Update on the Academic Innovation at Michigan Innovator Series and Master Class

Rachel Niemer, Director of Digital Pedagogy and Learning Communities

Update on the Academic Innovation at Michigan (AIM) Innovator Series and Master Class

Presenters in traditional seminar series share narratives that are nearly complete and often leave out the twists and turns a project took before succeeding. The recently launched Academic Innovation at Michigan (AIM) Innovator Series is a unique opportunity for members of the university community to come together and discuss ideas that are still in the formative stages for transforming the residential learning experience at Michigan.  At each hour-long session, the presenter shares their initial idea in a 15-minute presentation and participants discuss those ideas and identify steps that could help bring the idea into practice. Professors Tim McKay (LSA) and Liz Gerber (Ford School) recently presented the first two sessions of this series.  Tim sparked an engaging conversation around what it would  take, both pedagogically and technologically, to include alumni, located around the world, as learners in a face-to-face course.  Liz led a highly interactive discussion about using simulations for teaching and her goals for Policymaker, a platform she is designing, in collaboration with DEI, for instructors to design and author their own simulations.

Next term, we have a slate of faculty innovators from a range of disciplines who look forward to getting feedback and insights from the broader community about their nascent projects and ideas.  Come join us on Friday afternoons in the Hatcher Gallery Lab (usually from 2:30-3:30pm) to bring your ideas and perspective on digital education to the discussion.  Additionally,  if you have an idea you have been mulling over and want to engage some friends to bring the idea closer to fruition, email me at rkniemer@umich.edu if you are interested in presenting.

In addition to the launch of the Innovator Series, we are excited to host our first AIM Master Class.  Ben Nelson, CEO of the Minerva Project, will be coming to campus on January 14-15.  On Thursday evening, the Master Class participants will hear opening remarks from Ben, during which he will pose a thought experiment for teams of students, faculty, and staff to think through.  Participants will then have time to dine and work with their teammates to develop a response to the thought experiment.  Ben will spend some time with each team providing feedback and additional questions for them over the course of the evening.  On Friday, from 12-2pm, Ben will deliver a public keynote address and representatives from the Master Class teams will report out on their discussions and ideas for new directions for digital education at Michigan. If you are interested in participating in the Master Class or attending the keynote address, please RSVP here.

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