One of the amazing advantages we have working at DEI is being surrounded by highly motivated students attending one of U-M’s many top ranked programs and eager to help shape the future of education at U-M and abroad. On February 5 we invited students from across U-M to join us in partnership with the Student Organization for Computer-Human Interaction (SOCHI) to dive into the question:
How do we provide learners around the world with an online experience where they can easily identify and enroll in U-M learning opportunities (including MOOCs)?
The core of a design jam is to give students the opportunity to explore a real world design problem from a user-centered perspective and give them the opportunity to brainstorm and create a solution. Three teams of students explored this question, identifying what kinds of needs our system should support and then sketching and wireframing what different solutions might look like. Additionally, student teams delved into how to assess users’ needs, align the varying projects’ core value to U-M learning opportunities and, finally, how to organize the information in order to provide the best experience for the most diverse range of users. Throughout the event DEI staff engaged with students to discuss the broad range of open learning opportunities offered by faculty in partnership with DEI. Engaging with the teams throughout the event also allowed us to answer questions about the kinds of users we serve and the many benefits those users receive through engaging in open learning experiences. In turn this sparked many ideas and designs from the teams.
At the end of the Design Jam each team gave a presentation. Their presentations highlighted how groups of individuals with unique perspectives improve our ability to explore new opportunities in academic innovation. Some key themes that emerged include the benefit of creating pathways through U-M experiences, giving top students the chance to be highlighted, and the value of connecting key skills to opportunities.
The Design Jam showcased how a broad range of learners can collaborate to address challenges in creating cutting edge education technologies while thinking innovatively about the future of the higher education. Students had the opportunity to partner with new teammates while participating in a directed learning experience with multiple pathways to success.
Design jams and events, like the upcoming AIM Innovator Series talk with Christi Merrill on March 11, continue our commitment to exploring new approaches for the 21st century education as a part of the Academic Innovation at Michigan (AIM) series. We plan to host more events as we engage the U-M community in efforts to transform 200 courses by 2017 and shape the future of learning and redefine public residential education by unlocking new opportunities and enabling personalized, engaged and lifelong learning for the U-M community and learners around the world.