Teaching a Digital Course

The Digital Education & Innovation Team

“People engage in the MOOC and then they translate it into their own space in real time” – Caren Stalburg, M.D., M.A., Faculty, Obstetrics and Gynecology

As we continue to receive interest in our open call for massive open online courses (MOOCs), we often hear faculty asking us to share examples of what they should expect when creating an online course. To help answer these questions, we asked Caren Stalburg (whose Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education course is currently in its seventh run and open for enrollment) to share her experiences teaching and learning from her digital course:

  • Tell us about your digital course
  • What did you originally set out to accomplish?
  • What motivated you to teach a digital course?
  • What did you learn about students?
  • What did you learn about your approach to teaching?
  • What’s different about teaching a digital course?
  • How will MOOCs be viewed in the future?

Hear Caren’s answers and insights here:

Digital Education and U-M

The Digital Education & Innovation Team

“Digital education at the University of Michigan is various things. First and foremost it’s how we use technology to enhance the teaching that we do on campus; how we use online learning to make it possible to do even more engaged learning…to reach out around the world and provide some of what we know and some of what we can share to people who otherwise would have no access to the kind of teaching we do here in Ann Arbor.” – Martha Pollack, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

“We partner with faculty and academic units across our 19 colleges and schools. We’re helping to prototype, to design new programs, new courses, new use of tools and technology. We’re providing feedback, helping with the iterative design process to bring new ideas to our student community. We’re working with data to make sure we’re evaluating all of these experiences to learn from them and focus on transforming the residential experience at U-M.” – James DeVaney, Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education & Innovation

Through our work with faculty, administrators, faculty and students at U-M, we’re often asked about what all is included when we refer to digital education at U-M. Our partners are curious about what exploration and experimentation is currently under way, as well as what we see as the future for digital education and innovation. We asked Martha Pollack and James DeVaney to share their answers to these questions, including their vision and goals for digital education and innovation at U-M, what sets U-M apart and what opportunities are currently being explored as U-M approaches its third century.

  • What is digital education at U-M?
  • What is different about Michigan in its third century?
  • How does digital education support engaged education?
  • What inspires innovation at U-M?
  • How does the Office of Digital Education & Innovation partner across campus?
  • Tell us about MOOCs
  • Why is Michigan in a position to lead?

Hear insights from Martha Pollack and James DeVaney:


How to Lead in the Digital Age: U of M as a Great Public Research University

The Digital Education & Innovation Team

“What does it mean to be a great public research university in an age fueled by technology, fueled by connection, fueled by evidence and analytics, what do you do in that world?”
– James Hilton

Recently, the DEI Lab sat down with faculty and administration leaders from around the University to discuss the future of U of M in the digital age. We asked these leaders to tackle some of the big questions about how U of M becomes a leader in the landscape of digital education, and the unique challenges and opportunities that we face to get there.

  • What makes us unique in our role as a public university?
  • What does it mean to be open in a technology fueled age?
  • What unique capacities does U of M have in a world where students expect digital solutions in their classes?

Explore answers and insights from the Provost’s Office, Faculty, and Staff across the University:

Martha Pollack, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
James DeVaney, Associate Vice Provost for Digital Education & Innovation
Simone Himbeault Taylor, Associate Vice President for Student Life, Adjunct Associate Professor, CSHPE, School of Education
Barry Fishman, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Learning Technologies, School of Information & School of Education
Theodore Hanss Jr., CIO, University of Michigan Medical School
Charles Severance, Clinical Associate Professor of Information, School of Information
Matthew Kaplan, Executive Director, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching
Timothy McKay,  Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Director of the LSA Honors Program & DIG Principal Investigator
Margaret Wooldridge, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
Caren Stalburg, Division Chief, Professional Education, Clinical Assistant Professor of Learning Health Sciences, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
James Hilton, Vice Provost for Digital Education & Innovation

Summer at the DEI Lab

Scott Mahler, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives

I’ve always enjoyed summer in the Ann Arbor area. There are a lot of people coming and going with a fun but invigorating atmosphere facilitated by a multitude of events open for the public to enjoy like the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Ann Arbor Art Fair, Cinetopia International Film Festival, Detroit’s Concert of Colors, and the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival to name a few.

Open_House_120214_004Similarly, the Digital Education & Innovation Lab (DEIL) is poised for an especially engaging and creative summer. We’ll have guests from across campus and beyond traversing our halls, collaborating in our spaces, and innovating in our studios. We plan to have a lot of fun as we create new learning experiences, many of which will be open for the public in the not-too-distant future.


We’re excited to work with some really dynamic individuals including MOOC stars Gautam Kaul from the Ross School of Business and Chuck Severance from the School of Information. University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Coach John Beilien and Menlo Innovations CEO, Rich Sheridan, will be joining Scott DeRue and Maxim Sytch from Michigan Ross to showcase the Michigan Model of Leadership and inspire and motivate global learners. We’ll be collecting stories from socially conscious U-M and high school students working with Barry Checkoway to develop a Youth Civil Rights Academy.We’re eagerly anticipating the opportunity to meet and learn from more great roots music performers in the wake of our recording of artist Chris Smither last fall with Bruce Conforth, for his upcoming MOOC, “American Roots Music”. A  partnership with NovoEd provides an excellent opportunity to explore another platform in collaboration with CRLT to create an online version of the sought after Post-doc Short Course. Those are just some of the highlights.

Equally as exciting is the number of new projects we’re fortunate to experiment with this summer and the breadth of schools, centers and institutes they represent:

  • Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design
  • Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Institute for Social Research
  • U-M Law School
  • College of Literature, Science and the Arts
  • U-M Medical School
  • Stephen M. Ross School of Business
  • U-M School of Information
  • U-M School of Kinesiology
  • U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance
  • U-M School of Social Work

Of course, our doors our open throughout the summer as we continue to investigate and scale new ways to incorporate digital media in teaching and learning. We welcome you to join us to explore new ideas at our “Digital Donuts” open office hours on Friday mornings. Happy Summer!