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February 2022 Director Update

Dear Center for Academic Innovation Community,

The Center for Academic Innovation team is excited to celebrate a couple big anniversaries over the next few months with our global learning community. We hope you’ll celebrate with us and also join one (or more) of our upcoming events. 

Next month, we celebrate the five-year anniversary of the U-M Teach-Out Series. In March 2017, almost exactly 52 years after the first Teach-In was convened on University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor, we launched our first Teach-Out. Teach-Outs bring together people from around the world to learn about and address important topics in society. Learners have engaged in these free and open online learning events to hear from diverse experts, discuss and connect with other participants, and consider actions they can take in their own communities. Earlier this month, we launched our 44th Teach-Out – the UFO’s: Scanning the Skies Teach-Out.  Join the UFO Teach-Out today or dive into our Teach-Out archive and explore more out of this world content on topics such as cryptocurrency, universal basic income, vaccines, and gerrymandering. 

We’re also looking ahead to May, when we will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our partnership with Coursera. Model Thinking, our first ever (and still running) MOOC, actually launched in January 2012, but we officially established our partnership with Coursera in May of that year. Since then, we’ve launched hundreds of online courses and have reached nearly 10 million unique learners! Consider participating in Community Awareness: What is a socially just University or Emotional Intelligence: Cultivating Immensely Human Interactions, two of our most recent courses. You can explore all of our courses on Michigan Online.

In between these noteworthy anniversaries, we’ll mark another occasion on April 19-20, 2022, with CAI’s second annual XR Summit. Join CAI staff, faculty and student innovators, and industry experts who will gather for this two-day event to share knowledge and insight about the current state of XR and the future “LEAPS” we hope to take together, combining learning, engagement, art, presence, and storytelling. We have an exciting announcement to make at the event and hope you can be with us to think about the integration of XR in online learning, and how we can better understand, shape, and prepare for the future of work.

In addition to the summit, there are many opportunities to engage with the CAI community in the months ahead. Please join us for any or all of the following!

Thank you for all of your continued support and participation in the CAI community!

Go Blue!


James DeVaney

Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

Founding Executive Director of the Center for Academic Innovation