Online Learning Initiative Proposals


Join the Center for Academic Innovation as we work to create, preserve, and open access to the University of Michigan’s diverse wealth of knowledge and expertise. Through our faculty partnerships and the development of open online content, we help millions learn new skills and competencies, highlight and amplify emerging research and ideas, and develop new pedagogies and practices at-scale. We invite faculty to submit proposals to partner with us and develop Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on a wide range of topics and interest areas, as well as MOOC specializations that provide more intensive, real-world professional skill-building.


The Center for Academic Innovation is charged with creating a culture of innovation in teaching and learning in support of the University’s mission to serve the people of Michigan and the world. By creating, preserving, and sharing knowledge, art, and purpose-driven academic values, we hope to develop leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and create a better future by partnering with incredible faculty and experts across the University.

Our faculty partnerships provide opportunities for experimentation at scales unachievable by traditional means, creating space for faculty to develop new pedagogies, conduct research, reach audiences, and develop tested strategies and resources that further enrich their residential courses. They are able to engage in the generative, challenging, supported construction of world-class online learning experiences in close collaboration with the Center for Academic Innovation’s learning and technology experts.

Over the last 6 years, the Center for Academic Innovation and our faculty partners have developed a broad portfolio of over 200 learning experiences across the 19 schools and colleges. These MOOCs, series, and other initiatives highlight some of the incredible expertise here 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 help a global community of over 6.2 million learners on-ramp into disciplinary programs, level-up existing skills, and dive deeper into key areas of interest.

However, there is still more to teach, more to learn, and more of the breadth and depth of the University community’s expertise to showcase and connect. Learners everywhere are looking to develop new skills, master new competencies, and better understand the world around them. To that end, we would like to invite faculty to submit proposals aimed at highlighting complex and growing areas of academic excellence at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Come help us celebrate, support, and make accessible the diversity of scholarship, knowledge, and experience of our institution.

Proposals should fit one of two tracks:

  1. MOOCs (single courses) that provide professional or personal development in key skill areas that appeal to a broad global audience. Some example topics include, but are not limited to: communication, storytelling, foundational academic courses, personal health, design, research, consulting, people management, creativity, persuasion, collaboration, time management, adaptability,world-building, family care, civic engagement, etc.
  2. MOOC Specializations: A series of 3-6 MOOCs intentionally designed together to build professional skills for real-world applications, focusing current high-demand areas that include but are not limited to mobility, poverty solutions, health professions, urban development, policy, analytics, data visualization, product management, artificial intelligence, etc.

Proposal Requirements

  • Eligibility: Faculty Status Policy
  • Policy: CAI Open Learning Experience Revenue Share Policy
  • Special Considerations for MOOC Proposals:
    • Proposals for the creation of new Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) must be submitted by a faculty member.
    • MOOC proposals must be submitted to the appropriate administrator in the lead faculty member’s School/College prior to submitting to Academic Innovation.

Set up a consultation to discuss potential proposals.

screencap of Sean Swider using ViewPoint tool