Presidential announcement, edX CEO talk to top innovation forum


An innovative new mechanism to connect faculty and the public around current events and issues will be announced by President Mark Schlissel this month.

Schlissel will open the Academic Innovation Forum on Broadening the University of Michigan Community at 6 p.m. March 13, on the first of two days dedicated to encouraging growth of academic innovation.

In the fall Schlissel announced an Academic Innovation Initiative and challenged the campus to further embrace digital technology, learning analytics, and innovation in work with students, in laboratories, and in interactions with individuals and communities across the globe.

More information
  • Academic Innovation Forum on Broadening the University of Michigan Community
    5-8 p.m. March 13
    Michigan League Ballroom
    Registration requested
  • Student Design Jam – Online Learning with edX
    5-7:30 p.m. March 14
    Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Room
    Registration required 

The president’s announcement will be followed by a keynote featuring edX CEO Anant Agarwal, who will address how technology affords scholars new audiences and new channels for public engagement. Agarwal is founder of the online learning destination and MOOC provider that U-M partnered with in 2015.

A panel that follows the keynote will feature U-M faculty discussing how the university currently engages pre-college and lifelong learners, and how it can further scale and enhance efforts. Barry Fishman, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the School of Information and School of Education, will moderate the panel that includes:

• Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management, will share insights into how U-M is reaching out to underrepresented communities and broadening the diversity of students studying on campus.

• Joanna Millunchick, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Presidential Bicentennial Professor, and professor of materials science and engineering, College of Engineering, will describe how M-STEM Academies has been working to support and prepare students to thrive in engineering at U-M, and what opportunities she sees to scale these types of efforts with technology.

• Thomas Finholt, dean, School of Information, will describe how the school is creating new on-ramps into the U-M curriculum through the “For Everyone” MOOCs and specializations and the User Experience Design MicroMasters.

• Arun Agrawal, Samuel Trask Dana Professor of Natural Resources, School of Natural Resources and Environment, will describe mechanisms for faculty to engage the public in dialogue about their scholarship as it relates to current events.

Faculty, staff, students and the public are encouraged to attend an opening reception at 5 p.m. March 13 and stay through the program.

The Office of Academic Innovation also will conduct a student design jam 5-7:30 p.m. March 14.

Students will build prototypes that will help digital learning platforms better meet the individualized needs of learners, leverage opportunities for social learning and anticipate the future of credentials and records of learning in a digital age.

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