows that 30% of verified learners dropout.


MIT CTL Learner research

In this research project, our goal is to increase the engagement of voyeurs and zombies, as well as to reduce the number of learners dropping out the courses. We will achieve this goal by applying predictive models and implementing a range of targeted interventions.

How to engage

We are looking for organizations to engage with us on:

  • Research projects to develop and implement strategies to improve SCM learning experience.
  • Research projects to develop data-driven decision making in online programs.
  • Sponsoring learners across the world to have access to SCM online/blended education.

Please contact Eva Ponce at

Understand how MicroMasters are > Σ i MOOCi in this working paper presented in spring 2019