July 2021 Director Update

Dear Center for Academic Innovation Community,

As we soak in the last of the sunshine and perhaps some relaxation and long-awaited trips into the remaining weeks of summer, it’s important to think about what’s next. While it’s hard to predict what the future holds this fall and beyond, especially in these times, we can work together to set ourselves up for success. Perhaps appropriate for this time of year, we want to help people go for the gold.

At the Center for Academic Innovation, we are constantly asking ourselves what success means, and that often means asking ourselves what it means to the global network of lifelong learners that we serve.

For those University of Michigan students, faculty and staff looking to explore a new topic this summer or prepare for the new academic year, Michigan Online provides you free access to thousands of learning opportunities on a variety of topics of varying intensity levels.

In the midst of rooting on your favorite athletes in the Tokyo Summer Olympics, it’s a great time to step back and see sports through a new lens with our Sports Performance Analytics specialization. This five-course series is a collaboration between instructors with the U-M School of Kinesiology and School of Information exploring how sports data analytics has revolutionized sports, sports betting and even performance management with health information and wearable technology.

We have also recently wrapped up our Michigan Online Visionary Educators (MOVE) series featuring faculty innovators discussing compelling topics such as modern accessibility issues; effective, resilient learning in the digital space; how learning health systems are saving lives; leading teams in an era of change; exploring meaning and purpose in our lives; and even the value of learning through dissection.

Through the first set of MOVE series events, our amazing faculty partners were able to engage with more than 7,000 learners on thought-provoking, real-world issues and helping define the solutions of the future. I’m excited to work with new faculty teams going forward as we begin planning for our next set of MOVE series events. If there is a topic you would love to see covered in a future MOVE event, or you are a faculty member with a great topic you want to discuss, I am always eager to engage with our amazing campus of innovators.

We are always striving to learn more about what our global community of learners is looking for. The Center for Academic Innovation helps the University of Michigan to serve the people of Michigan and the world by inspiring change in higher education and reinforcing an engaged and informed society. The world needs leaders who are problem solvers and problem solvers need opportunities to learn within global learning communities that are interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and interprofessional. We are proud of the learning experiences we’ve created and made available to learners around the world, but if you’re not seeing the kinds of courses, Teach-Outs, and collections that speak to your passions and goals, let us know what you’d like to learn through Michigan Online.

Let’s keep this dialogue going as we approach another fall semester on our Michigan campuses and another season of continuous learning on Michigan Online.

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

screencap of Sean Swider using ViewPoint tool