Transforming Education through Extended Reality (Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality)


Join the Center for Academic Innovation (CAI) as we work to advance learning and transform higher education pedagogies through engagement with Extended Reality (XR) technologies at the University of Michigan. 

This call for proposals prioritizes:

  • Projects that utilize Augmented Reality (AR) or full Virtual Reality (VR), including VR with commercial Software Development Kit (SDK)-support;
  • Projects proposed by the six University of Michigan schools that CAI has not collaborated with on XR projects (Business, Education, Kinesiology, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Public Policy); and
  • Projects with a deliberate but secondary focus on the evaluation of XR in education.

In our mission to make the University’s world-class education inclusive and open, we also welcome proposals that do not fit the categories above. 

All faculty appointed to the Ann Arbor campus are eligible to respond to the call. Proposals are DUE by Friday, December 9, 2022.

Visit the XR Innovation Projects page to view select previously funded projects.


The Center for Academic Innovation invites faculty and academic units to propose projects that incorporate creative and effective XR technologies in order to enhance University of Michigan’s online and in-residence curricula. 

We call for proposals aligned with our goals to: 

  • Advance multidisciplinary learning and teaching;
  • Create innovative learning experiences with Augmented and Virtual Reality;
  • Increase access to XR technologies to a broad audience;
  • Create repeatable processes for content creation and deployment; and
  • Develop research to better understand the effectiveness of XR in education.

Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term to describe augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) technologies.  In this call for proposals, we seek projects that will utilize XR in learning, with an emphasis on AR or full VR, including VR with commercial SDK-support. AR consists of graphics being superimposed on top of the real world, which learners view through a mobile device. VR uses headsets and computer browsers to put the learner into a fully immersive environment.

Projects may focus on content creation (i.e., design and development of new learning experiences, new software to support teaching and learning, new digital assets), the innovative application of existing content (i.e., incorporation of commercial products, open educational resources, or other preexisting works into curricula),  or some combination thereof. 

One of our guiding principles is to ensure a multidisciplinary approach to represent all points of view across the 19 schools and colleges at U-M. Towards this goal, we encourage faculty from the following schools to submit proposals: Business, Education, Kinesiology, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Public Policy.

CAI is dedicated to the development of research to better understand the effectiveness of XR in education. We will work with faculty who receive awards to support research efforts, if applicable to the project. 

Funding and Support

For approved proposals, the Center for Academic Innovation will provide: 

  • In-kind support in the form of XR development, instructional design consultation, project management, and media production
  • Up to $10,000 in funding for hardware and software purchases, student support, technical support services, hiring costs of student employees, commercial products, and other related project needs

Visit the XR Innovation Projects page to view select previously funded projects.


To support the proposal development process, we are happy to engage in exploratory conversations about proposal topics, and we will be offering informational sessions about the Call for Proposals for any faculty interested in learning more. 

  • Call for Proposals launch: October 17, 2022
  • In-person information sessions: TBD
    • General
    • Group 1: Education, Business, Public Policy
    • Group 2: Kinesiology, Public Health, Pharmacy
  • Consultation opportunities
  • Proposal deadline: December 9, 2022
  • Decisions announced: Winter 2023

Proposals are due Friday, December 9, 2022.

Note: Development of an XR project (from kick-off through launch) is dependent on a variety of factors, including type of faculty bandwidth, content creation needs, complexity of course media, etc.

Proposal Submission

Please contact for a consultation ahead of submitting a proposal.

Proposal Requirements

About CAI

The Center for Academic Innovation seeks to shape the future of learning to further the University’s mission to serve the people of Michigan and the world. The Center leverages innovation and research to make learning inclusive, equitable and open for all. By cultivating a sense of belonging while creating and sharing knowledge, we hope to nurture lifelong learners who embrace complex challenges and pursue diverse perspectives to create a better tomorrow.

Over the past seven years, the Center for Academic Innovation and our faculty partners have developed a broad portfolio of more than 200 learning experiences across the 19 schools and colleges.  These MOOCs, series, and other initiatives serve to:

  • highlight the breadth and depth of expertise at the University,
  • provide Michigan students with supplemental and exploratory learning opportunities,
  • further position faculty and schools as leaders in their fields, 
  • re-engage alumni as lifelong learners, and 
  • provide a global community of more than 9.2 million learners an affordable gateway into disciplinary programs, enabling them to refine existing skills and dive deeper into new areas of interest.

More than 190 University of Michigan courses are currently available on Michigan Online and across our platform partners Coursera, FutureLearn and edX, making us a leader in global learning and education.

screencap of Sean Swider using ViewPoint tool