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January 2024 Director’s Update

Dear Center for Academic Innovation Community, 

The new year brings new opportunities to engage with the Center for Academic Innovation to effectively use artificial intelligence to enhance teaching and learning, to launch new online degree programs, and much more. We have a long history of engaging with members of the innovation community to address some of the biggest challenges in education, and provide learning opportunities for people all over the world. 

This week, we are excited to announce new collaborations with 16 faculty partners from 9 schools and colleges at U-M to create new short online courses focused on Artificial Intelligence in the workplace. The courses will enhance learner’s understanding of core concepts in generative AI, explore the impact of AI on society, and feature courses targeted to specific roles and industries, including software development, law, mechanical engineering, and more. Each course is designed to take between 1-3 hours to complete, and we are hoping to launch 39 courses, including 11 course series by the end of July.  We’ve already been building up our learning opportunities focused on generative AI technologies, including launching two Teach-Outs focused on ChatGPT and Generative AI and our newest short online course, “Generative AI Essentials: Overview and Impact.” More details about these new courses will be released soon. 

We are also starting 2024 with three new calls for proposals in critical areas of our work.Through these efforts we are inviting campus partners to collaborate with us to develop new online degree program development, adopt educational technologies to improve teaching and learning, and conduct educational research related to academic innovation. You can find more information about each Call for Proposal on our Academic Innovation Fund page of the center website. 

We work closely with faculty and academic units during the proposal submission process and provide opportunities to engage through office hours and consultation appointments. This year, we will also be holding an Educational Technology Showcase that will include demonstrations of the tools developed at CAI. Registration is now open for the showcase, which will be held Feb. 21 from 3-5:30 p.m. at the Center for Academic Innovation, located at 317 Maynard Street. 

The turn to 2024 also saw the debut of the newly redesigned Online Teaching website. CAI created this site as a dedicated and dynamic resource for faculty and instructional design staff to learn how to achieve their goals in designing, implementing, and sustaining online classes and programs. The content is maintained by the experts at the center, and it is designed to meet the needs of faculty from novices to experts. 

Finally, as excited as I am to talk about all the exciting new developments we are kicking off in 2024, it’s also important to reflect on what we accomplished together in 2023 to advance the university’s mission. We recently released our Year in Review, and some highlights include opening our new facility on Maynard Street, several advancements in online learning centered on artificial intelligence, and celebrating the more than 19 million enrollments and 11 million learners who have become a part of our global learning network.

I encourage you to explore our calls for proposals to imagine new ways to shape the future of higher education together. 

Go Blue! 

James DeVaney
Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation
Founding Executive Director of the Center for Academic Innovation